Best Cosmetologist Resume Examples For 2024 (Template & Guide)

Whether you’re an expert in hair styling, skincare, makeup, or all of the above, your resume needs to reflect your artistic skills as well as your ability to provide exceptional customer service. With our cosmetologist resume examples, we’ll help you highlight your most impressive qualifications so you can land your next role in the beauty industry!

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Cosmetologist Resume: Overview

As a cosmetologist, you are at the forefront of the beauty industry, offering a wide range of services that enhance your clients’ appearance and boost their self-esteem.

Your responsibilities might include hair cutting, coloring, styling, skincare treatments, makeup application, and nail care, which you can perform in various settings such as:

          • Beauty Salons
          • Spas
          • Hotels and Resorts
          • Bridal and Event Services
          • Retail Cosmetic Sales
          • Independent Contracting

Creating an outstanding resume is a critical step toward landing your next job in the cosmetology field.

Our downloadable resume templates and exceptional examples are designed to showcase your unique skills and experiences, helping you stand out in a competitive market.

Cosmetologist Resume: Choose A Format

Crafting a cosmetologist resume begins with selecting the appropriate format that best showcases your skills and experiences.

It’s crucial to pick a resume format that highlights your qualifications engagingly and distinctly to differentiate you from other applicants.

There are three main types of resume formats that cosmetologists can consider:

Chronological Resumes for Cosmetologists

The chronological resume format is widely favored and focuses primarily on the applicant’s relevant professional experience.

This format is especially beneficial for cosmetologists with a substantial work history in the beauty industry.

A cosmetologist would list all relevant work experiences, such as positions in salons, spas, and other beauty industry roles.

Each position should include a detailed description of responsibilities and achievements, job title, employer’s name, location, and dates of employment.

Responsibilities and achievements should be described using bullet points that incorporate strong action verbs and quantifiable outcomes to stand out and provide a distinct context to their qualifications.

Chronological resumes are also highly compatible with applicant tracking systems (ATS), ensuring your resume gets noticed during the initial screening process.

Functional Resumes for Cosmetologists

Functional resumes highlight an applicant’s skills over their work history. This format can be advantageous for candidates with limited relevant work experience or those new to the cosmetology field.

For instance, a recent beauty school graduate might opt for a functional resume to focus on skills acquired through education and any practical training.

Although most employers prefer work experience, it’s important to note that functional resumes may not perform as well with most applicant tracking systems (ATS) and might not engage employers as effectively.

That said, a functional resume can still be a valuable tool under the right circumstances, particularly if you’re transitioning from another field or lack direct cosmetology experience.

Combination Resumes for Cosmetologists

A combination resume is a blend of the chronological and functional formats.

It gives equal weight to both skills and experience, allowing candidates to comprehensively showcase their capabilities.

For a cosmetologist, the combination format can be particularly useful if they want to highlight a robust skill set alongside their professional experiences.

Choosing a Resume Format

Selecting the right resume format is a critical step in the resume writing process. When in doubt, the chronological format is generally recommended for its ability to showcase work experience effectively.

However, if your work history isn’t directly related to cosmetology, seek out transferable skills that underscore your qualifications.

For instance, if your background includes customer service, retail, or any role requiring interpersonal skills and attention to detail, these experiences can be very relevant to a career in cosmetology.

Highlight how these positions have prepared you to excel in the beauty industry, from understanding customer needs to delivering exceptional service.

Choosing the most fitting resume format will help you present your experiences and skills in the light most favorable to your career objectives as a cosmetologist.

How To Write A Cosmetologist Resume

After selecting the ideal format for your cosmetologist resume, the next step is quite straightforward, which is knowing how to write your resume.

Your resume should encompass five essential sections, with the option to add more, depending on your experiences and qualifications.

The five key sections of a resume are:

          • Contact Information
          • Summary or Objective
          • Work History
          • Skills
          • Education

Each section is crucial for illustrating your capabilities as a cosmetologist and setting you on the path to professional achievement.

