How to Join a Salon and Set Up Your Cosmetology Portfolio
When you finish beauty school, you want to start your dream career as a cosmetologist. You may imagine starting a salon, but you need to build up your career gradually. First, you need to find a salon where you can perfect your styling skills and build a hair and beauty portfolio for potential employers and customers. Here’s how you can do both before you finish cosmetology school and start your beauty career as soon as you graduate.
What Types of Salons Can You Join?
After you graduate and begin applying for jobs, you can choose to work at one of these three types of salons:
Franchise Salons: These salons include Supercuts, Great Clips, Fantastic Sams, and other familiar names. Franchise salons offer hourly wages and most clients are walk-ins, so they are often a great fit for new cosmetologists. They are often open later than smaller salons and may take clients seven days a week, but they’re a great place to start since you can start earning money right away without building a clientele base first.
Privately Owned Salons: Privately owned salons vary widely in terms of setups and service offerings. When you join a private salon, you could work in an upscale space that offers complex hair color services, or you could work in a studio in someone’s basement. You could also work in a salon that works with specific target markets, such as for children or men. While working in a private salon gives you a chance to specialize, you should research each salon before you apply to make sure you’re joining a positive, healthy work environment.
Booth Rental: You can also rent a booth in a salon, and this option allows you to be your own boss. However, this is not a great option for new cosmetologists, since renting a booth requires you to pay for all your utilities and retail products. It also requires you to have a large clientele base and excellent upselling skills. If you like the idea of renting a booth, you should first work on your styling and sales skills and build up a clientele base at either a franchise salon or a privately owned salon and work up to this point.
Once you decide which of these salon business structures fits your career needs and goals, you can put your cosmetology resume and portfolio together and begin applying for positions.
How Do You Get in Touch With Potential Employers?
The best way to get a cosmetology job after graduation is to get in touch with salon owners and let them know that you’re interested in working with them. One way to do this is to attend educational sessions at your cosmetology school given by local salon owners and professionals and approach the presenters you think you’d like to work for. At Brillare, we hold these sessions as a way to maintain partnerships with local salons and help our students learn more about the beauty industry. When you attend these sessions, pay attention to which professionals’ personalities and approaches to cosmetology fit with your own work style, personality, and values. Then you should approach those individuals and talk to them about how their salon operates and what target markets they work with to get a feel for whether you want to apply with them when they have job openings.
How Does Your Portfolio Help You Get a Cosmetology Job?
Your cosmetology portfolio is a visual compilation of your styling skills and qualifications as well as your past work experience. You can present your portfolio to potential employers in interviews, and once you have a salon job, you can show it to clients as well. Your portfolio shows employers and customers what you can do and gives you a chance to show off your different cosmetology skills.
Enroll at Brillare today and begin developing your styling skills to launch your beauty career.
When you set up your hair and beauty portfolio, you should select a format for it. Here are the three main portfolio options that cosmetologists use:
Social media portfolio
Website and social media portfolios are easy to update, and you can show them to customers in the salon on a tablet or other mobile device. Book portfolios look nice, but they’re more difficult to update. Still, you can supplement a web or social media portfolio with a book portfolio so multiple clients can look at your work at one time.
How and when should you set up your portfolio? You can begin setting up your portfolio when you’re still in cosmetology school. If you attend Brillare, you’ll start working in our student-run SalonSpa after you complete your classroom hours. When you provide styling services to clients, you can ask their permission to take their photos when you’re finished with the services. You can also try out your skills on willing family members, friends, and fellow students and take pictures to build your portfolio. Once you have these photos, you should organize them according to hair type, hair color, and style type so your future employers and clients can find the styles they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Begin Building Your Portfolio and Career at Brillare
Reach out to us today to begin building your portfolio. We offer cosmetology and esthetics program tracks to help our esthetics students build their esthetician portfolios alongside our cosmetology students. We have the resources and expertise to help you launch a successful salon career.