Put your best foot forward:creating your application package

This is the second stop on the Put your best foot forward journey.  If you haven't already read my guide for building a resume click here to start at step one.  It is important to have your resume looking picture perfect before you move on to this step.  The design of your resume will set the tone for the rest of the presentation.

When I visit schools I always bring a slew of resume examples with me to share with students.  I usually hold up about half a dozen resumes I've received and I ask which one the students think would grab my attention.  Some are pages and pages long, some are written in weird fonts and then there is the gorgeous front runner.  It is a beautiful folder which includes a perfectly presented resume and looks ten times better than any other resume on the table.  When I show the students these examples I love seeing the lightbulb go off right above each of their heads. 

The gorgeous front runner was submitted to me about seven years ago by an amazing woman who has since become one of my dearest friends.  She isn't the only person who nailed the presentation, but hers is my favorite because it is a showstopper that nearly anybody can recreate at home.

  1. Choose a color scheme-If you remember, I mentioned that it is okay to include some accents of color on your resume in select areas.  Whatever color you use as an accent on your resume should be the same color that you use for the rest of your application package.
  2. Presentation is everything-This is the fun part! Head to your favorite stationary store and drool over all of the beautiful paper products available for you.  Paper Source is my all time favorite because you can coordinate your papers, folders, stationary pieces, etc and all of the colors and fabric textures will match.  I also found this great presentation folder from Amazon.  The Amazon folder is basic black so you can add hints of any color you'd like plus there is a little pocket for a portfolio cd if you have one.  These are just a couple of examples but you can really buy the supplies anywhere.  I would suggest you steer clear of plastic folders because they seem more immature and less professional.  A nice cardstock presentation folder and a ream of linen or heavy stock paper will do the trick.
  3. Print-Once you've gathered your supplies you are ready to print.  Use the highest quality print setting on your printer when you are printing anything that is going into your presentation.  Print out everything you are including in your presentation using the nice paper you purchased.  Even the application itself can be printed on this paper.
  4. Assembly line-Now you can put it all together!  I prefer that the resume and cover letter go into the right side of the folder.  In the left pocket you can include any extras you have including your references, the application and printed portfolio if you have one.
  5. Extra credit-If you really want to wow, go to your local craft store and get a sheet of craft paper that compliments the color scheme you've chosen for your application.  Print your name to be about 2"x3" on a sheet of your nice paper.  Cut the name out using a template or paper cutter to make sure you have straight lines.  Glue this paper with your name onto the craft paper.  Cut around the mounted name leaving about 1/4" of the colored craft paper showing as a border.  Glue this beautifully mounted name tag onto the bottom right corner of your folder.  This is truly a wow factor and sometimes that little extra step makes all the difference.

Some people will read this and think "wow that sounds like a lot of work" or "that's too much".  This industry is growing exponentially and the competition is getting stiff.  If you really want a job with one of the best salons, take a few hours and make sure you put your best foot forward. xoxo

If you've completed the application package, you are ready to start applying! Click here to move on to the 4th and final step in finding your dream salon job!