Breaking into the fashion industry is a highly competitive venture. Every year, thousands of applicants hope they can turn their love of fashion into a career, with only a small few being successful. As brands continue to grow and use more social media as parts of their marketing strategies, demand grows for those looking to enter the world of digital fashion.
But just how should you go about looking and applying for digital fashion jobs? Below are some steps that can help take you from reading about the biggest brands to actually working for them.
Of course, knowing the industry is where you start. This should come naturally as you’ll have an interest in fashion, but employers will want to see that you know what the latest trends are in the world of fashion. You can get a good look at what brands are going with by finding their Look Books online. These aren’t always available on the company websites, so it is worth searching for them on Google.
Fashion blog networks love talking about their favourite styles, sharing exclusive content or simply talking about the latest fashion news, so even if you don’t blog yourself, it’s worth following what other people are saying. They’re a great way of keeping up to date and getting personal opinions about the trends that are reported in popular fashion magazines.
When looking to apply for jobs in the digital fashion industry, it is important to know what skill sets employers are looking for in their potential new employees. An interest in fashion is a given, but do you also have a strong command of written communication? Do you have a pleasant telephone manner? Do you have any experience in a retail environment?
Experience in all of these fields isn’t essential, but it will greatly improve your chances during the stages of application if you can call upon a number of different examples. You may not have done an internship, but if you’ve been blogging while working in a customer service role you can still exhibit the qualities desired from digital fashion leaders.
Another concept to consider is how the industry works from a technological standpoint. Look into topics such as what drives website traffic and how brands grow their presence overseas. The next time you see a fashion event, look at who has been invited and how it has been marketed. How do all of the individual pieces, from newspaper reports to the company’s social media accounts, work together to help sell the brand?
It may sound like common sense, but when looking for a job it’s very important to find positions that balance your interests with your skill set. There are many different entry-level positions and they can each lead you down very different career paths. So, when starting at the bottom, how do you know what to apply for?
If you’re quite creative and enjoy writing, then you may flourish in public relations and marketing. If you’re more analytical, you may want to try a position in E-commerce. If you’re unsure what area you should try and target, make a list of your skills and interests and then start looking at the qualities associated with each job.
Keeping your resumé up to date is essential, but so is tailoring it along with your covering letter to each position you apply for:
While hyperlinks can be very useful for your resumé in online applications, it’s best to keep them to a minimum.
Like all jobs, interviews can seem daunting, but with suitable preparation you can make things a lot easier. Unless you’re told otherwise, it’s best to dress smart-casual with professional clothes in a relaxed manner. Arrive suitably early so you aren’t just in time or hanging around and remain calm. Employers know that interviews can be stressful, so they’ll try and make you as comfortable as possible.
In the interview, you’ll be asked to talk about yourself so be sure of what experience you think is relevant to your job. You may have attended events and blogged about them or lead a group project during your time at university or college. Just as important, you’ll also be asked about the company you’ve applied to work for.
Why did you choose to apply to them? Do you know their place in the industry? Do they have any specialties? Who are their main competitors? It may seem silly, but make sure you know exactly who the company is and you’ll be able to impress them with your wider industry knowledge.
Armed with this knowledge, you should be well on your way to an exciting new career in the digital fashion industry. Good luck!
James Story is the content and online PR executive for Search Laboratory. The international fashion brand Superdry, inspired by a trip to Tokyo in 2003, combines design influences from Japanese graphics and vintage Americana with the values of British tailoring.