About Resumes & Portfolios
Fashion designers held about 17,000 jobs in 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And that's just one of many exciting fashion jobs out there, from merchandising to marketing, retail, and more. Your fashion resume and portfolio are your tickets to launching a fashion career. Follow these tips to help your job search take off.
A High-Flying Fashion Resume
Your fashion resume is the first thing potential employers will see--and you only have about 20 seconds to grab their attention and get an interview. Follow these tips to make sure your resume hits the mark:
- Open with a short overview of your fashion skills, highlighting those that best fit your employer's needs. For example, if you're applying for a fashion design job, explain your skills with fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends.
- Next, list your professional highlights, like "increased sales by a third" or "lowered scrap parts by 40 percent."
- Then list your work history chronologically, starting with your most recent job.
- Finally, list your education, including the fashion school you attended.
Landing the Job with the Right Portfolio
Your portfolio demonstrates your technical abilities, perhaps in drawing, design development, problem solving, or use of color. Here are some tips for a great portfolio:
- Show strong first and last projects to create a lasting impression.
- Present a variety of work and include developmental sketches with final drawings.
- Make your portfolio as interactive as possible. If you work with textiles, include swatches instead of just photocopying designs.
- The overall product should reflect your interpretation of what direction fashion will take in the near future.
Don't let go of your dreams of a job in fashion. With the right resume and portfolio, you could be flying high in a colorful fashion career.
Cover Letter Guide
Business protocol dictates that your resume be accompanied by a cover letter. A cover can be an effective tool to promote your candidacy. There are numerous do's and don'ts.
- Personalize your cover letter. Avoid To whom it may concern or Dear Sir/Madam whenever possible. If possible, call the company to find out the hiring manager's name. If there is only a fax number and no title for the person to whom it is going, then you probably have no choice.
- Make your cover letter an addendum to the resume, not a rewrite of the resume itself.
- Be brief and to the point. The individual reading your resume is probably very busy and has little interest in reading a novel.
- Highlight pertinent information and provide relevant data that may not be covered in your resume. In fact, if you see an advertisement that requires certain skills or experience you have, but it is not featured prominently on your resume, this is the place to tout it.
- Be positive and confident. Let them know that you believe you can make a valuable contribution or be a real asset to the company.
- Make sure you tell them where and when to reach you.
- Let them know that if you don't hear from them by a certain date you'll be following up with a call to schedule an appointment.
- Try to match the cover letter and envelope paper to the resume when mailing. It makes a better presentation.
- PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD!
- Rewrite your resume in your cover letter. Use it as an opportunity to talk about important points that don't fit on your resume.
- Bore the reader. Be brief and not too wordy.
- Use first names; Mr. or Ms. is more appropriate.
- Forget to sign the letter.
- Use a company e-mail address. You never know who is reading your e-mail.