How to Build a Great Portfolio

Advice from industry professionals & FirstChair

Beauty is a visual business. Prospective employers want to see your work. When you are fresh out of cosmetology school, a great portfolio can help you in your job search. recently asked Kelly Cardenas (Kelly Cardenas Salon, Chicago) and Patrick McIvor (Artistic Color Director, Matrix) what students should include in their portfolios.


An ideal portfolio will showcase your very best work. It’s great if you have several photos to choose from, but you don’t have to include them all. You’ll also want to include all accolades you received and projects you’ve completed while in school. The ideal portfolio should show off everything great about YOU, the beauty artist.

Here’s what you’ll want to include:

1. Your absolute best photos! Three to 10 photos should be enough.

2. Your awards, activities and projects! This is where you can show off your special talents and that perfect attendance award. You want to stand out from all the rest!

3. A clean, accurate resume. You don’t need a long, embellished resume. Just show where and when you worked and what you were responsible for on the job.

4. Extra beauty skills! Employers love extra skills or certifications that will help further their business. Nail art, airbrushing, waxing, and hair extensions are examples of additional skills.

5. Something out of the ordinary! If you have a knack for cooking, photography, or playing an instrument, show it! You never know what might set you over the edge in comparison to other candidates.

Read the original article from First Chair here.

About the Author

Jeff Chiarelli
Jeff Chiarelli is the Head of Marketing for Ogle School. His responsibilities include leading Ogle School's marketing and branding strategy to amplify Ogle School's passion for helping create future beauty professionals in the communities Ogle School serves.