Employability Tips for Beauty Therapists

All beauty qualifications from a recognised examining body, for example N.V.Q or B.A.B.T.E.C, cover the following professional skills:

•    Professional appearance and manner
•    Good communication skills
•    Ability to work well as part of a team
•    Punctuality
•    Good customer care skills
•    Confidence and efficiency when performing treatments to the industry standard.
•    Cleanliness and high levels of hygiene within the working environment
•    Knowledge of Health and Safety Law within a beauty salon.
•    Trustworthiness
•    Flexibility
•    Good Time-Management

Now all of the above qualities are enough to class all beauty students as competent and qualified to work in the salon environment, but what can make them stand out and be more employable than their peers?

Salon experience

Now I hear you ask, “how am I supposed to get salon experience when I’m not even employed in a salon?" Hopefully, during training, the majority of beauty students will get the chance to do work experience in a salon or spa of their choosing. As this may be the first time working within the environment they want to be employed in, how they present themselves is of the greatest importance.

Work experience can be added to your CV, so if you have made a good impression at your work placement you could be invited back to work there. It is also possible to work as a volunteer in some salons at busy times, such as Christmas, so there’s no harm in enquiring if your services are needed either on reception or with general cleaning duties; even helping gift wrap the beauty products could be a good way to get your foot in the door.

Work whilst looking

Many students feel that immediately after leaving training with all their lovely new skills and qualifications in beauty therapy they will “walk” into salon employment; this unfortunately is not often the case. With the current economic climate, salons are being forced to cut down staff hours and the amount of staff working for the salons, therefore a lot of newly qualified beauty therapists may find themselves out of salon work for a long period of time.

My advice is to get employment wherever it may be offered; I worked in a petrol station for eight months before getting my first job in a Hotel Salon. By welcoming all forms of employment, you can gain skills which will enhance your employability, in turn contributing towards gaining your dream job within the beauty sector. I learnt cash handling skills, customer care skills, punctuality, efficiency and health and safety, all whilst working in a petrol station! All these skills were then transferable to my CV, allowing me to follow my true passion. 

This all goes to show a future employer that you are a reliable worker & someone who is not afraid of a hard day’s work. No employer favours a CV with large gaps between employment.

The experienced therapist seeking new employment

Keeping skills up to date - in other words checking industry practices are still at the level you are trained at. You can do this by looking at the HABIA web site which is there to keep therapists up to date on current standards.

Adding to your skills - if you have a gap in time between employment, and can afford to, then look into more training to enhance your skills. For example, if there is a large amount of demand for nail technicians in your area, perhaps consider training to become one, thus making your chances of employment much higher than if you did not already have these skills.

Have a look at the treatments they offer - if there is something you are not trained in, such as reflexology, you can consider completing a course, again making you more of an asset to your prospective employer.  

Keep your CV up to date and eye catching - often the first point of contact between you and your prospective employer is a CV. This can make or break your chances of even getting to the interview stage, let alone pursuing your dream job. Look on job sites for advice on keeping your CV up–to-date and professional; perhaps consider asking advice from your local job centre for some CV writing assistance as they have trained staff that are there to help you.

Maintain your links to the industry - even if you are not in employment working in a salon or spa, it is beneficial for you to keep your contacts in salons and maintain professional relationships. I personally have had several job offers through past employers recommending my skills to other salons; and have heard about job opportunities though my friends in the industry.

Become a specialist/expert - if you can expand your knowledge on a specific aspect of your trade, then take every opportunity to do so. For example: put your name down for an advanced waxing course and become a depilatory expert, making you stand out from the crowd when it comes to a job which asks for waxing skills. You will have already gained the edge over just the basic trained therapists.

Look professional at all times - good hair, good nails, good skin!

You never know when a job offer may come your way, remember in the beauty industry employers DO judge the book by its cover!


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