Cosmetology Career Searching: Creating Your Best Beauty Resume

In the beauty industry, first appearances matter—and when you're searching for a new and exciting role, your resume needs to stand out from the crowd. A good resume presents you in a way that attracts attention while showcasing your talents and unique skills. In this guide, we take you through the steps of creating your perfect beauty resume, including tips on what to include, document formatting, and more.

Why You Need a Resume as a Beauty Professional

You might wonder why you need a resume in the beauty industry. After all, isn't your portfolio or a technical audition the ultimate showcase of your skills? While a stunning portfolio plays a pivotal role, a well-crafted resume is also essential in the job hunt.

Whether you're an esthetician, hair stylist, cosmetologist, or other beauty pro, a great resume summarizes your experience to a hiring manager. It provides a clean, structured narrative that introduces you to prospective employers by listing the necessary skills, experience, and qualifications you have to offer – not just what you can create with your skills.

Sample Beauty Industry Resume

We've created a sample beauty industry resume on Google Docs for you to use! Create a copy of this with a free Google account and adapt to your own situation. The information in this document is representative only.

What to Include in Your Beauty Resume (And What to Leave Out)

Knowing what to include in your resume can be tricky. It needs to contain as much relevant information as possible without overwhelming a reader with the kitchen sink of everything you’ve done. Follow these steps to create the perfect on-paper showcase.

The Perfect Intro

Start with a short section summarizing yourself and your experience—or your goals if you're new to the industry. This doesn't need to be too long, just a sentence or two max highlighting your unique talents. Do you specialize in a particular type of treatment or excel in a specific area? Include that in your intro—you can also tailor this text to fit the job you're going for, refreshing it with each new application.

If you're still in beauty school or just graduated, use the intro to summarize your goals and highlight your recent education, or put your education in a section right underneath the intro.

Have Your Portfolio Ready

Of course, you can't fully show off your artistic skills via a written resume. So, you need a link to a portfolio of your best work on your resume. In the past, these were physical scrapbooks filled with photos, but now it's typical to host them online. Be sure to include the very best examples of your work within your portfolio.

READ MORE: How to Create a Portfolio for the Beauty Industry

Talk About Your Work History

If you've already got professional experience, make the most of that history on your resume. Detailing your previous roles shows you're in demand and already have a wealth of knowledge.

Rather than simply writing a list of your previous jobs, bring each placement to life by writing a brief description of what you uniquely brought to the role. For example, you can detail your responsibilities and how you used your skills to bring your clients' artistic visions to life.

Have you managed a team or helped train other stylists? Highlight this in your achievements—you're not just a hairdresser but also a mentor, an educator, and a leader. The same counts for any professional achievements, affiliations, or awards you've gathered. If you're known for your upselling skills or achieved the highest revenue at your salon, include that. Any quantifiable or objectively impressive information that gives life to your resume and demonstrates what you can bring to your next role is essential in making you noticeable.

If you're fresh out of beauty school, don't worry—not having any professional experience doesn't mean you won't find the perfect job. As a newbie, you may be ideal for entry-level positions and can build yourself up from there.

You can also include previous work experience even if it’s not in the beauty industry, but be selective: add those work histories in a way that make them as relevant as possible to the beauty job you are applying to. For instance, if you used to work in the service industry, you have many skills applicable to your new career, so highlight those.

Don't Miss Soft Skills

Soft skills are at least as important as your professional beauty abilities. These comprise the things that make you trainable, easy to work with, and appealing to clients. They also allow you to carry over relevant skills from other types of jobs.

Naming your soft skills involves introspection. You need to figure out some abilities that make you stand out—you'll be competing against other qualified beauty professionals, but being a great employee is a great differentiator.

Just a few examples of soft skills are:

  • Active listening
  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Relationship building
  • Written and verbal communication

Name specific soft skills when discussing your work history, and certainly if you are presenting non-beauty industry work experience.

Detail Your Education

Whether you're newly graduated or have several years of experience, detailing your educational achievements is essential to your resume. It shows that you took the time to learn the ins and outs of your chosen career and are committed to providing the best service.

Begin by listing the school you went to and the program you completed. If you are already licensed, include your active license information.

As with your professional achievements, this is the perfect spot to detail any extra awards you earned at school and how you stood out. Were you the best in class or won a competition? Now's the time to brag about it!

Don't be shy about detailing any additional certifications, workshops, or courses you've completed since leaving beauty school. Whether you've earned a permanent makeup certification, a credential in electrology, or have extra training in hair braiding, you can show prospective employers that you've continued to expand your knowledge beyond school and have a passion for your industry.

About References and Headshots

You should typically ignore two pieces of common advice: Including references on your resume and adding a headshot of yourself. References are usually requested later in the process or as a separate document. Headshots should only be included if required, as people can make unconscious judgments based on a picture. In fact, many employers prefer to accept resumes with no headshots on them in order to avoid legal liability about making biased decisions.

How to Format a Beauty Resume

It's not just the content of your resume that matters, but how you present it, too. Keep it polished, neutral, and easy to read—avoid using multiple colors or fonts (or colors and fonts that are less associated with a professional workplace), and split the text into sections to make them easier to scan quickly. Start with your name, contact details, and introduction, then move on to the relevant info.

If you've got plenty of experience, set that out next in reverse chronological order, with your most recent role at the top of the list. If you're straight out of training, make your education the focus instead. Finally, include your hard and soft skills and other highlights below in an easy-to-digest list format.

Most importantly, proofread your resume! Suppose an employer is choosing between you and an equally qualified candidate, but one of you has typos on your resume. They'll likely go for the one without the inaccuracies. Consider running your resume through an automated grammar checker or having a careful friend look at it in addition to doing so yourself.

After all this is completed, you're ready to submit your application. Then, wait for callbacks so you can shine in an interview. It's time to start the next step in your career!

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