Contact Information

The contact information section of your resume should include your full name, phone number, professional email address, and your location (city and state).

Additionally, you might want to add your LinkedIn profile or a link to an online portfolio, especially if it showcases your work in the beauty industry.

Make sure your contact information is prominently placed at the top of your resume and is easily legible. It should be formatted to catch the eye, making your name memorable, but it shouldn’t detract from the content of your resume.

An example of how the contact information for a cosmetologist might appear is:

Alex Rivera
Miami, FL

Summary or Objective

Directly beneath your contact information, your resume should feature a profile that introduces who you are as a professional to the reader.

You can opt for either a resume summary or an objective, depending on your career stage and goals.

A resume summary offers a concise outline of your most pertinent skills, experiences, and career objectives. It’s particularly suitable for candidates with a significant amount of professional experience.

An effective resume summary for a cosmetologist might look something like this:

“Experienced Cosmetologist with over five years in the beauty industry, specializing in hair styling, makeup application, and skincare treatments. Renowned for exceptional customer service and a personalized approach to beauty solutions. Demonstrated success in boosting client satisfaction and loyalty. Passionate about staying abreast of the latest trends and techniques to offer the most current beauty advice.”

On the other hand, a resume objective concentrates on your aspirations and enthusiasm for the position, ideal for those with fewer experiences in the field but a strong dedication to their craft.

A compelling resume objective for a cosmetologist could be:

“Newly licensed Cosmetologist with hands-on training in hair, makeup, and nail services. Eager to bring fresh techniques and a keen eye for aesthetics to a dynamic salon team. Committed to leveraging educational background and internship experience to exceed client expectations and build a loyal clientele.”

Regardless of which option you choose, this section is your chance to incorporate key cosmetologist resume keywords that match the job description.

This strategic placement can significantly enhance your resume’s visibility to both ATS systems and hiring managers, improving your chances of advancing through the hiring process.

Work History

The “Work History” section is a cornerstone of your cosmetologist resume, offering potential employers a glimpse into your professional background and achievements.

It’s essential to detail your experience in a way that underscores your qualifications and suitability for the cosmetologist role you’re eyeing.

Begin with your latest position and work backward, prioritizing jobs that are most relevant to being a cosmetologist.

This strategic approach helps you shine, so it’s crucial to spotlight duties and successes that underline your aptness for the position.

Employ robust action verbs to convey progression through accomplishments and responsibilities, and wherever feasible, quantify your achievements with figures or percentages.

Metrics lend your accomplishments credibility, provide tangible proof of your impact, and set you apart by showcasing the unique value you bring.

Below is an illustration of how the work history section might appear on a cosmetologist’s resume:

Senior Cosmetologist
Luxury Day Spa & Salon, Metropolis, State
01/2019 to Present

          • Led a team of 5 cosmetologists, fostering a collaborative environment and enhancing team performance by 30%.
          • Spearheaded the development and implementation of a bespoke bridal makeup and hair service, driving a 40% increase in bookings.
          • Instituted a customer feedback system, resulting in a 25% uplift in customer satisfaction scores.
          • Conducted weekly staff training sessions on the latest beauty trends and techniques, ensuring the salon’s services remained at the forefront of the industry.
          • Negotiated with suppliers to introduce a new line of organic skincare products, boosting retail sales by 20%.

This section should not only enumerate your roles but also reflect your growth, leadership, and the tangible outcomes of your work.

It’s about painting a vivid picture of your professional journey and the distinct impact you’ve made along the way.


For the skills section of your cosmetologist resume, you’ll want to list the hard skills and soft skills that most closely match the demands of a cosmetologist position.

Like the work history section, the focus here should be on skills that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for, demonstrating a mix of technical proficiency and interpersonal capabilities.

