Cheryl Marshall and 27 others walked into a south Naperville salon on Monday in search of a secret weapon in their job search.
Marshall called it a "good-luck charm" in her search for a writing and editing job.
Fellow jobseeker and electronics repair technician John Spadafore of Glendale Heights called it what it was -- a free haircut.
A dozen stylists and four support staffers at Salon Fluxx, 4003 Plainfield/Naperville Road, gave free blow dries, cuts and styles to 28 jobseekers who are members of the Community Career Center in Naperville.
The center, which is celebrating its 20th year, helps people who are unemployed or making a career transition perfect their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, networking strategies and interviewing techniques on the way to a new position.
Executive Director Kim White said Monday's styling bonanza at Salon Fluxx was the first time the career center has helped jobseekers get a spiffy new 'do for free.
She said the simple service helps jobseekers "keep their spirits up" during the challenges of the job search.
The event was a first for the salon, too, but owners Liza Espinoza Achurra and her husband, Rey Achurra, hope to make it an annual tradition.
"In interviews, the better you look -- the more put together -- the better impression you can make on a potential employer," Espinoza Achurra said. "If we feel like we look good, it's not just about the superficial beauty. It's more than that."
Career center Marketing Director Lyn Smith, a regular client of Salon Fluxx, helped the event come together. A haircut can go a long way in increasing a jobseeker's confidence, yet it's not something members often prioritize.
"It's one of the things that gets cut out when somebody's looking for a job," Smith said.
Since Donna Germann of Downers Grove began looking for a new job in health care two months ago, she has taken an interest inventory and revamped her resume. She said she was excited to sign up for a free haircut as a nice boost.
"You always feel better if your hair looks great," Germann said. "It's going to be good going on interviews with a professional look."