Miranda Priestly, the notoriously privileged fashion director in the movie "The Devil Wears Prada," admitted to hiring only the "stylish, slender girls" to become her assistants, but if you want a job as a fashion assistant, your cover letter needs to say more than your height and what's in your closet. A cover letter for these coveted and seemingly glamorous positions must stand out among the rest of the competition with verifiable facts about your experience or a compelling argument for hiring someone without experience in the world of fashion.
Your first paragraph must capture the reader's attention, and if you're already in the industry, here is where you need to mention that. For example, if you're currently a fashion assistant for "Vogue" magazine's fashion editor, drop that name in the first paragraph of your letter. But always follow up with a statement that answers the question, "Why does she want to leave?" with "I'm ready to embark on a faster rise to the top in my field because I've devoted five years to a worldwide publication and it seems that opportunities for advancement are more likely to happen while working for a smaller publication."
Credentials and Connections
If you have formal training in the industry, begin your second paragraph with a brief description, but keep it short because much of the work of a fashion assistant isn't textbook style or theoretical. It's hard work, commitment, quick thinking and often knowing the right people that helps you land these kinds of jobs. Drop your contact's name -- if you have one -- in the early portion of your letter to garner the reader's interest. Naturally, if you have specialty knowledge of fabrics, have interned at other magazines or orchestrated runway appearances, then by all means include that in the description of your credentials.
Use your third paragraph to describe your core competencies, such as your verbal and written communication, negotiation and conflict resolution skills. Attention to details, time management and organizational skills also are highly valued in this field because you may be called upon to do the impossible. Interacting with stylists, photographers, collecting accessories and scheduling photo shoots takes more than a suitable app -- you must have an innate sense of style, fashion and creativity to pull off some of the job responsibilities of a fashion assistant.
In your fourth paragraph, talk about your work ethic, but don't wax poetic about your philosophical views related to the publishing and fashion networks. Be straightforward about your willingness to work long, hard hours and do whatever it takes to accomplish your duties. Explain your abilities to work with others and give at least one concrete example of your creative problem-solving or negotiation skills that might apply to the publishing or fashion industry.
In your final paragraph, and keep all of your paragraphs short so the letter isn't more than a page long, restate your interest in the job and provide your contact information. Even if you use letterhead that contains your information, provide it at the bottom of your letter as well. If you intend to follow up in the next few days, give the reader a heads up about your call or when you're available for a telephone interview or one-on-one interview.