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Model
Jami Lea
Posts: 5,747
Los Angeles, California, US


Hi,

I got my license in September and graduated at the top of my class. My school has a real salon floor in it for 3/4 of the education where customers paid and tipped.

Since getting my license, Ive been having a hell of a time getting a job just as an assistant in a salon. I know how to interview because I did office administration, etc for awhile, restaurant jobs, etc and Ive never had this much trouble getting a minimum wage job.

My schedule is super flexible; I can work anytime day or night and I love, love, love learning. I show up 15 minutes early, hair polished, makeup done, wearing elegant all black, I make good eye comtact, and I even send thank you letters like I was taught. Every interview goes well but I am met with the same responses: "You were great but we decided to go with another girl. If that doesnt work out, we will call."

And that is it. Can I be straight forward and ask them what my disadvantage was so I can be better prepared for my next interview? I mean, they know before I get there that I am new and the positions Im applying for are assistant positions.

I just dont get it. I know the market is tough but there has to be something that Im not seeing here. It just gets so discouraging.
Jan 24 13 02:25 pm  Link  Quote 
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Makeup Artist
Mary
Posts: 7,117
Coronado, California, US


Jami Lea wrote:
Hi,

I got my license in September and graduated at the top of my class. My school has a real salon floor in it for 3/4 of the education where customers paid and tipped.

Since getting my license, Ive been having a hell of a time getting a job just as an assistant in a salon. I know how to interview because I did office administration, etc for awhile, restaurant jobs, etc and Ive never had this much trouble getting a minimum wage job.

My schedule is super flexible; I can work anytime day or night and I love, love, love learning. I show up 15 minutes early, hair polished, makeup done, wearing elegant all black, I make good eye comtact, and I even send thank you letters like I was taught. Every interview goes well but I am met with the same responses: "You were great but we decided to go with another girl. If that doesnt work out, we will call."

And that is it. Can I be straight forward and ask them what my disadvantage was so I can be better prepared for my next interview? I mean, they know before I get there that I am new and the positions Im applying for are assistant positions.

I just dont get it. I know the market is tough but there has to be something that Im not seeing here. It just gets so discouraging.

In my store we interview people for various jobs frequently... and most people are of course a "no"  ....we hire maybe 1 for every 10 or 20 people we actually sit down with.  We go through maybe 50 resumes for each 1 we sit down with.... so the good news is, you are getting interviews.  Why you aren't getting beyond that could be a number of reasons....   I'm going to give you a list of things that put people on the "no" list during an interview even if we like them....

1) Someone not humble.... We look for someone humble because they're easier to train and they get along better with our crew.  Big ego's are good perhaps but hard to work with and just not worth the trouble.  We need team players.  Being top of your class is great for your resume...I would leave it out of the interview process...stay super humble.

2) Facebook.... If we all like someone (normally 2 or 3 of us will interview together)  I will go to their FB page to see who they really are when they aren't in an interview... this rules out 50% of the people honestly.... If you come across as a girl scout in an interview but your FB page screams "neurotic crazy woman!"  I will believe your FB page and I'll run. Make your FB private or take down any post or photo that you would not want your Grandmother or church pastor (should you have one) to see.

3) Your answer to why you left prior positions is crucial... If you have never held one job over a year it's unlikely we will go further but we do listen to the reasons.  If you leave a job before finding another to take it's place we will assume you were let go.... or you just don't think ahead well....who quits a job before finding another?  That's a huge red flag for me. It shows a lack of judgment perhaps....

4) Saying you were laid off... this is an issue if the company kept other workers on.... that means you were one of the weaker links... not good...we don't want a weak link in our chain either... so if the company laid you off, it's better to make the point that just about EVERYONE was laid off....better yet the company went out of business. If you really were laid off because you were the weaker link, admit it up front... You were "young, immature, whatever".... best to be honest.

5) Calling the prior employers.....We never call just the last job...we call the last 2 or 3 jobs now (thanks to our past errors in this area)  and we never ask to talk to the person you named as your supervisor, we ask to talk to the supervisor of such and such an area or to human resources (if it's a large company).   We ask them if you would be considered "rehireable"  if the answer is " no" you are marked off of our possability list.    This is a big deal..... I just said "no" to someone for this reason....  someone we all really wanted....  Case in point.... leave every job while everyone still loves you.

6) unexplained absence of over a few months from a job in your work history.... This is ALWAYS a red flag...it means you are leaving a job out of your history because you don't want us to contact that job or you simply took an unemployment vacation on tax payer dollars...either scenario will take you off of our potential hire list.

In your case it appears you were in school and so having a time period of not working wouldn't be an issue...   Anyway...I hope my post helps someone in the future.

Jan 24 13 06:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jami Lea
Posts: 5,747
Los Angeles, California, US


Well, Im pretty sure Im humble. I dont say that in my interviews about being at the top of my class but I do put my GPA on my resume for both technical and practical. They are both 99%.

I guess youre right, I am getting interviews. Is it okay to be straight forward and ask them what my disadvantage was so I can be better prepared for my next interview?

Im totally open to criticism!
Jan 24 13 06:53 pm  Link  Quote 
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Makeup Artist
Mary
Posts: 7,117
Coronado, California, US


Jami Lea wrote:
Well, Im pretty sure Im humble. I dont say that in my interviews about being at the top of my class but I do put my GPA on my resume for both technical and practical. They are both 99%.

I guess youre right, I am getting interviews. Is it okay to be straight forward and ask them what my disadvantage was so I can be better prepared for my next interview?

Im totally open to criticism!