Some essential hard and soft skills for cosmetologists include:

Top 5 Hard Skills for Cosmetologist Resumes

          • Hair Styling and Cutting Techniques: Mastery in various hair cutting, coloring, and styling techniques is fundamental for a cosmetologist.
          • Skincare Treatments: Knowledge of facial and body skincare treatments that cater to clients’ diverse needs.
          • Makeup Application: Expertise in makeup application for different events, skin types, and preferences.
          • Nail Care Services: Proficiency in manicure, pedicure, and nail art services.
          • Product Knowledge: Understanding of various beauty products and their ingredients to provide personalized recommendations to clients.

Top 5 Soft Skills for Cosmetologist Resumes

          • Communication Skills: Ability to effectively communicate with clients to understand their needs and expectations.
          • Customer Service: Providing exceptional service that ensures client satisfaction and fosters loyalty.
          • Creativity: A creative approach to beauty solutions, staying abreast of industry trends and techniques.
          • Time Management: Efficiently managing appointments and services to ensure a smooth salon operation.
          • Attention to Detail: Precision and care in every service provided, from haircuts to skincare treatments.

An example of how the skills section on a cosmetologist’s resume might be formatted is:


          • Hair Styling & Cutting: Advanced techniques in styling, cutting, and coloring.
          • Skincare: Comprehensive knowledge of facial and body treatments.
          • Makeup Artistry: Expertise in makeup application for weddings, photography, and everyday looks.
          • Customer Service Excellence: Proven record of enhancing client satisfaction and retention.
          • Creativity & Trend Awareness: Continuously innovating and adopting the latest beauty trends.

Alternatively, you might choose a more streamlined format for your skills section:


          • Hair styling, cutting, and coloring
          • Facial and body skincare treatments
          • Makeup application for various occasions
          • Exceptional customer service and communication
          • Creative with a keen eye for detail

This section is your opportunity to showcase the unique talents you bring to the table, emphasizing the blend of technical skills and personal attributes that make you an outstanding cosmetologist.


In your cosmetologist resume, the education section will highlight your highest level of education, the institution’s name, and its location.

It’s also beneficial to mention your graduation date, relevant coursework, specializations, and any honors or certifications you’ve received.

Prioritize the information based on its significance to the job and the amount of space you’re willing to allocate.

An example of the education section for a cosmetologist’s resume might be:

Beauty Academy of America
Los Angeles, CA
Associate Degree in Cosmetology
Specialization in Hair Design and Makeup Artistry

Additional Sections

If you have more information that is relevant and can fit without cluttering your resume, consider adding additional sections. These can further distinguish you as a well-rounded candidate.

For a cosmetologist, these additional sections might include:

          • Certifications: Any additional certifications in specific beauty treatments or health and safety standards can set you apart.
          • Volunteer Experience: Experience in offering your cosmetology skills for community events or charitable causes demonstrates character and skills application.
          • Professional Associations: Membership in professional beauty associations showcases your commitment to the industry and continuous learning.
          • Awards and Honors: Recognition from past employment, competitions, or industry awards can highlight your expertise and reputation.
          • Relevant Hobbies: Hobbies that relate to fashion, beauty, and wellness can underscore your passion for the cosmetology field.

Adding these sections can enhance your resume by showing aspects of your professional and personal endeavors that make you a unique and compelling candidate for the cosmetology position.

Top Certifications For Cosmetologists

Certifications play a key role in the cosmetology industry, offering proof of your skills and commitment to professional development.

While requirements can vary by state and specialty, here are some real and widely recognized certifications that can bolster a cosmetologist’s resume:

          • State Cosmetology License: The fundamental certification for all cosmetologists, requiring successful completion of a state-approved cosmetology program and passing the state board exam.
          • National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) Certification: Recognized across multiple states, the NIC certification can make it easier to transfer your license between states that acknowledge this credential.
          • Certified Cosmetology Instructor: For those interested in teaching at cosmetology schools, this certification allows you to train the next generation of beauty professionals.
          • Certified Hair Colorist: Offered by the American Board of Certified Haircolorists, this certification demonstrates a high level of expertise in hair coloring techniques and theory.
          • Professional Beauty Association (PBA) Certifications: The PBA offers several certifications for cosmetologists looking to specialize in certain areas or demonstrate their commitment to professionalism and ongoing education in the beauty industry.

