PAUSE’s top 5 tips for getting an internship within the fashion industry.
If you are looking for a future career in the fashion industry, you’ll (hopefully) be aware that an internship or multiple internships play a huge part in achieving this. The more internships/placements you have under your belt, the better. Unfortunately, don’t expect to be paid much for your efforts, if at all. Internships are in place to develop your skill sets, teach you new trades and help you grow as a working professional. Here are our 5 top tips for getting an intern role.
Apply, Apply, Apply
It may seem simple, but consistency is key; the fashion industry is unbelievably competitive. The chances are there will be PLENTY of people applying for the exact same roles as you are, and as companies will most likely be very busy, your application may be swept to the side.
We’re not suggesting you send the same email to masses of companies, however, be prepared to have to apply to a good few before you’ll get success. Tailor your application to every role. Copy and paste emails can be spotted a mile away, so make sure you read the role description and do your brand research so that you have the best chance possible.
When you send your application, ALWAYS provide a copy of your CV, cover letter and portfolio, even if they don’t ask for it. Try not to be too wordy, and keep your content interesting.
The use of a portfolio is more beneficial to those who don’t have much or any previous fashion experience on their CV, however, we suggest you send one no matter what.
Preparing a portfolio won’t be a quick job, but once it’s done, it’s done. Take care when putting this together. Consider layouts and presentation, and carefully select your best work that shows your skills and diversity. Even if the job application doesn’t ask for it, it’s a wise idea to send it anyway, so the employer can get a feel of what you can do. Also, it’s genuinely more impressive.
Your social media can be really important when applying for a role, especially if that role is within social media itself. Trust me, if a company/brand looks at your platforms and sees you can’t hold it well, they probably won’t want you to do theirs, either. We’re not saying you have to have 10K followers and designer clothing coming out of your ears, I’m simply suggesting you consider your content.
We’d like to think if you’re applying to be in the fashion industry you’d have a strong keenness for it, so show this through your social media platforms. Why not have a scan through your Instagram page, for example, and delete random pictures of your cat from 2014. Keep the content relevant and interesting; let the employer see that you know what you’re doing.
When it comes to platforms such as Twitter, why not share your opinions on current fashion trends or news in the fashion world? This interest will be noticed, and it will make much more of a positive impact than a b*tchy indirect.
Show your Diversity
The best interns are those who are diverse. You may be applying for one role in particular, but being able to show you can work in many different areas will only be more beneficial to you. If you haven’t had the experience, mention in your cover letter areas which you are willing to learn and help out with. You may find that the company will be looking for an intern in an area you’re not as strong in, but take what you can- experience is an experience.
Hopefully, following our tips will help you secure yourself an interview, just remember this does not mean you definitely have the job! Interview preparation is key. Read up on the company/brand and make sure you have solid knowledge of what you’re going to be talking about. Almost every interview will end with the employer asking if you have any questions. DO NOT let your answer be no! Think of some questions before hand to show further interest in what they do. This could be about the brand, the role or even a question about something the company has previously done that interested you.
If you have a physical portfolio, take it with you! Also, take a printed copy of your CV. Even if you sent a digital copy, taking one with you shows you are organised and efficient- key intern requirements!
Finally, stating the obvious, dress appropriately. Be comfortable and take into consideration the company you are applying for. If you have done your research, you should know the vibes they are flowing with.
We hope these tips guide you well into your finding of an internship. If you manage to get one be vigilant, enthusiastic and keen to learn. Remember, you are there to learn and they are there to teach you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. A healthy balance between asking and taking your own initiative will get you far…
Check out our current internship opportunities at PAUSE here.