Stand Out and Succeed in a Billion Dollar Beauty Industry

Published in Dermascope Magazine, June 2017

by Annette Hanson, founder and President of Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics

After graduating from beauty school, many people are left wondering: now what? They can do facials, waxing, and make-up treatments in their sleep; now they need a job!

Be ready to dazzle the interviewer on the day of the interview. Interviewees should show up prepared, dressed professionally, and leave the potential employer with such a great impression that he or she will already be planning their work schedule. Graduates should remember that they are looking for a career in a prestigious industry and they need to set themselves apart from the thousands of aestheticians lining up to get a job. There are five A’s candidates for a job need to have under their belt to set them apart from the rest: attitude, attendance, availability, appearance, and aspiration. If they can model themselves with these characteristics, success will ensue.


A smile goes a long way. Who wants to hire a Debbie Downer? The aesthetician’s job is to educate clients and make them feel good in their own skin. This business is all about customer service. If the graduate’s phone is constantly in their hand and they cannot devote 60 minutes of undivided attention to their client, the boss will go to the next graduate who can. No one wants to hire a diva or a princess. Spas are looking for teamwork, cooperation, and likability.


Is the graduate always running in at the last second, stressed, or do they give themselves enough time to come in early to prepare their room? Lateness will set them back, make them anxious, and destroy their day. Graduates will need to make sure their steamer works and that they have the appropriate products they need for the treatments that they are scheduled to perform.


During the job interview, if the graduate’s potential employer hands them a schedule that conflicts with their fitness routine, party plans, or sleep schedule, they should re-evaluate if they want that job because if they do, they better become available! It is better for graduates to say “yes” and figure out their life schedule later. They may not get that second chance.


Dress for success! Success means a polished look from head to toe. Good grooming and personal hygiene go a long way. A clean uniform, manicured nails, and neat hair is only the beginning. Graduates also need to practice good skin care habits and ensure they do what they are telling their clients to do! Talk the talk and walk the walk.


Recent skin care graduates can strive to be the boss and own their own business one day. That is great, but do they know how? They are much better off devoting themselves to a new job, getting promoted, and learning everything they can from their employer. If their goal is to create their own skin care line or open their own spa, they should remember that they must have ample savings behind them. No entrepreneur takes a salary check for a minimum of two years.

Professionals must always be 100% confident in their skills. Take continuing education courses or refresher courses, attend tradeshows, and read industry articles and magazines! Like every great industry professional out there, recent graduates need to keep up with new developments, products, services, and ways to provide great experiences. If they do not, there are others out there who will – and will win.

Annette Hanson is the founder of Atelier Esthétique® Institute, a New York State licensing esthetics school, postgraduate facility, and the first accredited internationally recognized U.S. member of the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC). The school first opened in New York City in 1985.

Her professional experience in skin care spans more than 30 years as an esthetician, body therapist, salon manager, educator, and spa consultant for some of the most prestigious spas and salons in the United States. Annette created two new treatment lines—Simple Solutions® with GHK Copper Peptide Technology and AquaSanté® Spa Products from France.


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