If you want to break into the fashion industry, securing an internship can prove to be a great stepping stone in that direction. Contrary to popular belief, landing your dream placement doesn’t necessarily require being acquainted with an influential network of people or stalking your potential employer on social media — it usually always boils down to the basics of building a strong résumé and knowing the right way to reach out to employers that can open more doors than imagined.
Developing an outstanding portfolio is key, but that alone isn’t substantial enough to seize a great internship. Résumés are sent out before a portfolio is even seen and the best ones always represent individuality.
Here are a few things to consider when structuring a concrete résumé:
|Include your educational background in reverse chronological order. Mentioning your grades are optional.|
|List the most relevant and mention-worthy projects you worked on during course in under three lines or less. These compensate for the lack of prior work experience.|
|Stick to what you know, it’s always best to flaunt the skillset you believe can be executed confidently when the time comes.|
|Jot down your extracurriculars — this gives the employer a sense of your other transferable skills that can be of added value.|
|Restrict flaunting creativity to your portfolio alone, overly decorative résumés can be mistaken for immaturity. Instead, focus on making it aesthetically appealing by introducing a little colour to offset any monotony in the visual format.|
|Focus on quality content over quantity — less is more and brevity is highly regarded by employers.|
|Mention references, but do ask their permission before listing them on your résumé.|
|At the point of making final edits, it’s always good to read the content out loud as this helps with pointing out mistakes better. Nothing’s worse than ignored typos to an employer.|
|Don’t include a career objective — it’s an extremely dated format and chances are, you don’t know where you really belong in the industry as yet.|
|It’s not okay to lie about your skill set. Don’t be afraid of listing just two or three accomplishments — acquiring skills are a lot better than faking it in an interview.|
|Don’t list every hobby you have under the sun, stay relevant to what the companies you’re applying to personally value. Genuine interests in pop culture, art and music are well appreciated.|
|Refrain from using overly cutesy fonts as they can send the wrong message about your credibility. There are many Sans Serif fonts that look professional while appearing contemporary — Verdana, Helvetica and Trade Gothic, to name a few.|
|Avoid mentioning ‘References available upon request’ on your résumé, it’s a waste of valuable space. Also, family members don’t count as references — approach your college professors and faculty members for this purpose.|
Approaching The Lost Art Of Cover Letter Writing
Cover letters almost seem passé in today’s day and age, but often reflect a lot more when written with much fervor. Want to apply for an internship under your dream designer or stylist? A personalized cover letter is the best way to catch their attention especially when you’re applying to more than one employer — which means that one size doesn’t fit all. Sure, a writing template or format to start with is good, but the content must differ from person to person.
It’s always best to think that you only have one paragraph to make an impression; this should start after you’ve formally introduced yourself in the letter and before you make your plea to the employer to consider your application. In under four to five lines or less, talk about why you’d like to work under them, what do you appreciate most about them and how you look forward to not only gaining from the experience but also contributing with the skill set you’ve honed — answering the first two questions requires personalization and will differ to every other application.
By approaching it with a professional yet formal tone along with only a smidgen of personality is a sure shot way to get your letter read and noticed.
Additional points to consider:
- Don’t repeat things in your cover letter that are already included in your résumé. A cover letter is a chance to impress your employer with the research you’ve done about their company and why you’d like to be placed there.
- Cover letter’s are usually all about the employer — which means that it’s okay to gush but not to a point that seems immature. Additionally, try to avoid exclamation points to express your desire to work with them.
- If you’ve secured the e-mail address from your potential employer in-person or you’ve been recommended by someone they know, it’s always best to mention that right at the start of your letter.
- Cover letters never go as an extra attachment but as a direct e-mail body itself, which is why it’s always best to spell check and proofread.