Picture it: You’re fresh out of beauty school, headed out on the job hunt, and are totally optimistic.
But, after a few weeks of searching, you’ve basically fallen flat on your face. You might catch yourself wondering things like, I’m doing everything right, so why is this happening?
The reality is, you could be making seriously fatal mistakes without even knowing it!
Whether you’ve experienced this, are hoping not to experience this when you finish beauty school, or are already having nightmares about similar scenarios, know this—you’re not alone! Everyone makes mistakes when they’re fresh out of beauty school, and while that doesn’t have to determine your overall success, being knowledgeable about a few of the most common ones could possibly help you avoid some embarrassment and may even help you get hired!
We’ve compiled a list of things that we wish someone had told us when we were fresh out beauty school! Check out a few of these common mistakes most stylists and beauticians make—recognize them, understand them, and do your best to avoid them!
Not Focusing on Creating an Awesome Resume
If you had a lot of milestone accomplishments in beauty school, worked hard, and learned a ton, then your achievements should speak for themselves—but even still, you need to have them written down somewhere so there’s a chance for them to speak for themselves.
A lot of beauty-grads forget that it’s absolutely vital to have a resume when you’re out there on the job hunt. The common misconception is that if you don’t have a ton of experience to put down on your resume, then you shouldn’t make a resume at all—this simply isn’t true! A resume is an invaluable tool for interviewers because it gives them the chance to see an interviewees accomplishments—and it’s a huge tool for interviewees (like you) to perfect the humblebrag so that your potential future employer can know how awesome you truly are!
It’s never a bad idea to have a resume on-hand, even if you (for some reason) don’t end up needing one. The last thing you want to do is sit in that job interview totally confident in your abilities and then not be able to hand over a resume when they ask you for one. Trust us, it’s totally humiliating.
Being TOO Casual
Our industry is one of high-style, focus on fashion, and perfecting a unique look—that being said, it’s never a good idea to go too casual when you’re interviewing a job or handing out your resume (or other credentials).
Why? Because it looks, well, sloppy. Sure, we know the ripped jean look (especially one that’s been totally perfected) is so hot right now, but in very few cases will a totally casual look do what you want it to for a job interview. We’re not saying you have to be buttoned-up and stuff. You can still be yourself, highlight your style, and show off your uniqueness—just do it in a sophisticated, professional way!
Not Reaching for the Stars
A lot of beauticians and stylists fresh out of beauty skill are guilty of not reaching for the stars. Sure, it’s healthy to be realistic about landing a job, especially if its your first job in the industry, but if you really, really want a job at a salon (maybe one that you think is out of your comfort zone), you should still absolutely try to be considered for that gig.
Why? Because if you’re just breaking into this industry, you have all the potential in the world. You’re looking for opportunities to learn, and that means you’re looking to learn from the best. Even if you don’t have the most experience out there, there’s always a chance that a stylist you respect and admire is going to be willing to take you under their wing, hire you, and mold you into the stylist you know you can be. But, you have to take that risk first.
Not Practicing Your Interview Skills
No matter how outgoing, personable, and confident you are, it’s always a good idea to practice your interviewing skills before you start your job hunt.
This isn’t just for people who get nervous or shy when they’re put on the spot. Everyone should take a crack at answering a few tough questions when the pressure is on so they can be prepared. Sometimes, not practicing for an interview beforehand—or at the very least mentally preparing—can lead to freeze-up moments when you’re on the spot. No matter how confident you feel, try a fake, practice interview beforehand.
Having the Wrong Attitude
While we totally encourage you to be confident in your abilities and reach for the stars, leaning too far in that direction can be damaging for new stylists.
Because if you’re acting arrogant, then you’re likely going to make a bad first (or second) impression on people you’re trying to work with. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proud of your accomplishments or undersell yourself but be real—you just graduated from beauty school; you’re still considered a newbie.
Sometimes that means paying your dues, working the hours you don’t want to work, and working harder than you planned. If you act arrogant, snobby, or too-good-for-the-grunt work, you’re likely going to be ignored by salons and studios.
Not Asking for Advice
Just because you just completed beauty school doesn’t mean you’re supposed to have all the answers—in a way, you’ve pretty much just begun your new journey into this awesome career.
How would you have all the answers?
That’s why it’s always helpful to ask for advice, no matter what that advice might be. If you don’t have a mentor, it might help to find one that’s there to encourage, teach, and uplift you. Consult with teachers, people you respect, or reach out to stylists in the industry to gain insight. It’s never a bad thing to ask for advice or help—it shows a lot of character, as well as highlights your desire to always improve.
Not Giving Yourself
Remember, you might be new, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to find a job that makes you happy and that will continue teaching you to be a great stylist.
We warn against being arrogant, but it’s important you find that fine line between confidence and over-confidence—be proud of what you’ve done, what you’re learning, and who you’ll be. Be willing to work hard, be willing to learn, and be willing to go the extra mile—but make sure you’re proud of yourself while you’re doing it.
You’ve got an exciting career ahead of you—give yourself some credit for getting to this point. You’re awesome! That confidence will take you far.