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Monday 25 January 2016

To interview and beyond!

Last week, Laura Dufort gave her top tips on crafting a great CV and cover letter for applying for a job in fashion.

However, getting a job doesn’t stop at the application stage.

Here’s what Laura suggested for the interview process and beyond.

Do your research

It’s really important to think about the mission, values and culture of the company you’re applying to.

Your application needs to be tailored to this, but you also need to think whether the brand fits you.

As an example of culture, Laura pointed out that Burberry is a completely paperless company, with immaculate and well-organised offices in an industry where fabric samples are often all over desks.

If you’re applying to Burberry and your application reflects these qualities, you’ll automatically go up in their estimation.

It’s also worth pointing out to consider how you look. While this seems obvious when applying for a job in fashion, consider what would be appropriate for the company.

Getting involved in the Graduate Fashion Show would be great experience for you to mention to potential employers

Sell yourself

You might think that a small part-time job isn’t work mentioning, but even a week working somewhere is better than nothing.

There will always be skills you can take from that job and apply to the role you want, including if you’ve worked in admin or a shop.

“If you’re applying to a small designer, you can learn about the entire business,” said Laura. This means that your transferable skills would be worth more, because you’re more likely to need them in the role.

Especially useful skills are sales, customer support, filing, using the phone, and organisation.

You need to write your skills in the right way and sell them – don’t play yourself down! Find a way to relate it to the job.

When it comes to interview, Laura advised: “It’s important to stand out: do your research, know about the brand and ask interesting questions. A girl who had recently graduated was my assistant for ages. She sent a great, clean CV and cover letter. As well as this, she did a little project and got it bound. It was amazing as she went above and beyond; she’s now working at Burberry after two years at Christopher Raeburn.”

Working at a shop like Re:So could also benefit you, especially if you help out at one of their events. This photo shows Re:So’s stall at the Clothes Show Live

Network, and be proactive

Laura said: “When I started, I didn’t have an education or background in fashion at all – I was lucky to get a job at Ted Baker. However, I got on with everyone there, signed up for extra work, was never the first to leave, contacted people, and it made a difference.”

Being proactive could be going to London Fashion Week and looking at all the list of people showing there. Send a CV and cover letter to each of them, even if they aren’t advertising.

“Small companies always need help. If someone stands out ahead of anyone else, they will get hired, and being proactive and showing passion makes you stand out,” Laura added.