Make sure you secure that dream job by arming yourself with both traditional and modern means.
Make the most of Twitter
Twitter has become people’s tool of choice when searching for their ideal job
Twitter is a great source of information for career advice and job opportunities. Candidates should search and follow companies they would like to work for, using hashtag streams connected with jobs, roles or locations, such as #UKjobs, #fashion and #London.
Arcadia group resourcing manager Rachael Harvey adds: “Don’t be afraid to directly ask a company on Twitter if it has any opportunities for you – they should point you in the right direction.”
Some companies, such as Asos, have dedicated HR Twitter feeds. Asos recruitment manager Faye Mclean says: “We use our careers feed to communicate directly with students about opportunities at Asos. It helps people understand what we are about.”
If you are active on Twitter, make sure your tweets are current and relevant to the job you are going for, especially if the role involves using social media.
Excel at interview
First impressions count, so doing your research before an interview is paramount. Make sure you give some thought to everything, from your outfit to key questions to ask at the end
“Brands love it when you have read the latest article about them in Drapers or seen them in Vogue that month,” says Nicola Steadman, senior consultant at Bloom Retail.
Visit the business before an interview if it’s a store, or if it’s a brand go to see a collection in a store or online.
Never be negative about previous employers. “It is a small world and everyone knows everyone else,” says Steadman.
Some companies, such as White Stuff, love it when candidates arrive dressed head to toe in its products. Whereas Topshop prefers it if people mix up different brands to show they have their own style, says Katherine Mather, senior consultant at Success Appointments.
Keep excessive hand movements to a minimum, don’t lean forward too much and maintain eye contact.
Knowing what questions to ask at the end can be a stumbling block. Mather suggests asking how the interviewers got to where they are now. Three separate recruiters said preparing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the business is worthwhile to present at the end of the interview.
Write the perfect CV
Create a CV that will ensure you stand out from the crowd
Your CV must be accurately written. “We see hundreds of CVs every day and it is incredible how many spelling and grammatical errors there are,” says Katherine Mather, senior consultant at Success Appointments. “There’s no excuse for mistakes. You simply won’t get an interview.”
Sentences should be short and concise.
The layout should be clear and eye-catching. Make sure key achievements are visible and always state why you left your last job.
Talisman International managing director Vicki Morisetti says you could use colour, have a watermark in the background or do something a “little off the wall” to attract attention.
Recruiters across the board say this online networking tool is essential at all stages of your career. It is the easiest way to stay in touch with your business contacts and hear about job opportunities
Even being new to the industry is no excuse for not having a profile on LinkedIn, says Fashion and Retail Personnel managing director Shelly Pinto. Almost anyone you meet could be useful later on in life. “I have met people in the gym, on the beach, while walking the dog,” she says. Pinto advises younger people to add to their page contacts they have made while doing work experience or at college.
However, Helen Taylor, associate director at Fashion and Retail Personnel, warns: “Keep it professional. This is not Facebook.” She advises to only connect with people you know. Start small and slowly build up your network.
Consider adding a more detailed description of your role or aspirations in the ‘job title’ section of your profile.
Ask colleagues or college tutors to write a short recommendation of your strengths and abilities. Only add a link to your Twitter account if your tweets are work or industry-related.
Networking will ensure that your professional life is successful
The adage ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ might be a cliché, however, it can be true in the world of fashion.
Mary Anderson-Ford, director of Bloom Retail, says: “The art of networking is a skill, which can carry you through in life as well as your career.” She advises people to attend seminars and events where there will be the opportunity to rub shoulders with senior people.
Success Appointments managing director Stephen Selby agrees: “Make sure you are seen to be doing a very good job.”
Good networking extends beyond the day-to-day job, adds Selby.
Showcase your sense of style and industry knowledge by setting up your own blog
It is not uncommon to see fashion bloggers sitting in the front row of catwalk shows, so don’t underestimate the importance of blogs as a source of industry news.
Well-known sites include The Business of Fashion and Style Bubble. It is worth considering setting up your own blog, especially if you work in the creative sector. Arcadia group resourcing manager Rachael Harvey says many buyers and designers have their own sites.
Blogs are a great way of demonstrating your sense of style and your knowledge of the latest trends.
But she warns: “Make sure it is kept updated. There is nothing worse than saying you have a blog when nothing has been added to it in the past two months.”