If you are looking for a job in the fashion industry as a designer there are certain things that you need to keep in mind when you apply. Some approaches work. Others -don’t. The examples below are quotes from real emails I’ve received. They illustrate the wrong mindset someone who is trying to find a job might have.
The things that DON’T work
Please please please please I need this job because my family….”
In the real world is very unlikely to get hired and paid a salary because of a dramatic/sad life story. And the reason is not that the employer is cold-hearted or a bad person. No. The reason is that charity is something different from business. You don’t need to beg for a job. Make them want you! Show the company why does it need what you offer (talent, experience, ideas ) and you will get hired.
Selling to another designer
“..if you want or need any design or ideas so please contact me”
I have been contacted multiple times by aspiring designers with similar messages. It is hard to sell your service to someone who does the same but for many more years. With a message like this, you may ruin your chances to get hired even by companies that actually need a designer. It simply just doesn’t work like that. You need to be very specific where your talent is: are you good at designing lingerie, outwear, sportswear or gowns? You are not genius at all of them & if you’re claiming the opposite chances are you’re just new to designing and not amazing at any of these fields. Know your strengths and offer only what you do best!
“I’m 14 and I’m a fashion designer…”
Sketching beautiful dresses does not make you a designer. You might have the talent to be one of the top designers in the world but not before you know how to sew, how to make basic patterns, the structure of a suit, have knowledge in costume history, textiles, production process, fitting, experience in working with clients. It is good to have confidence but it should be backed with experience and education.
Do you have a collection in stores? Any runways? A portfolio? A degree in fashion design? Then you are still on you’re way to become a designer. You’re still not one.
Use of immature language
..my wish is to find where l can sale myart or to join u pliZ hellp to make my dream true :)”
It should be common sense that when you apply for a job you don’t use emojis. Always check your grammar and spelling! And avoid slang words. You don’t sign with “xoxoxox”. Writing an email to someone you expect to hire you is not like you’re chatting on Viber with your friends. Learn to tell the difference between work and leisure time.
Lack of focus
I want to be a fashion designer. Please help!
Yes, this is a real message from my mailbox and this was all of it. All of it. Instead of stating that’s wrong with this email I will just suggest how a decent first email looks like:
The things that DO work
- Well…start with a proper introduction! What’s your name, age and location.
- What is your motivation? Write why you want to be a fashion designer – your mother inspired you, you were told you look stylish on everyday basis….anything that is true and not meaningless as “I have passion for fashion“.
- Then briefly describe your education and experience. Any skills that are making you better at your job ( maybe you’ve had a photography class. Maybe you’re just a nerdy person with a lot of interests and knowledge in fashion? )
- Then say what is it that you’re doing best. Where do you feel like you’re an expert – Shoes? Jewelry? Dresses? Sportswear?
- Are you a valuable employee? Explain how your skills will help your employer. Why they would be interested in having you in their team?- you work fast, you’re a team player, you know the market and all current trends?
- A link to your portfolio. You do have one, right? If not- head immediately to my How to build a fashion portfolio post. The company needs to see your work and make sure you have what they need. Your words are not enough.
- Don’t forget to add your contact information: a phone number, an email. Most professionals have a linkedin profile – include a link to your profile as well where the employer will be able to see your experience and recommendations.
- Double check your spelling and click send!
This does not guarantee you’ll get the job but at least you will be taken seriously. Put some effort into your emails and try to imagine what it looks like from the other side. Stay positive and believe in your success!