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From the runway

How to land a job in the fashion industry 

Looking for a job in fashion is quite challenging, but not impossible. 

28/08/2021

In previous posts, LCDF and I walked you through the steps to get into the fashion industry and specific jobs to consider. But how does one seize the chance to work in their dream job upon graduation with a fashion degree?

Here’s a roadmap for you to land a job in the fashion industry.

Step 1: Build up your working experience 

  • Market yourself: everyone now can create content on social media, whether it’s a Youtube video or Instagram account that showcases your experience with the fashion industry. These accounts can signal recruiters or your future employers that you’re looking for a job in fashion. Many fashion students land their first gigs from these contents that they shared frequently online.

 A fashion student captured the experience of working in a photoshoot on their Tiktok account.

  • Find freelancing gigs: In the process of building up individual portfolios, students can work on freelance projects such as assisting photoshoots or selling their own designs online. These experiences on the side not only increase your work experience but also expand your own network in the field. 

Step 2: Build your CV 

  • Transform your CV into a place where you show off relevant experience and skill sets to employers. Don’t send out the same CV for 10 companies without capturing the attention of any of them. Applying less but with with higher quality is still better. Let’s say you major in fashion design and are applying to be a stylist, instead of talking about sewing or draping, focus more on mentioning your experience in producing fashion photoshoots during your study. 
  • Fashion is an industry that focuses on aesthetics and creativity, so make sure your CV looks great and showcases your character.  
  • Invest in a professional portfolio. Of course not all companies require one, but it will add significant weight to your application and help you appear to be more professional, especially when applying for positions such as designers or creative directors. And you can be freely creative with your portfolio presentation, using videos, websites, Behance…

Step 3: Look for an opening.

Here are some of the ways students can look for opportunities to work in the fashion industries: 

  • On recruitment websites: Some top recruitment websites in Vietnam are Vietnamworks, Vn.indeed.com, Timviec365, Timviecnhanh, CareerBuilder, TopCV, 123Job, Vieclam24h, Careerlink, Mywork… Keep in mind that each website has its own distinctive features. For instance, Vietnamworks mostly caters to specialized, experienced recruitment; while Vn.indeed and CareerBuilder have  a lot of offers from international businesses. Websites which employers are required to pay usually have higher qualifications with corresponding salaries. Free recruitment sites will offer more opportunities for fresh graduates. LinkedIn is also a  powerful platform with opportunities from both Vietnamese and international companies, as well as start-ups for you to challenge yourself. 

  • Joining recruitment groups: You can job-seek and self-promote on various groups by searching by keywords related to the position you’re looking for on Facebook and Linkedin. These platforms are a direct communication line with the employers, who usually provide quick responses but offer few high-level positions. 
  • Take initiative and contact your dream company:  If you’re extremely passionate about a specific brand or company, even though they have not yet had an opening, go ahead and send in your CV and cover letter. Your qualifications and passions might get their attention somehow and you may be considered for an internship or a future position. Persistence and sincerity are the keys to success in this aspect. 
  • Take advantage of your network:  The fact is when you compare 2 people with the same skills sets and qualifications, the one with a bigger network wins. This is the reason why you should be proactive in cultivating relationships with people in the fashion industry. During your time in university, participate in more activities and experiences to build your own network. At the London College for Design & Fashion – Hanoi, students are required to build their networks in the industry with models, photographers, stylists, cameramen, directors, studios. 

A shooting session of the young designer brand Vũ Trần Ngọc Linh. In the process of finishing individual portfolios, students are also asked to work with large teams, not only gaining work experience but also expanding their own network. 

  • Be proactive in gathering information: Sign up for newsletters of recruitment sites to get notifications about suitable positions, follow recruitment pages/groups of your preferred companies…to keep yourself updated everyday instead of having to search on each site individually. 
  • Take initiative in learning from people in the industry: There is a common misunderstanding that people who work in the fashion industry are quite…arrogant. From my personal experience, that is absolutely not true. From brands, to stylists, photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists, magazine editors… most are all friendly and professional. Therefore, you can totally send emails, text messages to those working in your dream company to introduce yourself. You might even get referred to job opportunities! Do keep in mind that these messages and emails should be concise and professional, since everyone is extremely busy.

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