The fashion industry is highly competitive, which means to break through, you need a solid foot in the door and a resume that showcases your experience.
With fashion jobs few and far between, having different experience under your belt can help you land the job if your dreams. But first, you have to find an internship, develop relationships, and learn some of those much-needed skills.
What is a fashion internship?
A fashion internship will put you in the center of the fast-paced industry so that you can learn what goes on behind the scenes. You’ll be expected to help with organization, problem-solving, preparing for major projects, and assisting with day-to-day operations and errands. While an internship isn’t the most glamorous part of the fashion industry, it will lead you to make great connections and learn exciting skills to help you move into an entry-level career.
Keep in mind that most fashion internships are unpaid. You’ll be expected to be enrolled in school and conduct your internship for college credit.
How do you find a fashion internship?
There are so many ways to go about searching for an internship in a specific industry. Online tools like LinkedIn, Handshake, and GlassDoor allow you to search for keywords in one location so that you can narrow the search down. Choose from things like the industry, location, and even pay.
You can also use a few industry-specific online search tools, such as Free Fashion Internships and Intern Queen. Beyond searching for internships online, you should also reach out to respected professors and your college career advisor. Many of them might know of internship opportunities and help you connect with the hiring managers.
LinkedIn Profile Basics
Since you’re looking for an internship in fashion, you want to highlight any experience or education you have that would interest potential employers. Great experience to spotlight on your profile for fashion includes:
- Calm under pressure
- Good with people
- Expert communicator
- Able to assist with documentation
- Highly organized and great with deadlines.
Lastly, ask previous professors, supervisors, or mentors to leave you positive recommendations. If a future employer can easily see that you have fans, they’re more likely to put you at the top of the list.
Reach out to your career counselor or professor
If you’re taking classes associated with a fashion degree, you probably already know someone that works in the industry. You might just not realize it! Reach out to previous professors and see if they know of any internship opportunities. Your professors are a great place to start and can be excellent references for making it through the competitive process.
You can also go to your college career counselor. Counselors at colleges work with companies nationwide to give students access to internships. They’ll know about any companies in the area that are looking for internships in specific departments.
When should you start your fashion search?
Companies have different deadlines for internships, but it’s always a good idea to apply sooner rather than later. Internships are highly competitive, especially in the fashion field, and the sooner you get your foot in the door, the more successful you’ll be.
Generally, it’s best to start applying for internships three to six months in advance. That way, you’ll come prepared with your school schedule, and they can work around your education.
If you prepare in advance for the intern search, you’re much more likely to be successful at finding one that suits your interests. Reach out to the people you know, write your resume, and put your best foot forward!