Whether you aspire to be a merchandise buyer or flagship store director, securing a job with a luxury fashion brand is no easy feat. Besides a tenacious attitude and bags of talent you’ll need plenty of experience, great contacts and an impressive resume to fight off the fierce competition.
The fashion industry is one of the most competitive fields to break into and although it goes without saying, experience is paramount. Conversely, where you gain experience is just as important as having the experience in the first place.
Think carefully about the type of brand you’d like to work for and who their competitors are. For example: if you want to work for a luxury brand such as Burberry, working for a discount sports label probably won’t help you in your quest. However, if you’ve set your sights on an umbrella brand such as ASOS, a versatile back catalogue of experience could set you apart from the rest of the competition.
Once you have a decent amount of experience under your belt, it’s worth enlisting the help of a luxury fashion recruitment agency. Did you know that only 30% of jobs are advertised for? High end recruitment agencies are invaluable when securing your dream job; these agencies are experts at forming strong relationships with clients and can facilitate interviews quickly.
Contacts & Referrals
Building up an extensive list of industry contacts and forming strong relationships is key to securing a good job. Concentrate on being friendly to everyone, if you’re nice as pie to directors but snub wardrobe assistants, this will likely work against you in the future. Little things such as remembering people’s names and birthdays will improve your likeability tenfold – you never know when the person on the bottom rung might get promoted!
Thanks to social networking websites such as LinkedIn, it’s easier than ever to keep up to date with past colleagues and future employees. If an ex colleague is now working at a luxury fashion label, why not send them a message putting the word out that you’re looking for work or better still ask them to endorse you? The phrase ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’ certainly rings true in the jobosphere.
So, you’ve climbed the ladder, secured a number of industry contacts and now you’re ready to try your luck for that dream position, but wait..! Before you send in that speculative application or contact the luxury recruitment agency you’ve had your eye on, it’s time to polish your CV.
Scan your resume for spelling/punctuation errors and ask a friend or family member to double check – it’s always worth having a fresh set of eyes look at your work. If you’ve listed references, it’s worth calling up the referee to catch up and forewarn them that they may be contacted in the near future.
Most importantly, be honest. If you were promoted twice within a year, don’t be afraid to shout about it, however if you’ve noted down responsibilities that stretch the truth, think twice – even if you can convince a future employer you carried out these tasks, will you be able to fulfill these responsibilities in your prospective new job?