If you’re searching for a job in the cosmetic industry (say you never had one or recently got laid off) or if you have one and want a better one, here are some career tips that you might find helpful.
Cosmetic science career tips
1. Don’t be picky. If you lose your job spend every waking moment applying and calling into your profession. Nothing hurts a job search more than time not working. The key is to stay working in the field.
2. Don’t sound desperate. While you might need a job no one want to hire someone who sounds desperate. Be inquisitive and be receptive but make sure that the company is a right fit for you. Of course, don’t forget to loosen your standards when you have to.
3. Resume. Keep your resume normal. A fragranced resume printed on pink paper may have worked for Elle Woods in Legally Blonde but it doesn’t work that way in real life. No crazy format, keep your resume standard.
4. Working temporarily. Take temp jobs, 3 months or more only. Remember having some job is better than not having a job.
5. Ask questions. Most managers interviewing you suck at interviewing. Memorize the job description and ask questions about the position early. Gear your answers to that. And ask good questions in the interview. Relevant ones that matter to you. No questions = no job.
6. Submitting resume. Make sure if you use a temp/staffing agency that they call you before sending your résumé, especially if you use more than one. You should tailor your resume to suit the job for which you are applying.
7. Know when to switch. If a recruiter keeps trying to get you jobs out of your field, get rid of them. If you want a job in the cosmetic industry, you need to stay in the cosmetic industry.
8. Arrive on time. Don’t go to an interview more than 15 minutes early. It will hurt you. It makes you seem desperate. If you are early, wait in your car.
9. Be reliable. Once you get a job, don’t be late or miss any days of work in your first 180 days. Just don’t. It leaves a very sour taste in your managers mouth. It doesn’t matter how good the excuse is. Get sent home, don’t call in sick.
10. Keep in contact. If you’re late to an interview or work, call ahead. That will probably make it insignificant.
11. Thank yous. Always send personalized thank you emails to your interviewers. Get their business card/email addresses. Don’t ever ever send a mass thank you email. Mention some little detail from the interview so they remember you.
12. Be online. Set up job posting alerts on job sites. When you get an email that a job you’re interested in has been posted, stop at nothing to apply instantly.
13. Answer your phone. When you’re searching for a job, answer every call. A lot of recruiters don’t always call people back or play phone tag well.
14. Contact. Leave a voicemail if you call someone and they don’t pick up. Speak slowly, keep it brief and leave your name, number, and reason why you called. Do not just say “call me back”.
15. Unemployment. Don’t say anything about unemployment checks. A lot of people are more worried about unemployment checks than getting a job, they suck as employees, don’t get lumped into that category.
16. Keep some things private. Don’t mention kids, marriage, your gender or race. The EEOC scares everyone hiring, you don’t want them worried about making a decision about you because they now know this.
17. Research. Do your research before an interview. Real research, understand the company and what your role is. If you go to an interview without knowing about the company, you’ll fail.
18. Stay professional. People who are great interviewers will make you laugh and feel comfortable. Just don’t forget that it is an interview, don’t use any inappropriate language or tell off-color jokes.
19. Fake it ’til you make it. In an interview, you have to fake it. Talk the way you imagine people want you to talk. Remove the piercings, wear appropriate clothes, speak normally, and do your best to fit in. Don’t let your appearance or mannerisms sink your chances. Don’t look unique, no weird piercing a (no nose or tongue rings), hair colors tattoos etc, be professional.
20. Suit up. Non negotiable. If its retail or fast food, if they don’t hire you because you’re wearing a suit (it happens) you don’t want to work there, and you can find a good manager that wants you there.
21. Dress up on your first day. Unless you have a uniform or its explicitly stated to you, on your first day suit up. The next day you dress like the rest of your team.
22. Avoid the troublemakers. Every company has a group of employees that are too cool to buy in to the company. That don’t want to hang out with their coworkers or follow rules. They like to ignore duties, complain and gossip. Don’t join them.
23. Stroke egos. Don’t suck up, that’s annoying. But ask managers and fellow formulators advice. Then follow their advice!
24. Social networking. Have a legitimate linked in profile, connect with people.
25. Full-time job. Job searching is a full-time job. Wake up early, apply to every job you can find, find a new website to apply to. Call companies and ask to speak to hr, it’s ok, don’t be shy. Ask for help, see who knows somebody. There are cosmetic science jobs out there and you can find them if you put in a serious effort looking.
Although the economy doesn’t seem like it is great, there is always someone hiring. You need to be flexible, avoid being picky, know what you want and keep searching. Don’t suck and you will get a job.
An HR blog that is written by a person who I used to work with is full of useful advice for people searching for careers. The blog is actually more targeted towards HR experts but you can find lots of good information there. I’d suggest you check out the Cynical Girl.
During the month of March we are going to focus on a cosmetic science career. If you are interested in more about having a career as a cosmetic chemist, be sure to see our page on cosmetic science career.