7 Tips For Writing A Cosmetologist Resume

Tailor Your Resume: Customize your resume for each job application, ensuring it aligns with the salon’s or employer’s specific needs and the qualifications outlined in the job posting.

Use Action Verbs: Employ dynamic action verbs to describe your cosmetology experiences and achievements. Words like “transformed,” “enhanced,” “styled,” and “rejuvenated” can add energy and clarity to your resume.

Highlight Achievements: Don’t just list your duties; showcase your accomplishments. If you increased client retention, improved salon revenue through product sales, or received outstanding customer feedback, quantify these successes with numbers or percentages.

Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords from the cosmetologist job description. This strategy helps your resume pass through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and emphasizes your suitability for the role.

Showcase Your Skills: Beyond technical skills, highlight your soft skills such as customer service excellence, creativity, and your ability to work well under pressure. These qualities are invaluable in the beauty industry.

Education and Certifications: Clearly list your cosmetology license, additional certifications, and any relevant education. These credentials are crucial for establishing your qualifications and professionalism.

Proofread: An error-free resume is essential. It reflects your professionalism and attention to detail. Spell-check and consider having someone else review your resume to catch mistakes you might have overlooked.

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Key Takeaways

          • Cosmetologists play a crucial role in enhancing client confidence and satisfaction through a range of beauty services, necessitating both technical proficiency and excellent interpersonal skills.
          • Selecting the right resume format (chronological, functional, or combination) is vital in highlighting your strengths and experiences effectively, with the chronological format often recommended for its focus on professional experience.
          • Certifications and education are key, showcasing your commitment to the profession and adherence to industry standards. Highlight your state cosmetology license and any additional certifications to establish your credentials.
          • Incorporate specific skills and achievements that align with job descriptions and demonstrate your expertise and impact in the beauty industry. Use metrics where possible to quantify your accomplishments.
          • Ensuring your resume is ATS-friendly by including relevant keywords and thoroughly proofreading for errors can significantly increase your chances of standing out in the application process.

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Updated: April 01, 2024

To make your cosmetologist resume stand out, tailor it to each job application by highlighting relevant skills and experiences. Use action verbs and quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your impact. Ensure your certifications and education are up-to-date, and consider adding a section for awards or special projects to showcase your unique contributions to the field.

Include your state cosmetology license and any other relevant certifications, such as National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) certification, Certified Cosmetology Instructor, Certified Hair Colorist, and Professional Beauty Association (PBA) certifications. These affirm your expertise and commitment to professional growth.

Yes, incorporating a summary or objective can provide a quick overview of your qualifications and career goals, making a strong first impression. Choose a summary to highlight your experience and achievements or an objective if you’re entering the field or aiming to shift your career focus.

Demonstrate your skills by listing both hard and soft skills relevant to cosmetology. For hard skills, include specific techniques and treatments you excel in. For soft skills, highlight attributes like customer service, creativity, and time management. Use examples from your work history to show these skills in action.

If your work experience isn't directly related to cosmetology, focus on transferable skills that are applicable, such as customer service, sales, or interpersonal communication. Highlight any volunteer work, internships, or education that demonstrate your interest and commitment to the beauty industry.


Conor McMahon, CPRW

Conor McMahon, CPRW

Content Writer

Conor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) for He has over three years of professional writing experience as well as experience in professional development training. As a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) Conor has written on career development topics ranging from resume and cover letter best practices, employer/employee communication, job seeking help, and more. He received his degree in Music Industry at Northeastern University and plays guitar in his free time.

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