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Finding Employment as a Hairdresser

Finding employment as a hairdresser can be overwhelming. However, there are thousands of jobs in the hair dressing industry for all levels of hairdressers in the UK. So while seeking employment can be scary, it is possible to find employment.

The basics

The following tips may help to make the task a bit easier to do, whether it’s your first job or your hundredth. They are divided into the three stages of job hunting in which people make the most mistakes.

Preparing for job search

1. Set realistic short and long term goals to help you determine which jobs are suitable. Take into consideration any immediate or future lifestyle changes, such as moving, getting married, having children, or continuing your education.

2. Set parameters for the search: Keep your search focused on finding employment that meets your criteria, including location and type of position. If you don’t want to commute or move to another area, then limit your job search to within a certain radius of your home. This will also limit the types of tools you use for your search.

3. Prepare a resume and CV: You may need to submit a resume or CV with your applications, so create them before you begin your search. Be certain all the information is accurate and up-to-date, and be sure that any references you plan to use agree to provide good referrals for you.

4. Select your search tools to help locate possible employment opportunities: If you’re willing to travel or move to another area, you can use: national and international online job boards; job recruitment agencies; fashion and professional magazines; international, national and local business directories; and word of mouth referrals. If you’re not willing to relocate, then use: local newspapers, word of mouth referrals, business directories, and other forms of local job adverts. Although some local jobs may be advertised on national job boards, the majority of them will not be.

During search

· Set a daily routine: Rise early in the morning, conduct your personal care rituals, eat a good breakfast, then either visit or call the businesses you plan on applying for employment with. You should have already prepared your attire the night before. You should have also planned out your search agenda the night before so you can get an early start.

· Create a search log or journal: Keep track of the job leads you acquire and have followed through on. You don’t want to waste time applying to the same jobs and recruitment agencies repeatedly. Nor do you want to become annoying by asking the same social contacts for leads too frequently. Be sure to include the dates that you submitted the application or resume and the dates you did follow-up activities on them.

· Generate leads: Ask everyone in your social network for leads. Use business and phone directories to locate potential employers. Ask business owners if they know of any openings elsewhere if they themselves cannot utilise your skills. Give free demonstrations of your ability and do volunteer work to help create word of mouth referrals.

· Practice your interviewing skills: Rehearse what to say, how to dress, and hone up on your hairdressing skills and knowledge. Keep your interview attire ready at all times.

· Do follow-up activities: Send a thank you email, make a thank you call, send a thank you card or re-visit any person you have submitted an application, CV, or resume to. Let them know you appreciated them taking the time to look over your application and give them a chance to ask for any clarifications. Also be sure to thank your own social network for their contributions.

· Remember that the hair industry covers a large range of employment opportunities other than just those in the traditional fields. It may be easier to choose a less sought after position rather than compete with the thousands of other newly-qualified hairdressers seeking more traditional employment.

· Go solo: Don’t take anyone with you when you apply for a job or submit a resume or have someone else ask for an application for you while you are present. This sends a message that you are too shy to speak for yourself, which means you will not do well in a service-oriented position that requires good communication skills.

The interview

Ø Remember that overall image and personal care is highly important: Be neat and tidy, and dressed suitable to the job you’re applying for. Avoid wearing jeans or trainers, and heavy fragrances, especially of cigarette smoke or alcoholic beverages. Have manicured nails and stylish, kempt hair. Don’t go into an interview while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Ø Be on time: Arrive early whenever possible, but never arrive late to an interview. It sends a message that you may be unreliable.

Ø Go alone: Don’t take anyone to the interview with you, or have anyone waiting for you during the interview. If you must rely on someone else for transportation, have them drop you off a bit earlier than the appointed time, and then ring them to pick you up after the interview is over. Do not ring for your ride while still in the presence of the interviewer! It may make the interviewer question how you will make it to work every day without having your own reliable transportation. If you have someone with you, the interviewer will also question your self-confidence level and if you’re ready to cope with the stress of a busy salon.

Ø Remember that the interview is also your time to interview the prospective employer. Speak up, ask questions, and make sure you completely understand the terms of the employment contract that’s being offered.

Ø Have a positive attitude, use proper social etiquette, and use proper language (no curse words).

Ø Don’t take food or a drink into the interview, and turn off your mobile phone during the interview.

This may seem like too many dos and don’ts, but following these tips will make finding employment as a newly-qualified hairdresser much easier to do.