Congratulations, you’ve graduated from beauty cosmetology school! You aced your exams and the ink on your diploma or certificate is barely dry. You’re ready to enter the workforce as the talented professional you are. But first, you have to land a job.
If you’re wondering what to do after beauty school, here’s a “handy” guide to help you get started. Sorry, we couldn’t help it.
Decide What You’re Looking For
Most people assume going to cosmology school means you’re going to be a stylist. For many people, that’s true. Yet cosmology school graduates can also become instructors, sales representatives for hair care companies, or presenters at seminars. Before you commit to a path, do your research.
The internet is a great resource, but if you can, try setting up informational interviews with beauty school graduates in different fields. Find out what their average workdays are like. What parts of the job do they love? What are the more stressful aspects? Think critically about whether each job could match your skills and passions.
If you want to become a stylist in a salon, educate yourself on the different types of salons. Do you want to be a bigger salon that provides a wider variety of services? Or would a salon that has more niche offerings—just haircut and color or just nails—be better suited to your talents?
These are decisions only you can make. The information-gathering process can be intense, but it’s the best way to make an informed decision about where you’d like to apply. Consider it an investment—on top of your cosmetology certificate, of course.
Use Your Cosmetology School as a Resource
Believe it or not, your cosmetology school wants you to get a job. Yeah, they care about you, but having you employed helps them increase their active alumni network. And your success makes your cosmetology school look good for potential applicants.
Your beauty school may have a dedicated job placement services office. If not, contact the admissions office for tips on job hunting, making yourself a more marketable candidate, or even potential placement services. You’ve just paid your school a lot of money. Don’t be afraid to ask them for a favor that helps them out too.
Network Your Heart Out
Imagine that you’re the owner of a salon. Wouldn’t you rather hire someone you know will do a good job, instead of a total stranger? Someone you can be reasonably sure is a good person, who you and your clients are like?
Some people think networking means pressuring people into doing favors for you and pretending to be something you’re not. It’s the opposite—building up a circle of people in your professional field who share your passions and values.
Reach out to alumni from your cosmetology school who might be aware of job openings. Introduce yourself to local salon owners. Let everyone know that you’ve recently graduated and are looking for a job. Focus on applying to salons in the same community where your beauty school is located. This way, potential employers will immediately understand the caliber of training you’ve received. They may even already employ other graduates of your program. Both of these things will make you a more desirable hire in their eyes.
Even if a salon can’t offer you a job immediately, they might consider you for future employment. A fellow alumnus who isn’t in a position to hire you themselves may know someone who is. That’s the beauty of networking: You never know where it will lead.
Keep Honing Your Craft
Whether or not you’re able to land a job right away, dedicate yourself to continuously improving in your chosen field. If you’re a stylist, that might mean taking additional classes, learning new techniques, or keeping up to date on the latest hair or nail art trends. If you’re on the sales side, hone your public speaking and presentation skills.
Whatever you do, keep learning and growing. The cosmetology job of your dreams is just around the corner.