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The fashion world is exciting because it's ever-changing and allows for a great deal of self-expression. However, it's also extremely competitive. A good resume is critical to landing an internship that can get your foot in the door. Form your fashion resume so it shows both your professionalism and enthusiasm for this dynamic industry simultaneously.
Place your full name and contact information, including your email address, at the top of your resume. Skip at least two lines before writing your objective. Although you should generally stick to plain white, 20-pound paper for any resume, because fashion is supposed to be alive with color and creativity, a colored or designed thin line across the page is an acceptable way to separate your contact information from the rest of the resume contents.
Write your objective. The objective should be specific and paint a picture of what you want to do in the fashion industry. Don't simply say your objective is to learn from experienced designers. Say, for example, that your objective is to observe experienced designers in the areas of marketing, photography and styling, to become more proficient and independent in those areas and eventually creating your own fashion line.
Skip two lines and type "PROFILE SUMMARY:" Write two to three statements that describe you and your interest in fashion. As an example: "Detail-oriented aspiring runway director with expertise in teen avant garde styles. Interested in dramatic marketing and presentation. Fluent in English and Spanish with proven track record of excellent communication."
Skip two more lines and type "QUALIFICATIONS:" Using bullet points, highlight your abilities, knowledge and skills. For example, the ability to develop strategies, completion of a specific fashion course or certification program, and knowledge of fashion trends for teens in the 13-to-16 age group all are qualifications. Don't confuse qualifications with experience -- experience can help a person gain qualifications, but experience deals more with what you did and where.
Skip two lines again and type "EXPERIENCE:" List at least three employers or agencies with whom you were affiliated, your work title with each organization, when you worked and your specific achievements and duties. The most recent agencies for whom you've worked are ideal if you can spin your work toward fashion. If you cannot, select employers that were more fashion-oriented, still listing the most recent one first. Volunteering counts but has to show fashion-related duties, for example, if you made the costumes for your local non-profit theater.
Double return and write "PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS:" List any fashion studies you did or articles you've published. Note the title, website or print publication where the work appeared and the publication date. Not everyone who wants an internship in fashion can include this section, but if you can, it's an advantage. Another "maybe" category is "PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:"
Double return and write "References available on request." If the employer asks to see your references, don't list anyone as a reference unless you've received permission to do so. Fashion professors or other professionals in the industry are the best references, as they know the industry and can testify you have what it takes to succeed in the field.
Keep your resume to a single page. If you have trouble doing this, limit your experience descriptions to the most significant accomplishments or duties.
Avoid listing hobbies and interests on your resume. These don't usually relate to your objective, and even if they do, they typically are already evident in your objective, professional profile, qualifications and experience. If the employer really wants to know what you like outside of fashion, the interviewer will inquire.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.