How to obtain a desirable Design/Fashion Job
10 Great Tips
From Application to the Job interview
Before even thinking about applying for a job, boosting is essential.
First, don’t let the recession stop you, employers are always looking for talent so even though there might be a economic down period it might just be the best time to move ahead. Having fresh ideas and and ‘go get it attitude’ is perhaps just what the company your looking to apply for a job at needs right now. If you don’t have the precise skills don’t let that stop you, with an outgoing personality and a brave heart you’ll come far. Starting in retail is a great idea, this shows that you have worked physically in fashion and have a humble attitude, also that your willing to work your way up and that you know what the customers wants simply because you’ve seen it first hand.
So accept any entry in the business no matter which door you find to knock on! Its all good entries as long as you don’t accept getting stuck, having a years of experience working in a stock room at the same company perhaps ‘sorting’ cloths might not impress since it’s giving an idea of you not aspiring enough willing to stick around at a longer period. Have a gut sense when it comes to your own advancement.
Tip 1. Writing a CV that gets you in the door
The Application should be simply and clean presented, try to focus on the skills that are relevant for the job and don’t use to many job jumping experiences, it’s good to state that you are a person that stays with the company, the three latest jobs are often plenty enough to keep the CV short and and easy to read. State that further info can be briefed upon the interview rather than cramming in to much on the application.
The biggest tips, and often the most common mistakes done presenting yourself in the application is using cliche phrases like; “I have a passion for fashion”, “I dream, eat and sleep fashion” and “I was born to be in fashion” these ones will not just give off a signal that your desperate but also loose be a so called ‘killer’ instead of catching their interest. To get a better overview check out ragtradejobs.com.
Tip 2. Check the competition and check out the company you want to work for.
So, you have strike gold. They have called and now your booked for an interview, yes!. Well, you managed to get the foot in the door but please keep in mind that there is still competition for the job (and heaps tougher since it’s now just a few ‘hand-picked of the most wanted’, fighting over this position). You have to really blow them away when meeting them so a must is to do some research. Start with looking at their website and Google them, analyze how they work, what they stand for and what kind of product they really sell. If there is any PR or media write-ups and if they have a physical store make sure to visit it. In the store you can check out price points, products, target, market and quality. Even making an idea about the brand or the company to better have a feel where you yourself come in to the picture.
So, if you walk into the job-interview knowing a lot about the company you will not just impress them but it will surly make you seem more relaxed and confident. Make them feel like your ‘work-ready’, by knowing about their products, general about their company and their set-up and they will feel that you would be easy to have aboard and get started. But then again, rambling on about all the facts you have searched up on the Internet is not always excellent, you have to be prepared to feel the person that is interviewing you. Sometimes it’s stressed and brief and other times you will have heaps of time together talking about previous work history and hobbies. So take the pulse of the conversation and when needed blend in your ‘knows’ with a question,for example;
“I have seen that you offer a small ECO-line collection as a ‘natural news’, for spring, is that something that you will keep on betting on and expand?”Whatever you have noticed could be good to mention and a question like this could single-handed score you the job!
Tip 3. Fashion community is a close knit and not showing up for your interview is bad news!
So, you got the first interview and maybe already have another interview lined up, maybe at the same day and time?. A lot of excuses as being sick, not actually being interested in that job anymore or simply because of a change of heart,can come up but for whatever reason, you have to inform the company and the person that you where set to meet that you can’t make it. Be professional! You never know if you might need them for a service while working somewhere else or simply for the reason that companies in Fashion has a close knit and talk to each other. A ‘no show’ will create a bad vibe and it ‘s nothing you want hanging around for another job. If your unsure about the job I recommend you to go to the interview anyways, you never know, they might be a group of really cool people and instead of an exciting environment the offer the prospects of personal growth.
Tip 4. When sitting at the interview.
Now your there, at the big interview but feel that you didn’t hit the jackpot when it comes to the actual job that they wanted to fill. In other words the job your applying for is not the dream job of yours but its maybe at the company you like. Well put it this way, in Fashion community it’s a all about growing with the job and see to getting the promotion in the career direction where you want to go. Nobody starts as a boss. Don’t loose heart just because the job you really wanted is taken and you have to start for an assistant role. Its important to state at the interview that the job your now applying for is the job you really want, no employer will put you on that spot otherwise. If you then prove yourself this will by time commended by a promotion and you will grow, just be grateful to start somewhere, once again its all about getting the foot in the door.
Tip 5. Don’t kiss and tell!
Seated in front of you is perhaps your ‘future’ employer and its important not to reveal to much about the former company you worked for, don’t mention any financial numbers or the state of the company, this will show loyalty and the new employer will feel that your a safe bet. Nobody wants to have a ‘loose cannon’ on the board that might spill their guts when later on leaving the job. So, its okay to talk about the former job description that you had, the duties and the responsibilities but not about the sensitive state of the previous company.
