Start Your Fashion Job Search The Right Way
If you think starting your fashion job search is you opening up a bunch of job boards and applying for any jobs that pop up in your field you NEED to read this! I don’t want you to just get a job. I want you to a wonderful career. One in which you feel fulfilled and one that you can contribute to the industry. In this article, I am going to walk you through what you should be doing BEFORE you ever apply for a job.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle of crafting a fashion career job hunt in just one post! This article is part of a 7 part Fashionable Job Hunt Series. If you want to learn how you can build a successful career in the fashion industry check out the other articles that are part of this series at the bottom of the page. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook group called PickGlass Fashionable Careers. See you there!
Change Your Mind Set
In a previous post (Fashion Challenge) I encouraged readers to start to think of their careers in a different way. I said you should begin to think of yourselves as consultants rather than employees. My reasoning is this. As an employee, you are usually defined and limited by your job description. Rarely do people feel comfortable stepping outside of their role. However, as a consultant, you are free to make recommendations and challenge the status quo.
Now, as a job seeker, it is even more important to maintain this same mindset and here is why. As a consultant, you are your own boss. You can decide what types of companies you want to work for and what types of projects you want to take on.
Take a few minutes right now to think about how you would like to look back on your career in ten or twenty years. How would you describe your career accomplishments to your friends? Do you want to say that you got promoted every few years and these are the job titles that you’ve held? Or do you want to talk about the amazing opportunities that you had to work on really cool collections or projects and who all you got to meet along the way? Exactly!
Envision Your Dream Career
To help you get an even clearer picture in your mind I want you to do this fun little project. I want you to make a vision board that captures your ideal career. Grab a large piece of poster board. Start by cutting out words or pictures from magazines of your favorite brands or companies. Cut out pictures of people you admire and who you want to emulate professionally.
Start to stick these images on the paper in a collage style. This might take you a while. Leave a little bit of white space because I want you to be always adding to this vision board.
Now take a step back and look at your vision board. Does it inspire you? Does it get you excited about working in this industry? What kinds of companies did you include? Are they luxury brands? Are they sustainable companies? Maybe you didn’t put brands on there but chose to stick images of people who inspire you. What do all of these people have in common?
Make A List Of Your Ideal Companies Or Brands
Now that you have a clear picture of the type of career you want to have, it is time to narrow your focus. Take a look at your vision board and the companies or brands that you chose. What do they all have in common? Are they high end? Are they start-ups? Do you prefer casual brands or more sophisticated?
With this in mind, make a list of 10-20 companies or brands that are you DREAM jobs and that all fit your vision. You are going to start here. This is going to be your base for starting your job search. I don’t want you to apply for just ANY job. I want you to keep your fashion career ON TRACK. And you are going to do that by staying focused on where you want to go.
Now I know it can be very hard to keep such a narrow focus. I get it. Sometimes you just need to EAT! But you don’t want to wake up ten years from now and wonder how you ended up working in an area that doesn’t excite you and is so far off from your original dream.
Every time you see a job posting I want you first to ask yourself if that job fits within your vision board? No. You do not need to only apply to the companies or brands that you originally listed. But you should do a little research on every company that you are thinking about applying to and see if they stack up to your DREAM jobs. Do they fit the mold?
RECRUITER CONTACT LIST
RECRUITER CONTACT LIST
Go For Your Dreams!
If you are just starting your fashion job search why not GO BIG? Research your top ten companies or brands that you previously listed. Figure out what YOU have to offer them in terms of your experience or expertise. With this in mind begin to craft your KILLER cover letter.
Then reach out to your network to see if anyone you know works there or knows someone who does. Ask that person to meet you for coffee. Explain you are thinking about applying to the company and want to get their feedback on their experience working there. Also, ask if they would know who the hiring manager might be in the area you are interested in. If they know who the hiring manager might be, ask them to make an introduction or to pass along your resume and cover letter.
If you are at a dead end using your current network then start to build new connections. Use LinkedIn to connect with the “human resources” or “talent acquisition” managers at your top ten companies. Try to figure out who the hiring manager might be and connect with them as well. Again, send them a message and ask if they would be willing to meet you for coffee. Begin the process again!
I highly recommend you go back and read my series on Fashionable Networking. I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to make genuine connections with these people, and not come across as “salesy”. That will get your connection request or email in the trash bin faster than you can blink. Instead, ask for advice. Ask for their insight. Ask them to tell you about THEIR job.
This is how to start your fashion job search the right way. By following these steps, you will have a much tighter focus. You will be going after opportunities that are in line with your goals and dreams of an amazing career in the fashion industry.
- Create your vision board with pictures of your IDEAL companies, inspirational people, and industry contributions.
- Make a list of your top 10-20 companies and/ or brands that you would LOVE to work for.
- Do your research about each of these companies or brands. Figure out what YOU can contribute.
- Use your network to start making connections with people who work at these companies. Make a GENUINE connection with them.
Fashionable Job Hunt Series
If you, or someone you know, want to learn how to properly get started looking for a job in the fashion industry you can read the entire series here. Learn how to plan your job hunt and make the right first impression.
- 5 Signs You Should Leave Your Job
- How To Start Your Fashion Job Search
- How To Work With A Fashion Recruiter
- Interview With Amy Cole
- Top 5 Ways To Make Your Fashion Resume Pop
- Top 10 Side Hustles For Fashion Industry Professionals
- How To Write A Cover Letter That Gets Opened