Todays post is going to be slightly different but still with a relevant theme. This will be a lot like the post I wrote about how to maximise your blog potential, which you can read here. I'm not claiming to be an expert on getting work placement, but I know from previous experiences how difficult it can be to find, especially in the fashion industry where internships are like gold dust.
As a fashion journalism student, I have a lot of different options when thinking about work experience, PR, Publications, Broadcast and Radio. For my final unit of my second year, we have to complete 4 weeks at a work placement and I have just landed myself one, after trying since mid-October. It really is all about luck and timing. Here are my four top tips to get work experience.
1. Perseverance - When you send out emails, you may not necessarily get a response just like that but don't think it's because they don't want you. If it has been a week since you sent out the email, follow up and make sure the email didn't land in their junk or it might remind them to respond. Do not send them a million emails, because you may end up getting a rude response and no work experience (or a restraining order).
2. Tailor your Covering Letter - I have three different covering letters tailored to specific job roles, Online, Beauty and a standard Fashion Editorial. Whenever I send out and email I will edit the document with the persons name, the company and a paragraph that shows I've gone to the trouble of researching the company and know my stuff. Remember to double and triple check that the name you're addressing the letter to is both the right person and the right company. Also, when sending your covering letter and CV, convert them to PDF so that it opens up easily on any computer.
3. Always Say Thank You - This might sound obvious but whenever someone replies, even if it is not the answer you were hoping for, say thank you. These people are busy, getting a million emails a minute (slight exaggeration), so if they reply you're lucky because they have higher priorities. Also, if they put your CV on file, you may be the one they remember who was polite and said thank you.
4. Play on your Strengths, but don't be Arrogant - You may have gotten some great experience at one company, but they want to know what you will bring to their publication or fashion house. If they ask you about how previous experience will benefit them, tell them your strengths but don't gloat or tell them you're amazing.
Once you've got them interested, you may be asked in for an interview or just be offered dates over email. Remember to be yourself in the interview and also believe in yourself - they are interested in you for a reason it's never just a fluke.
This summer I've got a couple of work placements set up. One as a social media intern for a designer boutique called Phoenix. I've already completed a social media internship at Push PR but wanted to try a smaller company who had just started to build their online presence (plus they have some cute Chanel sunglasses...). I've also just been confirmed for two weeks at More! magazine which I'm extremely excited about as it will be my first experience at a print publication!
I hope this post has helped those of you who are struggling with work experience in the fashion industry. Like I said, I'm no expert and it's all about luck and timing.
Have you got any work experience stories to share?