Yes, You can absolutely ask... you won't always hear the truth but you might and it's worth a shot.

keep in mind that when you are interviewing with women you might intimidate them by just being pretty.... I hate to say this but for Models....keep "pretty" toned down when interviewing with women.

"sexy"  No
"girl next door pretty" Yes

Jan 24 13 06:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jami Lea
Posts: 5,747
Los Angeles, California, US


I do though. I do simple makeup and I wear black pants and a black blouse from Jones New York. Very conservative....

Hmmm, why are women like that? It is sooo dumb! My husband said the same thing you said though and some of my girlfriends....Ill just keep trying.
Jan 24 13 07:03 pm  Link  Quote 
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Makeup Artist
Mary
Posts: 7,117
Coronado, California, US


Jami Lea wrote:
I do though. I do simple makeup and I wear black pants and a black blouse from Jones New York. Very conservative....

Hmmm, why are women like that? It is sooo dumb! My husband said the same thing you said though and some of my girlfriends....Ill just keep trying.

because some women are intimidated by what they might view as competition.  What could work to your advantage with some might work to your disadvantage with others.... Just play your cards right.... Women might view a pretty woman as a distraction to the men in the area.......that's not what you want to be... You want to be part of a team.   Being pretty can be a blessing or a curse depending on the circumstances...just be sensitive to that

Jan 24 13 07:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jami Lea
Posts: 5,747
Los Angeles, California, US


How do I do that other than what Im doing? I mean, how do I be sensitive past being conservative?
Jan 24 13 07:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Kirk
Posts: 4,402
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Yes, do ask what would have tipped the scales in your favour.  When I interview folks I am always honest and forthright when they asked why they were not selected.  Many don't ask, but some do.  I never saw it as a negative thing, but rather as them really wanting to understand what they were lacking relative to other candidates.
Jan 24 13 07:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Kirk
Posts: 4,402
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


whoops...double post.
Jan 24 13 07:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jami Lea
Posts: 5,747
Los Angeles, California, US


David Kirk wrote:
Yes, do ask what would have tipped the scales in your favour.  When I interview folks I am always honest and forthright when they asked why they were not selected.  Many don't ask, but some do.  I never saw it as a negative thing, but rather as them really wanting to understand what they were lacking relative to other candidates.

Thanks!

Jan 24 13 07:36 pm  Link  Quote 
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Makeup Artist
Mary
Posts: 7,117
Coronado, California, US


Jami Lea wrote:
How do I do that other than what Im doing? I mean, how do I be sensitive past being conservative?

If you send me your resume I will try to help you fine tune it.  If it's in the name you use here I would suggest you change the name you use on MM...when I google you (I just did) I see your MM posts, and I see the MM posts of photographers flirting with you....Not something An employer needs to see.  You did nothing wrong but the impression an employer gets might be.... "OK, this person is distracting...I don't need this in the work place"   Just google your own name and see what a potential employer will see.  my email is mary@themakeupartist.com

Jan 24 13 08:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jami Lea
Posts: 5,747
Los Angeles, California, US


I am married now and use a different email. I will email you my resume. Thank you Mary!
Jan 25 13 01:46 am  Link  Quote 
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Makeup Artist
Mary
Posts: 7,117
Coronado, California, US


Jami Lea wrote:
I am married now and use a different email. I will email you my resume. Thank you Mary!

I sent you a reply....

Note to everyone... You really should not use your real name on MM...MM comes up really high in search engines and if you're being looked at for a job not related to modeling you may not want the prospective employer to find you on MM.  You may not care now but 5 years from now you might not want your profile popping up.

Jan 26 13 11:42 am  Link  Quote 
Hair Stylist
Keila Sone
Posts: 113
Harrison, New Jersey, US


I'm not sure why LA market is like,but I will assume that kinda like NYC,you can not look like plain Jane for the hair industry. And in our industry bosses female or not only care that you can make them money,it the opposite of the real world,we work in a world were beauty,vanity
Jan 28 13 10:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
Fleshpot
Posts: 10
Los Angeles, California, US


I also graduated from beauty school in Los Angeles ( going back a few years) and my experience getting a job as an assistant was that it took a lot of prep work. The one thing I didn't do was look for job openings. Everyone and their mother look at job postings. Your resume, more likely than not, will get lost in the mix. I also didn't call or email. I did my research and knew exactly where I wanted to work and why. I had a list of places and I had my heart set on one inparticular, so I hand delivered my resume to every manager (and if they werent available, I called to follow up) not knowing if they were even looking for help. I went in feeling confident, knowing that if they were going to hire anyone, it was going to be me- and not because I was some fabulous stylist, but because I was hungry for it, and willing to bust my butt to get it. Did I get hired everywhere I went? Absolutely not_ But I did get more than 1 offer; all from salons that were said to be 'impossible' to get in without knowing someone.  Ultimately my first choice wasnt hiring assistants..... but a few days later I was offered a receptionist position. I jumped on it. The rest is history.
Granted.. this was just MY way of doing it. I know you can find success doing it a number of different ways. 
My advice to you would be to seek out the salons and stylists that may have inspired you in the first place. Im certainly not criticizing your efforts, but if you think in terms of the employer, would they prefer to hire someone thats responding to an ad, thats just in need of a job... or hire someone that takes initiative because theyre passionate about being a part of the company?

Your high scores are something you should be proud of, but outside of your particular school, they may be arbitrary in terms of finding a job. You either have your hours or you dont. You either pass your boards or you fail. I dont know how much emphasis youre placing on this during the interview, (if at all) but I'd leave it out all together.
Mar 03 13 05:38 am  Link  Quote 
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