Cosmetologist Skills For Your Resume (Examples & Tips)

Elizabeth Muenzen, CPRW
By Elizabeth Muenzen, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: May 14, 2024

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Cosmetologists combine their technical expertise with creative flair to provide a range of beauty services tailored to their clients’ individual needs and preferences.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists is expected to grow 8% by 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. 

Discover essential cosmetologist skills for your resume to stand out from the competition and land your dream cosmetology role faster.

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What are cosmetologist skills?

Cosmetology skills are wide-reaching, from communication and problem-solving skills to hair styling and nail care techniques. 

Although the skills needed to be a cosmetologist vary depending on the specific profession, creativity, customer service and time management are a few common skills that contribute to a successful career in cosmetology. 

Our professional cosmetology resume examples are an excellent starting point for browsing common cosmetologist skills and qualifications.   

Examples of cosmetologist skills

Browse some common skills required to be a cosmetologist below. You can also check out this cosmetologist resume example for additional tips and examples. 

Hard skills

Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be quantified and measured. In the context of cosmetology, hard skills typically refer to technical abilities and knowledge directly related to performing beauty treatments and services. 

Here are some examples of hard skills for cosmetologists:

  • Haircutting and styling
  • Hair dye application techniques 
  • Facials 
  • Nail services 
  • Makeup application 
  • Waxing and hair removal 
  • Sanitation and safety procedures
  • Beauty product knowledge 
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion 

Soft skills

Soft skills are non-technical skills that are related to how you work and interact with others. For cosmetologists, soft skills are crucial for building relationships with clients, providing excellent customer service and working effectively with colleagues. 

Here are some important soft skills for cosmetologists:

  • Communication 
  • Customer service
  • Empathy 
  • Creativity 
  • Adaptability 
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management 
  • Teamwork 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Professionalism 

Technical skills

Technical skills are specific abilities and knowledge required to perform tasks related to a particular profession or field. In cosmetology, technical skills encompass the practical expertise needed to provide beauty treatments and services effectively. 

Here are some examples of technical skills for cosmetologists:

  • Hair color mixing and color theory
  • Highlight, lowlight, balayage and ombre application
  • Hair-cutting techniques and tools 
  • Operating hairdryers and other hot tools 
  • Operating facial steamers 
  • Disinfecting tools
  • Facial anatomy for makeup application
  • Applying nail polish 
  • Applying acrylic nails 
  • Facial massage techniques 
  • Hot wax, strip wax and sugaring 

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills, also known as people skills or social skills, are the abilities to interact effectively and harmoniously with others. Strong interpersonal skills are essential for building rapport with clients, providing excellent customer service and collaborating with colleagues. 

Here are some key interpersonal skills for cosmetologists:

  • Client consultation 
  • Friendliness
  • Approachability 
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Confidence 
  • Relationship building 
  • Active listening 
  • Positive attitude 
  • Collaboration 
  • Empathy 

Transferable skills 

Transferable skills are abilities and qualities that can be applied and beneficial in various roles, industries and contexts. Possessing transferable skills can allow cosmetologists to transition into adjacent or entirely new roles throughout their careers. 

Here are some transferable skills that cosmetologists may possess:

  • Customer service 
  • Communication 
  • Creative thinking 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Sales and marketing 
  • Teamwork 
  • Adaptability 
  • Schedule management 
  • Task prioritization 

How to improve your cosmetologist skills

Improving your cosmetologist skills involves a combination of ongoing education, practice and professional development. Here are some ways to enhance your cosmetologist skills:

  • Continuing education: Enroll in advanced cosmetology courses, workshops and seminars to learn new techniques, trends and technologies in the beauty industry. 
  • Practice regularly: Set aside time to experiment with new hairstyles, makeup looks and beauty treatments to expand your repertoire and enhance your expertise.
  • Seek feedback: Solicit feedback from clients, colleagues and mentors to identify areas for improvement and receive constructive criticism. 
  • Stay updated: Stay informed about the latest trends, products and techniques in the beauty industry by reading beauty blogs, magazines and industry publications.
  • Utilize online resources: Use online resources such as video tutorials, webinars and virtual workshops to learn new skills and techniques from experts in the field.

By consistently investing in your education and professional development, you can continue to improve your cosmetologist skills and achieve success in the beauty industry.

We recommend exploring our guide on how to write a resume for examples of how to effectively showcase your cosmetologist credentials and qualifications. 

How to highlight cosmetologist skills on a resume

  • Create a separate skills section: Dedicate a section of your resume specifically to your cosmetologist skills. Your resume skills section should be prominently placed near the top of your resume to catch the attention of hiring managers.
  • Use keywords: Use relevant keywords and industry-specific terminology in your skills section to stand out to hiring managers and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
  • Feature skills in your resume summary: In your resume summary, feature two or three skills that are highly relevant to the job description. You can also mention your years of experience and specific areas of expertise.
  • Quantify your skills: Whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments to provide concrete examples of your skills. For example, “Achieved a 90%+ client satisfaction rate based on post-service surveys, demonstrating exceptional customer service skills.”
  • Provide examples: In your resume work history section, provide examples or achievements that demonstrate your skills in action. For instance, you could mention awards or recognition received for outstanding hairstyling or makeup artistry.

Common tools and technologies used in cosmetology

Cosmetology professionals use a variety of tools and technologies to perform beauty treatments and services efficiently and effectively. Below are a few examples. 

  • Hair styling tools: Hairdryers, curling irons, flat irons, hair brushes and combs, heat roller and hot rollers
  • Hair-cutting tools: Scissors, clippers and razors 
  • Skin care equipment: Facial steamers, facial cleansing brushes, microdermabrasion machines and LED light therapy devices 
  • Nail care tools and products: Nail clippers and files, cuticle pushers, nail polish and gel polish, UV and LED nail lamps 
  • Makeup products: Brushes and sponges, palettes and airbrush systems
  • Sanitation and sterilization equipment: Autoclaves and UV sterilizers, disinfectants and sanitizers

Best cosmetologist certifications for your resume

Earning certifications in cosmetology can enhance your resume and demonstrate your commitment to professional development and expertise in specific areas of the beauty industry. 

You can include these in the education section of your resume or in a separate “certifications” section.

Here are a few examples of certifications for a cosmetologist resume:

  • Certified Hair Colorist (CHC)
  • Certified Makeup Artist (CMA)
  • National Esthetician Certification (NEC)
  • Certified Nail Technician (CNT
  • Certified Lash Technician (CLT)
  • Certified Barber (CB)
  • Certified Waxing Specialist
  • Certified Trichologist

Remember to include the certification name, issuing organization, date obtained and any relevant details or achievements associated with the certification.

Key takeaways

  1. Cosmetologists have a wide range of hard skills and soft skills, from effective communication to hair coloring and cutting techniques.
  2. To improve your cosmetology skills, you can enroll in specialized courses, commit time to practicing new techniques and use online resources and videos.
  3. Feature your cosmetologist skills throughout various sections of your resume, including measurable accomplishments and concrete examples whenever possible.

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