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***UPDATED***If I can't get a job within the fashion industry now what can I do now that will make me attractive to prospective employers when we come out of the downturn?

Employers will be attracted to candidates with high level technical skills and/or relevant work experience. You may want to use this time to complete a short course that will add new technical skills to your CV or bring old qualifications up-to-date.  Alternatively, many industry people have some fashion retail experience.  In the run up to the Christmas period many retailers will be recruiting for temporary staff.

Linda Florance, Chief Executive, Skillfast-UK


Some of these suggestions were offered in response to a previous question:

Consider using an outplacement company to support you in your search - they will often have relationships that extend way outside of your network to help you tap into unadvertised vacancies and support you to make effective speculative approaches, plan your next career move or longer term career;

Look for any free conference/seminar places - as well as a great opportunity to develop your technical knowledge they offer fantastic networking opportunities to let people know you are looking for your next career move and allow you to show a prospective employer that you are conscientious and have been active whilst out of work;

Are there changes in working practices or guidelines that having the most up-to-date knowledge would give you an edge over other applicants - if there are, do consider whether updating your skills and knowledge is a worthwhile investment from a time and cost perspective into your future?;

Contact your local Learning and Skills Council or Job Centre Plus- is there any funding available to support you to develop your skills or retrain?;

Contact your local business link and ask where there are small companies who could benefit from your expertise in a mentoring or support capacity either on a reduced rate or free for a while;

Help employers find you by posting a profile on Linked In and ask colleagues for recommendations - having an up-to-date profile can help remind potential employers you are available and actively looking for work;

Approach smaller companies and offer to work on a free internship - you’ll be gaining fantastic experience and hopefully adding potential referees to your cv; and

Take a look at a local groups or charities that could benefit from your skills or time where you could contribute on a voluntary or part-time basis. It can do wonders for your self-esteem and will give you a great story to talk to a prospective employer about at interview.

Nadine Jones, Consultant


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