The fashion industry is very competitive when it comes to new recruits. It’s important to take into account that as it’s many people’s dream to land a job working for a fashion brand, the chances of getting hired are not always in your favor.
The reality of the situation is that in any job hunt many variables are simply outside of our own control and we need a little bit of luck to help us out.
At the same time, undeniably, some things are in our full control, such as the way in which we present our resume. Our resume can make the biggest difference in terms of landing an interview.
The fashion industry is very creative, and many applicants can decide to develop resumes that are a good reflection of their own style and fashion vision.
Of course, it’s important to make sure you can express yourself through such a personal document, but it’s also very important that your resume contains all of the information necessary to inform your recruiter that you’re a great match for the job.
In this post, we’re going to describe the 5 things you need to take into account as you craft the perfect resume to apply for your fashion dream job. To help you navigate the post we’ve broken them down into 5 sections:
- Matching the Job Description + Keyword Research
- Focus on Quantitative Results rather than Experience
- Mention Relevant Experience to Present Personality Traits
- Create a Clear Alignment of Experiences that Leads You to this Job
- Proofread, spellcheck, name, and save with clear file name.
- Conclusions + Cover letter
1. Matching the Job Description + Keyword Research
The first enemy to overcome is ‘the machine’. When HR recruiters receive hundreds if not thousands of applications, humans are simply unable to process them. This is why they tend to rely on analytics software that can look into the presence on your resume of the keywords which are associated with the posted job.
This already suggests how to increase our chance of “ranking in the results” we need to make sure that each application and CV is tailored to the job description.
Sure there are many intangibles that make you a perfect candidate, but the harsh reality is that you won’t have a chance to display these qualities until later in the selection process.
As you send off your application, the first challenge is making sure your ‘tangible’ job requirements are there and are clearly connected with the requirements of the position.
There’s undeniably an element of chance, but by focusing on the right keywords, your chances of success will increase sensibly.
Ok, let’s now move on to another element to consider: the way you present your work experience. That’s what we are going to discuss in the next section of this post.
2. Focus on Quantitative Results rather than Experience
In many cases, applicants tend to focus on the prestige of their previous employers, or alternatively to the prestige of their alma mater. There is nothing wrong with that, of course. Some employers and schools have a strong reputation as exclusive environments that are accessible to those who work extra hard to earn a spot.
However, it can be the case that this may not be enough, or that on the other hand those who don’t have prestigious brands in their past experience feel like their odds are slimmer.
In our opinion, it’s important to realize that employers don’t necessarily care too much about where you worked or where you studied. What makes a difference is what you accomplished while you were there.
It’s important to consider that regardless of any prestigious association, what makes a good CV is the ability to show the results that you were able to achieve, given the restraints of your role.
Make sure that you describe your experiences by focusing on quantitative outputs. If they don’t seem too impressive, use percentages (increased customer engagement by 50%) to show how you impacted the organization, even if it was a small corner shop or an unknown startup.
Choosing the right metrics is an extremely important part of your job description. Your employer will be able to tell how good you are at your job by noticing what data shows your accomplishment. Following the principle of ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’ picking the metrics that display the impact of your work is a strong element of proof of competence.
But what about the character traits? And what about the experiences that show your personality and interests? That’s room for that too, of course, and we’re going to discuss this in the next section of the article.
3. Mention Relevant Experience to Present Personality Traits
Being able to deliver the intangibles is really hard. Much harder than talking about the goals you were able to achieve. So how should you go about it?
Well, ideally in this case you want to avoid presenting the traditional qualities you are expected to display in a workplace (capable of working in teams, determined to achieve your goals, reliable, trustworthy, etc.) by simply listing them in your resume. This is not effective, as obviously there is no validation, and you can describe yourself in the way you most see fit.
To deliver these qualities, a great strategy is talking about experiences that connect you to a higher value system, when you did volunteering when you carried out a project connect to the interests of your community when you took any challenges with uncertain – or even non-existent – monetary rewards.
Character is mostly shown by your choices, so discussing some uncommon, or even controversial choices is what can make the biggest difference. If you don’t have these types of experience, don’t worry, there is always time to make them.
Great. At this stage you’ve correctly profiled your application to match the job ad description, you reported your qualities by discussing results, you have been able to show your character in action.
What else? Well, you need to show purpose and a clear vision. This is connected to how you string together the experiences that led you to this application. Let’s see this in more detail in the next section.
4. Create a Clear Alignment of Experiences that Leads You to this Job
Showing purpose is a very effective and persuasive strategy to show your prospective employer that you are at the right place. This is very important as the first thing that employers in fashion want to see is passion.
The reason why passion is so important is because the fashion industry is competitive and people who want to excel in it have to work really hard. In this context, showing that your career led you to this position is a very convincing way to show your clear vision and continued efforts to achieve your goals.
Nothing beats curiosity and perseverance when it comes to building your career, and as such it’s important to show how your path to success is dotted with many successes and even some failures that did not break your spirit.
During the interview, you are likely to be asked to present yourself. This is one of the first questions you can be asked and it provides you with the opportunity to tell your story and how the job you are applying for is a job that you developed your skills for over an extended amount of time.
Make sure you rehearse the ‘tell me about yourself questions’ and that you’re using all of your experiences to show your determination and long-term vision to join the fashion industry.
Great, let’s now go through one more step. A simple one, but one that you cannot get wrong.
5. Proofread, spellcheck, name, and save with a clear file name.
Ok, your resume is almost ready. Now it’s time to proofread it, spell check it and have it read by someone else.
All of your hard work will be for nothing if you don’t make sure that your resume is ‘publishing ready’.
In the fashion industry, many applicants tend to be creative with design and show their flair with eye-catching color combinations and with layouts that give you an instant emotional reaction. Personally, I’m not a big fan. I do understand that you want to display your graphic design skills, but if you consider the moment when a human will read your resume, take into account that heshe will have to hunt down the information, and anything which puts ‘looks before function’ in this space is betting against unforgiving odds.
Obviously, you want to make your CV look unique, but don’t make it so different that it will be difficult to be processed by HR.
Also, make sure you are naming your resume with a title that makes it easy for someone to manage your file, both in terms of storing it and in terms of retrieving it, if an opportunity arises.
Great, now you’re done! Perfectly able to send in the CV and hope for the best. But wait, what about your cover letter? We’ll talk about that in more detail in the post’s conclusions.
6. Conclusions + Cover letter
There you have it. In this post, we discussed 5 tips to help you engineer the perfect resume for your fashion business application.
We would like to leave you with a final piece of advice. Remember that the cover letter that comes with your resume is a very important tool to complement what your resume is discussing in greater detail.
Your cover letter should heighten the specific areas that make you stand out so that you are sure that those details are noted.
Writing a good cover letter requires a post on its own, but without further ado, try to use this structure to make a cover letter that is worth reading.
Divide the text into three areas: you want to cover three distinct subjects.
- Talk about what you’ve done. Emphasize your relevant experience for the job and how that qualifies you for the position you are applying for.
- Talk about what you are doing. Show that your experience is not only in the past, you are an active part of the fashion industry and community, which has built (and is still building) a strong network and career-ready new skills.
- Talk about what you are going to do. In the last section, without making too many assumptions, talk about what you feel the company could be doing more of, so that you can show that are able to assess the firm and provide some ideas of what options it may have available for future growth.
This way you are making sure your cover letter is not redundant with your resume and you are at the same time able to show some of your own insights when it comes to getting down to work.
All done! We hope you found this article interesting and useful. Don’t hesitate to take a look below to see other posts that cover similar topics here on 440 Industries.