Step-by-step, find your fashion job. 1) Define your goal: Which fashion profession matches your skills & interests? You want to work in the fashion industry, that’s a fact. Trends, fashion weeks and catwalks are your field of interest. But besides that, do you really know which fashion career you want to strive for?
The good news is: There are many and very diverse positions in the fashion industry, ranging from management functions to more creative jobs. Now it’s up to you to find out which fashion position is your best match. Like in any other industry, it helps to have a clear and defined goal in order to succeed. Knowing which fashion profession fits your skills and interests is therefore crucial. To get a realistic idea about the specific tasks of a certain profession, it’s a good idea to take a look at actual job offers. This will help you in your orientation process.
Gather Information Once you have made up your mind and identified the fashion career that you want to pursue, you need to gather further information, to make sure that you really know about the job. If your dream job requires a specific training or study (which will most likely be the case), find out which schools are best in this field. Some fashion jobs can also be based on experience, rather than on holding a specific degree. Let’s take an example: your dream is to become the next famous designer of your generation. Good. Now start asking yourself: “What do I already know about designers and the profession itself?” Do you have a favourite designer? What makes the designs so special for you? How does the designer distinguish him or herself from others and what is his or her background. If you don’t have a clue, apart from knowing how “pretty” the last collection was, you should get into it.
The same goes for other fashion positions, for instance, store manager, creative director or buyer. Whatever career path you want to follow, make sure that you are passionate about the fashion job that you are aiming for. Why? First, for yourself, it will make the “hunt” way more efficient. But also for your interviewers. If they feel that you are inspired by a profession and that you have good knowledge about it, they will trust you more than other candidates.
2) Experience is king: You need to start from the bottom to get to the top Getting your dream job might take some time. Indeed, for most fashion positions you will have to build up your career and be patient. Don’t be afraid of starting with internships or assistant positions. An internship is a great opportunity to get an insight into the industry and to find out if the job that you want to go for is really something for you. Gain first hand job experience in the industry you love. This is how you are going to learn, get skilled and become more attractive for the industry thanks to the skills that you acquired. Soon employers will see the new team member that they need when looking at you.
3) Be part of the fashion industry: Build up your professional network and stay informed You have defined what you really want to do and have in-depth knowledge about it. Bravo, you are on the right track. Now make sure that you are informed about what is happening in the industry. To reach this goal, a good network and a recognised news source will be an asset.
First, work up on your social profile. Today it’s a necessity to be present on the social sphere, however, you need to be present in the right way. Your latest Facebook-selfie won’t impress anyone. The good idea: LinkedIn, the professional network. Create and update your profile and mention your educational background as well as your current and previous job experiences. Have a look at groups to get in touch with people that are sharing your interests, and to keep you informed about what is happening in the industry. LinkedIn is also a good way to keep in touch with interesting people that you have already met. Secondly, think of using fashion professional platforms to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of fashion. For example, FashionUnited, the leading fashion platform, offers the latest fashion news and relevant statistics, an overview of fashion events and an international job board for the fashion industry. A platform like FashionUnited gives you access to all the useful information about the industry. Don’t wait for a second and take that opportunity.
Networking Another good way to work on your network is simply to be present “where it happens”. Meeting people, talking to them face-to-face, has always more impact than sending them an email. If they see you, they will remember you. So don’t hesitate and go to relevant fashion events you hear about. A fashion fair in your city? See that’s an occasion to meet and mingle. A store opening? Let’s go and get in touch with some fashion professionals. Use every opportunity you can find to get more contacts and to grow your network.
4) You need to prepare your fashion job interview Here you are, you got your job interview! Now you need to prepare it. Remember that most companies will take a look at your online presence on various social media platforms when they will receive your application. So, if necessary, clean up your Facebook profile and adjust the privacy settings to make it more professional. As mentioned before, don’t hesitate to keep your LinkedIn profile updated. If you don’t have one yet, now it’s about time to create one!
During the application process, you already updated yourself about the company. Good. Now that you have your foot in the door and got your interview, make sure that you know as much as possible about the identity of the company: what is its internal philosophy, its vision? Which projects are currently running? On one hand, it will help yourself to know if you would fit the company, and on the other hand, you can show the employer that you are enthusiastic about the company. Finally, don’t hesitate to bring something that can proof your talent to the employer during the interview. Portfolio, blog, website, sample of your creations… You can bring anything that can make the difference, as long as it relates to the position of course!
5) Final step: self-confidence. The key to success is to have faith in yourself! It doesn’t matter which stage you are in, either you are just starting your fashion studies or recently got your fashion dream job, one of the keys to success is to have faith in yourself. Of course there will always be competition, but remember: You hold all the cards in your hands to succeed. The employers need to feel that. To see that you are confident. It will make you way more attractive as an employee. If they see that you know what you are talking about, they will remember you more easily and be more eager to give you more responsibilities. Don’t hesitate to talk confidently about what you know, about what you have done and about what you can do. You have knowledge, experience and relevant skills. Your fashion job is waiting for you!
The top 5 tips have been created by Lena Steffen, who recently joined the FashionUnited marketing team, her first job in fashion.
*This article was originally published on the Norwich Fashion Week website, partner of FashionUnited.