The pandemic that hit the whole world during the first months of 2020 brought with it situations and consequences never experienced before. With the lockdown and closure of offices, shops, factories… everyone, including the fashion industry, had to stop or at least slow down the pace and change the usual rhythms and ways of working. Working from home, organizing events and fashion shows online, holding meetings on Zoom, and choosing fabrics through a webcam, had become the new normal. The situation improved slightly in the summer. During the September edition of fashion weeks, some shows were held in person, albeit in a limited way, and many fashion professionals returned to the office reducing therefore the hours working remotely. This was until a few days ago, about 7 months after a first lockdown, when some states including France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom announced a second one. Even if the measures are not as restrictive as the first, (offices and factories remain open and in some cities the lockdown is partial) there is no doubt that on a psychological level a second lockdown is as heavy as and perhaps even more stressful than the first one.
If with the first lockdown we were more hopeful that with the sacrifice everything would be over within a few months, a second lockdown makes one doubt how long this pandemic will last and especially when it will be possible to return to the (new) normal definitively without fearing an increase in cases with consequent block.
There are also only two months to go until the end of the year and many may think that it is better to stop for a while and postpone everything to 2021. But don’t do it, not now.
We would all like 2020 to end as soon as possible in the hope of a better new year, but these two months are just as important as all the others when it comes to the job search despite the lockdown 2.0, and the reason is mainly the following: in a very few cases fashion companies hire overnight, in fact, positions generally open months in advance. Which means that fashion jobs and internships whose starting period is January 2021, have already popped up online. In my new book Your Fashion [Dream] Plan, I talk about how important it is to plan an internship or job in advance and not leave it to the last minute applying just for the last jobs available, especially if you want to do an internship abroad and you need the time to organize and move. Obviously thinking in advance applies in this period as well when you can already plan your 2021 fashion internships/jobs. Can you imagine how would you feel if you can secure a fashion job for 2021 now and enjoy the Christmas holidays relaxed because your internship/job will be waiting for you with the new year?
If you quit or slow down right now, your chances of starting 2021 as you wish, and therefore also with a job in fashion, will diminish.
I published a list of job offers on Friday and I am happy to see that despite the various announced lockdowns, companies are continuing to open positions (precisely because this new lockdown has not closed the offices and also because online interviews have become a routine ) including some already for 2021. I know it’s not easy to keep going and that an extra effort is needed, but arm yourself with courage and great willpower and don’t give up right now.
Here’s how to secure a fashion job for 2021:
1.Keep an eye on the job offers posted online and mark the ones that interest you. I recommend doing it every Friday in order to see all the offers from the last week, work on your applications during the weekend and apply on the first days of the new week.
2.Before applying for all the ones you found, don’t rush your application but work on them by customizing your resume and cover letter: it is very important that they contain the keywords present in the job offer description and that you highlight some skills over others based on the job. Each company and position requires different skills and also what the new job entails is different, so modify your resume by adding, replacing, or ordering in a different way job descriptions and skills. The cover letter must never be the same for different companies and positions, so make sure you start over every time you write one and let your passion shine through by bringing to life what you wrote on your resume with concrete examples. Don’t summarize your resume in your cover letter and don’t just say you’re an organized person, explain how that job or college project made you develop this skill. Emphasize how your skills apply to that job and make you the perfect candidate. If you want to work as a fashion designer, a portfolio is also a must to submit together with your resume and cover letter.
3.You don’t always find the right job offers online when you want, so if you haven’t found enough offers from your search on the various sites that post jobs and internships, don’t wait for your favorite companies to open your perfect position, but cold email them. Request / propose yourself for an internship for the new year or give immediate availability if you can / want. Sending cold emails is necessary and useful especially when you want to work with freelancers such as stylists or photographers to become their assistant or when you want to write for a magazine or fashion site pitching your articles.
4.In the meantime, don’t just wait for companies to get back to your applications but keep applying for more opportunities until you get one internship/job and connect with fashion professionals via LinkedIn and Instagram. Your network is critical for your career (most jobs in fashion are assigned through word of mouth) and today it’s easy to build yours from scratch online even when you don’t have a job yet. Start building genuine connections that you can count on later when you want to ask for help finding a job in their company.
5.Knowledge is the basis of self-confidence. Even if it is true that you can work in this industry without having studied fashion, you still need to know how the world of fashion works. Fortunately, with the internet, you have everything just a click away, so watch documentaries, read books, listen to podcasts, attend online courses and you’ll become a fashion expert and acquire all the skills you need easily.
Do you want to learn unconventional strategies to stand out and get a job in fashion? Register for my free webinar here