BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 1 - (Page 42)

WHAT THEY WANT TOP SALONS SHARE WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR IN NEW GRADS BY AMY DREW THOMPSON B efore your students assume unconventional colors are out of the question when it comes time to hit the bricks for their first official industry gig, they might think again. Green is good. Okay, we're not necessarily talking about their hair (though in some salons, a well-done chartreuse or emerald could certainly get them noticed!), we're talking experience. Careers in beauty-in any industry, really-are varied, but all professionals have one thing in common: At some point, everyone has a first job. Some salon owners may balk at a lack of experience, but most are not only receptive to hiring newbies, they embrace it! That's encouraging news to share with your students. "We love new graduates!" says Gary Howse, co-founder of Gary Manuel Salon and Studio and Gary Manuel AVEDA Institute in Seattle, Washington. And he's not alone. While an applicant's skills with brush, product and scissors will certainly be considered, there are some things beauty school can't teach-and other qualities that are simply innate. Read on for a cache of advice on helping your students cultivate the right stuff to land their dream job. Return visits, he says, are an honor, not a privilege. "We're always seeking out people who value and understand that," he notes. Jenny Grisham, owner of Americana- an AVEDA concept salon in the warm, west Texas town of Alpine-would likely agree. "Warmth, kindness and generosity are the personality traits that we consider to be most important if you want to work at Americana. We are very stylish, but it is vital that all our guests believe that we care about them and are happy to take care of them," she explains. "The old attitude of 'we're too cool for you' has no place in our salon." Grisham describes the vibe at Americana as "hip and sophisticated, yet friendly." Serving a sparsely populated region, its customer base varies dramatically. "And our culture is enriched by the diversity of our clientele. We have ranchers, students, artists, musicians and retirees, as well as visitors from all over the United States, Mexico and Europe," she notes. "The appreciation they express at having a high-end salon in such a remote area reinforces our love of what we do and the community we serve. And in our industry, success will not come if you do not have excellent customer service skills." Be Nice Being a stylist is indeed about artistry, but a brilliant eye for color or artisan's hand for dry cuts amount to very little if clients aren't made to feel welcome. "At Gary Manuel, we are always looking for NICE people," Howse stresses. "Nice is something you can't train. This industry is truly one of day-making. We have the ability to make a difference in people's lives each time they sit in our chairs." 42 | BE AU T Y L I NK | PRE P-A-RA-T ION | 2014 Nailing the Interview Valid cliché No. 1 comes from the inimitable Will Rogers: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Showing up on time-early is even better-is a must. Looking good? Also a given, but for a job that speaks to fashion and beauty the stakes are even higher. "Showing up late with hair and makeup less than perfect are big no-nos," says Howse. Ambition is wonderful but, says George Gonzalez, owner of George the Salon in Chicago, "don't talk about going back to school or doing something else while you're interviewing for a job." For Gonzalez, who worked for Oprah Winfrey for more than a decade and is continuously tapped to talk style for television, print and online venues, a clear desire to make the stint long-term-or answers that show an applicant is interested in staying awhile-are compelling. Being early, friendly, confident and outgoing ("Introduce yourself to everyone you see," he recommends.) doesn't hurt either. Cliché No. 2 is courtesy of the Boy Scouts: Be prepared. "Knowing nothing about the company? Also a no-no," Howse notes. "Study its website. Know its history." And for crying out loud, keep it positive, says Grisham. "I do not tolerate negativity or all-or-nothing thinking," she says. "If a candidate complains about previous coworkers or management, it makes him or her seem petty and vindictive. I want to hire the kind of person who sees value in every experience and every individual." The best way to stand out in the crowd? "Be positive and open-minded," she encourages. "Many students think they know everything there is to know before they even finish school-I know, I was one of them! Remember that there are few possibilities for the expert but many for the beginner. And smile for goodness' sake!" Build Skills for Behind and Beyond the Chair Everyone we spoke to noted they'd have no issue hiring a candidate straight out of school, but students should use their

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 1

Message from the AACS President and CEA Chair
An Audit-Ready Mentality
Launching a Career in Beauty
Your Fire: Your Purpose
Beauty Changes Lives
Good for Them and Good for Your School
Superstar Graduate
Stopping the Taboo Mentality
Skin Care Council
Planning Your Financial Future in 2014
A Student’s Perspective
What They Want
2013 AACS Annual Convention In Review
People & Places
Associate Member Profiles: Accountants
Upcoming 2014 Events
New School Members
Index to Advertisers

BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 1