Tip 6. Don’t ‘Down Talk’ your former company/job on the interview
When talking about your former company that you’ve worked for don’t reveal to much of the bad stuff. The old boss might have been a complete idiot and the people there treated you badly but please skip the ‘juicy’ details for the ‘new boss’ ears. Be prepared for the question; “So why did you leave your position at the former company you worked at?” Convert the answer from perhaps “I didn’t get along with my boss” to “I wanted a change of scenery and grow with some new challenges”. Keep the answers neutral and for your benefit. As once said, the Fashion community is a small place and you’ll never know, these two companies might have business deal together or just happen to be best friends.
This way you will come across as the ultimate fence setter and gain respect from your ‘perhaps’ new boss.
Tip 7. Dress for the job!
Wanting to work in fashion means dressing the part. You need to have some style and show that this is part of your passion (rather then writing it). So whatever the design company is don’t dress to casual. Well not to fancy either as I have experienced quite the opposite arriving at H&M wearing a Grey suit getting the comment; “Well this job doesn’t really suit you” making a remark on the ‘suit’ part. I had to quickly make a joke about it saying “I take this interview really serious”, a mild smile and soon the suit jacket was off.
So, stand out and wear something casually yet trendy to show that your up to date. For an interview with a surf clothing company don’t show up in board shorts but a pair of trendy jeans and a printed t-shirt, wear a suit jacket on top and mix casual with dressed to make it a bit formal but still showing a fun, creative and interesting side and approach. Going to a shoe company it’s a good idea to impress by wearing a pair of stunning new boots, this will tell that you have a genuine interest in their products and that your ready to fit in the group.
Tip 8. Down to the real deal!
Sitting in front of your ‘perhaps future’ employer its important to be honest and frank with any plans and perhaps religion holidays that you already have made, well whatever you have that might affect the ability to work certain hours or days. If you have any booked holiday or plans coming up make sure to tell them now. But don’t start demanding anything and be humble when your at the ‘getting to learn this person’ position. Stating with to many days off or demands might scare them off, its important to show them that your going to be available and dedicated to this new job of yours.
Tip 9. When you have the answers then have some questions!
Employers always want you to ask them some questions too, this will reflect your interest and intelligence. Even if you actually are pretty clear with the set up and the job in general act interested and maybe ask questions like; the company’s growth plan strategies, their philosophies regarding their employees and staff retention, their performance appraisal policies. This will certainly impress. But important is to keep up the act when you then later get the answers, eager listening and by keeping eye contact as if your now getting a longed for sought answer. Avoid questions without relevance or to trivial, save “what time is lunch” or “is there any free samples”.
Well, pretty much a good sense of ‘feeling’ the boss in front of you will do the job. If the interview is casual and feels friendly play along on that term as too many strict business questions and serious inquiries might portray you as ‘too good’ candidate and simply scare them off. Think like this; If you had a company, who would you like to work with? Someone might want a ‘best friend’ relationship around the office where social skills play a bigger part than the actual previous degrees and experiences.
Tip 10. You want the job, right?
Back to the cliché again, ‘I have a passion for fashion’. Once again, don’t write it just simply say it. It’s surprisingly few that doesn’t ask for the job or actually act as if they really want it. It’s no shame in being frank and excited about the available job, this might just show the employer how eager you are and that you will work hard and be a good asset to the company. When it comes down to it, they want to employ someone that wants it, right?
So when your having a great interview and you love the job on offer, be bold and ask for it! A good example of how is to simply say; “This is a great opportunity and if it was given to me I would gladly accept” or “This job is exactly what I am looking for and I would fit it perfectly!” Or “I feel so confident that I have the right skills for this job, I would love to join your company.” So be honest, sincere, calm and easy going and remember to be yourself and smile a lot. I’m not a big believer in the right ‘skills’ and always think that its all a combination of personality and team work, the necessary skills will come as you grow into the duties of the job.
Final tip and a conclusion summon in some thoughts.
Getting a high paying job with a big title is not always a reality. The best way to get that foot in the door is to start somewhere, act dedicated and eager to learn. What better than getting some real work experience of the business. This will increase your chances in further employment and also show that your up for it and in to it. It’s a popular business with high competition and don’t expect to be the only dreamer wanting to snatch the job available so start with low expectations and consider a ‘work experience’ program that allows you to join a fashion company for a few days a week or simply work part-time, take a job in the reception or be that ‘extra pair of hands’ all to have something on your CV. Earnings and positions will follow as you grow and learn..
This is not always easy since getting an intern for a Fashion Company might in some cases not be that wanted, it takes time to train someone to work and act right around the office and as time is often an issue in Fashion Companies this is good to know. So don’t be surprised if some calls isn’t received with the most gratitude even if your willing to work for free. Another tip, when calling around always ask for the ‘human resources department’ or the one in charge for the recruitment and have a clear idea of where you intend to start, department that is. At H&M for example there is heaps of divisions, for example; ladies underwear, L.O.G.G-division with one buyer working simply on Sports Wear and the other for skirt, dresses and shirts..
Finally, collect business cards, names and phone numbers. Having contacts and friends in the industry might come in handy in the future, don’t forget to talk about your aspirations and get the word out, then again without being a nag and too pushy. It will sort out as you go. Fashion is a fun and always moving business crowded with creative and colorful people well worth pursuing.