Reader to Reader: What’s the best way to find a new job in the beauty industry?

December 26, 2010

What’s the best way to find a new job in the beauty industry?


I think one should network. If you’re a newbie, try job shadowing at a salon where you hope to work. If you’re experienced, put a lot of effort into a fantastic portfolio to show off your work to prospective salons. I put every new nail design I do on my Facebook so prospective clients and employers can see my work. - BRI MCCLOUD, Happy Nails, Athens, Tenn.

As I tell my students, one of the best ways to find a job in the industry is to put on your most professional-looking clothes and be well groomed (hair, nails, and makeup), and knock on doors with your portfolio handy. One of the best technicians I ever had working for me was a “walk through the door” hire. The moment I saw her I knew it would be worth seeing what she could do. Make sure your portfolio contains photos of beautiful nails you have done, and include any certificates you have earned. Ask to go on a probation period, as this gives the salon owner time to decide if you are what she is looking for and likewise. Do not stop at one door. - NANCY ROSEWALL, Girl Talk, Carseldine, Queensland, Australia

Here’s what worked for me when I was looking for a new salon: I visited a few salons for a couple of weeks to meet possible coworkers and to get a feel for the salon atmosphere. By the time I made my choice, I had already met everyone in that salon. Plus, I still continue to build a good networking relationship with the salon I didn’t choose. - SABRINA WATTS, Golden Lady Nails at Transformers Styling Studio, South Euclid, Ohio

I think researching the salons in your area is one way. In our area, employees are hard to come by so I tell everyone to be picky about where they apply. If you need further education, find a salon that is willing to train you. If you need to fill your appointment book, look for one that has a lot of walk-ins. Interview the salon. Don’t just take the first job offered to you. - BRENDA GIBSON, Brenda Gibson Center For Nails, Perrysburg, Ohio

I took a few years off from doing nails. When I was ready to get back into the game I checked and our local newspaper. When I didn’t find just the right place where I wanted to work, I started my search for a private studio for rent. I found the studio I am currently in via Craigslist. - MELODIE HAND, Nail Designs by Mel, Clayton, N.C.

Take in a portfolio to show your work. Ask around town to see where people go. Find out their prices and reputation. See if they have continuing education and any perks for selling retail. You don’t want to find out afterward that they have a bad reputation. Ask employees if they like working there. Make a call to your state board to see if the salon has any violations. Do all of this and you will make the right choice. - TAMARA NUTE, Sazzy Scizzors, Forsyth, Mont.

How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?

As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?

What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?

Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.

Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits? 

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