Not so long ago, finding a job meant creating a resume that showcased your skills and experience, sending it out to numerous potential employers—and waiting for a call. But things have changed. Landing your dream job in today’s competitive market requires more than simply having a proficient background. Employers are often barraged with resumes, and our fast-paced, technology-driven society means that their attention spans are shorter than ever. So, how do you stand out in a sea of fellow applicants?
Getting the Interview
Before we get into how to make a memorable impression during the interview, we need to talk about getting the interview. Because without an interview, there’s no chance of getting the job, right? In my experience, there are two optimal ways to gain an employer’s attention.
1. Find a way to connect with them personally. This could be something as easy as a pop-in at their business to say hello.
2. Use technology to get in front of them. Send an e-mail stating, I’d really love to work for you. Please check out my 30-second video below to learn more about me. Have a friend shoot the video for you, and use the time to tell your story, and more importantly, how you would add value to the company.
How Important is My Background?
Job applicants often worry that their backgrounds or lack of job experience will hold them back. As an employer, the least important thing to me is your background or skill set. That isn’t to say those things don’t count. They do, to a certain degree. However, I can teach someone how to give a better facial, or massage. I can take a person with a skill set of “seven” (out of “ten”) and make them a “ten.” However, I can’t take someone with a “seven” personality and make them a “ten.”
In a service-driven industry such as ours, people buy people—not backgrounds. So, if you’re hung up over your lack of experience, my best advice is to get over it and focus instead on your WOW factor.
The First 60 Seconds
Once you’ve gotten the interview, it’s time to pull out all the stops. The first 60 seconds are crucial, because if you can win over the employer in that amount of time, she or he will gain confidence that you can do the same with their customers. In fact, during a 60-minute interview, I typically spend only about ten percent of the time on someone’s skills. The rest is devoted to getting to know each other.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’ve made up my mind about a candidate during the first one or two minutes. I’m looking for a vibe—an energy level; a smile; enthusiasm; passion and most importantly, someone with whom I (and my customers) will want to be friends.
One of the quickest ways I determine whether or not I’m interested in an applicant is by asking, "Why do you want to work here?" The answer should be simple, "Because I’m passionate about what you’re doing."
While most spas and salons offer a variety of services, they typically have a focus—maybe it’s peels, or makeup application or microneedling. As an applicant, it’s your job to do your homework before you sit down in the interview chair. Don’t shoot for a makeup-focused salon if you’d much rather be doing peels and skin care. Instead, find a spa that does a lot of what you enjoy doing the most—which, ultimately, will make you more salable, too.
Make It About Them
As I’ve said before, I’m more interested in an applicant’s personality and whether they’ll be a good fit with my company than I am in someone’s resume. But, let’s say you find yourself in an interview in which you aren’t really clicking with the employer. Maybe she or he is a no-nonsense type, or someone who isn’t a savvy interviewer. Don’t panic—because it’s actually your golden opportunity to make that person feel special. Maybe you see a picture on the interviewer’s desk of kids or pets. Doesn’t every parent/pet owner like talking about their loved ones? I’m semi-famous for wearing interesting shoes and bold shirts—and I’m thrilled when people ask me where I got them, or about my spas’ décor (which I’m proud to say, I created), or how I got started in this amazing industry. Getting an employer to talk about themselves also allows you to take some control of the interview—planting in their mind that you can also take control of any situation in the treatment room.
Though some would argue that thank you notes are as relevant as dinosaurs, I maintain that following up after an interview remains a top priority. Send an e-mail the same day thanking the interviewer for their time and reiterating something you discussed, along with a compliment. If you don’t receive a response in five days, follow up again. And a third time, if necessary. After that, it’s time to put on your best smile and keep going. Your perfect spa job is out there—never give up on your dream.
Top Tips for Landing Your Perfect Spa Job
1. Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to get a prospective employer’s attention—put technology and good old-fashioned face time to your advantage.
2. Start well. Interviewing is a lot like dating—the first 60 seconds are crucial. Make sure you’ve brought your “A” game!
3. Mind your manners. It may seem obvious, but remember your manners. Show up on time, firmly shake hands, and follow-up right away with a written thank you.