The fashion industry is a highly competitive one to get started in. Every year, thousands of interns all vie for the same posts, and then struggle to claim graduate jobs out from under each others’ noses. And it’s no wonder why: it’s an exciting sector to be in, combining innovation, creativity, clothes and passion into one.
So if you want to get started, how can you kickstart your career in the fashion industry? If you’re determined and proactive enough, the sky can be the limit: here are some tips for getting a leg up and clinching that dream job.
Know what you want to go after
The most important thing you should do once you’ve decided to join the fashion industry is decide what role you want to go for. Whether it’s fashion journalism or working in fashion retail, do your research and be realistic: which job best fits your particular skillset and passions? If you know this it’ll be a lot easier to mounted a targeted job search later on.
Get the right skills
Being qualified for the right job is a matter of vital importance: not only because it will give you the skills you need to hit the ground running, but because it shows your passion for the industry that you’re joining. There are also a huge range of jobs within the fashion industry, so you need to tailor your skillset to the role you’re aiming to get: look up the job requirements online and go for those, whether it’s courses in maths, business or sewing. There are also certification and qualification programmes you can enroll in, like courses at the London College of Fashion, which will further boost your CV.
Get work experience
One great way to find out what it’s like in the industry- and gain experience within it- is by doing work experience. Whether it’s two days or six weeks, don’t be shy: approach lots and lots of companies. Even though it’s notoriously difficult to get placements at fashion companies, don’t let that put you off, and write letters, even to the big brands. Also, use your part-time job to enhance your CV: if you’re working on the shop floor, use it to gain experience of supply and demand, customer service or try and organise the window displays. Everything helps!
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back from anybody: the key to succeeding in any competitive industry is to persist. Be direct when you approach companies: send in your CVs, ring them, schedule appointments; anything you can do to get your foot in the door. It’s also a good idea to introduce yourself in person, if you have spare time- it’s also a good way of being remembered, rather than being an email in somebody’s inbox. If you really want a leg up, why not apply to a Specialist Fashion Recruitment Agency- like Four Seasons here? Their expertise and curated jobs will make it much easier to apply for the roles you really want.
Working in a creative industry sometimes demands creative solutions to getting an interview or a job. That solution these days is increasingly online: follow your favourite fashion brands on social media, as many will post job vacancies on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Take a look at their websites, to see if they have any vacancies going- or recruitment magazines for the fashion industry.
And when you do find a job, it’s vital that you tailor each cover letter to the job you’re applying for.