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May 17, 2017

The Ultimate Resume Building Guide

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If you Google “cosmetology resume” you are going to come up with a lot of sites, and a lot of information. And it’s no wonder, resumes are complicated documents with a huge weight placed on them. Your resume is the first thing that potential employers see; it’s how they make their first impression of you. It needs to be well-written and reflect your talents and your brand in order to stand out!

That doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated.

Whether you are building a new resume or tweaking an old one, going through it step by step can help to ensure a quality end product.

Name and Contact Info

A resume isn’t a resume without some basic information. After all, if it doesn’t have your name or contact info how are they supposed to get in touch to schedule an interview? Make sure your name is in the biggest font and right at the top. You don’t want it so big that you can’t fit anything else, but it needs to be front and center. You should also include your:

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Address (optional)

Other information like your phone number(s) and email don’t need to be as prominent as your name. Give them their own, clearly labeled section so that when the interviewer looks for it they can find it without issue.

Something else to consider: add your social media links. Social media is now an important asset in the beauty industry. Showing others that you’ve built and maintained your presence and credibility on social media is a huge accomplishment that people admire! Including those links in your contact section can serve as a type of miniature portfolio to complement your full one. That being said, always keep it professional.

Many companies, whether you put your social media handles on your resume or not, will look potential employees up on social media. Make sure you are conscientious of what you put out there for others to see. A good question to ask yourself is if what you are putting out there is a good reflection of who you are and what you want other people to know about you.


Education and Expertise

Second to your basic contact information is your schooling and expertise. Future employers want to know where you went to school, if you specialized in anything, and your expertise. After all, every beauty school is different!

If you went to a school that has a focus in a certain area, like trendy hair colors, list that. Whether you want to specialize in coloring or cutting, having an area dedicated to your expertise can help you stand out and give employers a quick list of what your strengths are.

Your schooling information needs to be separate from your expertise, in a clearly labeled area. List each school separately, in order of attendance. Make the school name, location, and attendance dates easy to read. In addition, include a sentence that details your focus or degree to help the interviewer to gain a clearer picture of your abilities.


Licenses and Certifications

Showing that you’ve received your state license, as well as when you got it, is huge and helps potential employers see your drive to become a licensed beauty professional. If you haven’t sat for the state exam yet, include when you are scheduled to take the test so they know it’s on your schedule!

Along with your state licenses, this section is a perfect place to include any additional training that you have.

Did you take a makeup certification course? Do you have a certification in threading or body wrapping? Did you get your lash extension certification? Any extra training that you have adds a little more sparkle to your capabilities you can offer them. Strive to obtain more certifications! Not only do they strengthen your knowledge, but they can give you the competitive edge to get the job of your dreams.


Work Experience

Here it is. This is the big one. After all, your work experience can make or break any interview. If you are new to the beauty industry and are searching for your first beauty-based career, don’t worry about not having a salon job listed front and center. Chances are that you have had jobs that match many of the skill sets that salon and spa owners are looking for. Have you ever worked as a receptionist? Or in retail? Believe it or not, these types of jobs have helped prepare you for working on a salon floor.

When listing past work on a resume, make sure to include the name of the business as well as the location. Directly under this information should be your job title and the time worked. Years works best if it’s more than one, otherwise, you are going to want to include the abbreviated month. In addition to the basics, include a brief overview of your duties. Be descriptive, but don’t go on for paragraphs. You want your resume to fit on one page, so keep that in mind as you are adding info.


Skills and Accomplishments

Schooling and work experience is important. You may have something else up your sleeve that you probably haven’t thought about – and you don’t want to forget to add.

Have you participated in something unique, like a photoshoot or a movie project? Do you have any special skills that might not be directly related to beauty but can help you stand out? First aid certified? Second language? These all may not feel like huge assets, but for a beauty-based resume they are accomplishments and skills future employers want to know about.

While talking about yourself may be hard, now is the time to do so unabashedly and help yourself stand out!



Though often overlooked, references are valuable and important contacts that employers want to see. They want to talk to people about you. They are considering investing in you, after all!

While putting “on request” can be a good alternative (especially if you are having trouble fitting everything onto one page) steer yourself away from it if at all possible. You want any future employer to be able to contact people to learn about you.

Also, as a general rule of thumb, only include one relative in your references. The other two should be past co-workers, employers, or even school instructors.

Other Helpful Resume Tips

Once you’ve figured out what to include in your resume, there are a few other things you can do to make your resume stand out in a good way. Some tips you can follow are:

  • Keep your resume to one page to help readability.
  • Use clear formatting to keep information organized and easy to read.
  • Bolding, caps, and italics can be helpful in making specific information stand out. However, do not use them excessively. Keep your formatting consistent and use these to create a clear organization.
  • An image can create personality in your resume, but too many visual elements can look tacky.
  • Check your spelling!
  • Ask someone else to read through your resume for clarity and feedback.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. That’s what resumes are for.

If you still feel overwhelmed or need a little bit more guidance, check out and search resumes for some templates that can help get you moving in the right direction.

Resume done and ready? Don’t miss our blog on how to build your own beauty portfolio to get your work shining as brightly as your resume before that first big interview.

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