There’s no K in success.
Growing up can be both awesome and sucky. It’s awesome because you can do what you want, when you want; and it sucks because you have to pay your own bills and work pretty much every day. Ah, the double edged sword of young adulthood. There are ways, however, that growing up can be more awesome than sucky and that’s what this series is going to be about – how not to suck in your professional life.
Your professional life can’t suck if you don’t have a job. Want to know how to get the job you want? Here’s how – show up. Really! 90% of the young people who say that they want a job and that they’ll “stop by to fill out an application,” never show! Then the ones that do show, often show up smelling like a stale cigarette, dressed unprofessionally, with their cell phone pinging away in their pocket or purse. (*Side note: I’m as obsessed with my cell as the next person but there’s a time and a place, kids, and this is the “how to get the job” part. You might not like everything I have to say but trust me, if you want the job you’ll listen.)
Live by the Boy Scout motto: Always be prepared. If you want the job show up, show up early, and show up fresh. Do you hair, put on some makeup, wear something stylish but make sure it’s appropriate (if it’s something Kim Kardashian would wear, don’t wear it); we’re in the beauty industry so the expectation is that you’re going to be stylish, not whorish, so be mindful of skirt length and boobage if you’re a chick (not shorter than your fingertips when you hang your arms at your sides) and if you’re a dude, make sure your pants aren’t wrinkly, your hair looks polished and your scruff looks intentional. Not sure what the difference is? Google it. Stat. Or, ask someone. People in the salon industry notice details.
Speaking of details, know what else people will notice? When you ask them for a pen to fill out the application you came to fill out. Make sure you bring a pen with you. But I’m bringing my resume, Heather, so I won’t have to fill out an application. You have a resume? Awesome! Bring the pen anyway. Human resources says that employers have to have an application on file. For those of you without a resume, no worries – we’ll go over resumes in my next post – but in the meantime, type up a quick bio about your achievements and activities as they relate to the job you’re applying for. Highlight clubs you belonged to, previous jobs you’ve had and the awesome things you did while you were there, your GPA, honors programs, volunteer work, community service – kidding – don’t share your community service experience unless asked. Make sure you include your contact information and make sure it includes the following:
- An email address that you actually look at regularly – nothing sucks more than trying to email a person and the email they give you comes back undeliverable or the person doesn’t respond. “Oh, I never look at that email. I’ve had it since I was in like seventh grade.” The screen name email@example.com didn’t give it away at all. Create a simple gmail address with your firstname.lastname@example.org. And, make sure you check it. Almost as much as you check Instagram.
- A cell phone number with your voice on the message – when a hiring manager is trying to call a candidate for a job and gets a voicemail with the generic, robotic voice, “You have reached six, one, zero…” they might be reluctant to leave a message. After all, what if isn’t the candidate? Update your voicemail with a professional message. You don’t have to sound like a stick in the mud but at least let the person calling know that it’s your phone.
- Your Facebook page if you’ve created a job search, semi-professional page – there’s nothing worse than a Facebook page that is filled with garbage (you know the kind I’m talking about). If you’re information is public than make sure, while you’re job searching, that it’s cleaned up. If you want it to remain trashy, mark it private or make sure the friends or family members you have on your site that post tons of inappropriate stuff are made private/blocked. A semi-professional Facebook page allows you to post images of the work you’ve done as a student (or, stylist) and functions as a great marketing tool.
Now that you have the basics covered, print your bio on nice paper (not copy paper, yuck), get out there and start putting in applications. Next topics will include how to build a resume that doesn’t suck and how not to suck in an interview.
Here’s to not sucking at work!