Finding a Fashion Job

The fashion industry is filled with a variety of different careers, each allowing you to perform different tasks and obtain different benefits. Such a career may allow you to demonstrate your creativity, experience the excitement that comes from working with designs that no one else has seen before, make more money than you could ever hope to make in another profession with the same level of education, and travel around the country or even the world in search of new materials and styles.

There is usually a lot of competition for these exciting jobs, however, which can make it tough to break into the field. Here are some tips to help you land a job in the fashion industry.

  • First, a major job-search website like or can be a good place to look for a fashion career, but don’t forget that there are other places that you can look, too. Check newspapers, the websites of major fashion design companies, fashion job fairs, fashion career clearinghouses like and, fashion recruiting firms like JBCStyle, and other similar resources.
  • Second, your ability to obtain a job in the fashion industry can be largely based on your reputation and who you know, so don’t be afraid to talk to people in the industry. A fashion job fair or a fashion internship can be a good way to meet some of the professionals that you may need to know in order to get a job.
  • Third, potential employers will almost always require a cover letter and résumé before they actually call you for an interview; you should make sure that your résumé looks like something that you would want a potential employer to see.
    Fourth, your communications skills are extremely important in the fashion industry, and your ability to demonstrate these skills in an interview may affect whether or not you get a job.


Establishing a network of professional contacts is an important task while seeking to obtain jobs in the fashion industry; your ability to obtain a position is largely based on who you know and what those people think of you. Employers in the industry will be much more likely to hire you if they know who you are or, at the very least, have heard about you. Finding a group of professionals willing to help you get a job can be a difficult task, but there are some things that you can do to increase the likelihood that you will be able to establish the necessary professional relationships.

  • First, try to find some fashion events that you can attend and some organizations that you can volunteer for, or join. These events and organizations will give you the opportunity to meet some of the people who actually work in the fashion industry. Attending career fairs, finding an internship, joining a professional fashion association (see the Fashion Associations article for more information), volunteering at a fashion show, and volunteering to work as a costume designer for a theater group are all ways to meet the professionals that can give your career a boost.
  • Second, try to focus on what you can do for other people rather than on what other people can do for you. Remember that your primary goal is to find a group of professionals who may be able to help you in the future; most of these professionals will be far more likely to help you later if you’ve done something for them already. You should take advantage of every possible opportunity to help the professionals that you are trying to establish a relationship with.
  • Third, if you can’t figure out what to say to a professional, ask a question. A question can be an excellent icebreaker, and you may be able to strike up an entire conversation with a simple question like, “What is it like to work in the fashion industry?” “What kind of things do you do in your job?” or “Are there any styles that you think are going to be huge in the near future?” The best questions are those that ask an individual to provide more information about something that he or she has already said because this proves that you are listening.
  • Fourth, try to smile and be as polite as possible. Remember that your goal is to find people who are willing to help you in the future; no one will want to help you if you’re rude or lethargic.


When you’re trying to get started in your career, most of the employers in the fashion industry will require you to create a résumé. Companies that you apply to will want more information about your education, your experience, your accomplishments, your goals, and other similar aspects of your background, and the best way to get this information is through your résumé. You must know how to make an impressive résumé since it may be the difference between a company allowing you to get your foot in the door and a company slamming the door in your face.

  • First, try to make your résumé fit the position that you’re applying for. All of the companies in the fashion industry have different needs, and each will only hire individuals that meet their needs. You have to know what a company needs for each position so you can demonstrate that you have the education, the experience, and the skills required. For example, if you’re trying to obtain a job as a salesperson, you may want to focus on some of your previous jobs in which you had to work with customers, address customer service issues, and/or sell products; these jobs all show that you have some of the basic skills that a salesperson needs. If, on the other hand, you’re applying for a fashion design position, you may want to focus on your past jobs that required you to be creative, to design new things, to draw, to sew, and to work with clothing; these jobs all show that you have some of the basic skills that a fashion designer needs.
  • Second, try to remember that the key to a good résumé is the quality of the information, not necessarily the quantity of it. No one wants to read a 10-page booklet on why you think you should get the job, and most employers simply don’t have time to read a résumé that has too much information or that is poorly organized. Keep your résumé down to a page or two at most, focusing on the important information and making sure that it’s clear where the information for each section, position, or school ends and another begins.
  • Third, check your résumé for mistakes before you send it to an employer. You’re trying to make a good first impression, and there’s nothing that says “I really don’t care if I get this job or not” like a résumé which has misspelled word, incorrect punctuation, poor grammar, etc.


To get hired in most fashion jobs, employers typically require that you come in for an interview in order to ask you about your skills, experience, education, strengths, weaknesses, and other similar attributes. The questions in an interview are also often designed to test your communications skills and to gather information about some of the flaws that you may not want your potential employer to know about. To get the fashion job that you want, you have to know how to prepare yourself for the types of questions that you may encounter in an interview.

  • First, try to find out as much as you can about the job, the company, and the fashion field that you’re trying to enter before the interview. Job descriptions for positions vary, and you have to know what your potential employer is looking for in order to demonstrate that you have the qualities necessary for the job. Knowing some basic facts about your employer and the industry as a whole will not only help you answer the questions in the interview, but will also show your potential employer that you care about the position.
  • Second, try to get an idea of the qualities that you want to emphasize and how you’re going to emphasize them. An interview will not only give you an opportunity to tell the interviewer why he or she should hire you, but may also, unfortunately, give you an opportunity to say something that you probably shouldn’t say. You don’t want to tell your interviewer about some of your less than appealing traits. For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, it may seem perfectly reasonable to tell an interviewer that you have years of experience in customer service but that you’ve never actually worked in sales. This statement will almost certainly hurt you more than it will help you. Focus on your qualifications rather than on experience that you lack.
  • Finally, try to come up with some answers to the questions that interviewers typically ask. Almost every interviewer will ask questions such as, “Why are you interested in this position?” or “What makes you think you’ll be a good fashion designer/fashion marketer/stylist/etc.?” Be ready for them.


Almost every fashion job you apply for will require you to come up with a list of references. The companies that you apply to will not only want to ask you questions about your skills, but will also want to ask some of your previous coworkers, employers, and professors about your skills, as well. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your references.

  • First, make sure that each of the people that you choose to use as a reference actually knows you fairly well, and is familiar with your work. While it may be tempting to use a couple of well-known fashion designers and a manager from a major marketing firm that you met at a fashion show last week as references, these individuals won’t be able to tell your employer anything useful about you. Also, the length of time that you have known your reference is not nearly as important as how well your reference knows your work; even a person who has known you for years won’t do you any good if he or she doesn’t know anything about your fashion skills.
  • Second, try to make sure that each of the people that you choose to use as a reference will say good things about you. Most companies will contact your references to make sure that you actually have the skills that you claim to have and that you don’t have any major weaknesses that an interviewer may have missed. Make sure that your references aren’t going to unintentionally or even intentionally tell your potential employer that you really aren’t the right person for the job.
  • Third, remember that even the best references won’t be able to help you if they don’t know what’s going on. Get permission from your references before you use them. Keep them up to date on how your job search is going to make sure that they are prepared if someone calls, and let them know what kinds of questions about you they may be asked. You may also want to let each of your references know what you are looking for before you begin your job search so they’ll know what to emphasize when contacted.