Getting over the pandemic: Find your fashion job in 2021

There’s a glimmer of hope that the world will go back to some form of normality in 2021 with the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. Hugging family, socialising with friends and walking into an office to work with colleagues as we used to.

The pandemic gave many of us a chance to re-think and re-evaluate our situations. Perhaps this is what led you to read our article: Find a fashion job in 2021? You may be wondering if it’s possible to consider a new job, a career move or a shift in industries – even in unprecedented times. While the fashion world was one of the hardest hit in 2020, losing approximately £80 billion in revenue with 240,000 job losses, there is good news. The industry is still very much moving and new career opportunities are arising.

Restrictions during the pandemic sparked bosses in fashion to change traditional protocols and processes. This notion led to the emergence of new roles in the industry and the future of fashion jobs taking a different course. Take Louis Vuitton for example. The status quo would see the luxury brand holding fashion shows in the likes of New York and Milan. Yet, Vuitton’s executives bravely walked away from conventional activities last year showcasing collections in Shanghai and Tokyo instead. China was the only country to show economic recovery and luxury shoppers there were spending. The shows were streamed online and attracted 100 million viewers. Louis Vuitton in the past has not required in-house talent to stream content to exceptionally large audiences. But, as virtual fashion shows make sense for corporate social responsibility and saves on overheads, digital and videography professionals will no doubt be in the recruitment plan for many brands in 2021.

Other fashion jobs expected to be sought-after in the near future include:

  • CGI Artists
  • Digital Transformation jobs
  • 3D Design and 3D Pattern Makers
  • Social Media Experts
  • Virtual Showroom Designers
  • Corporate Responsibility Experts

If you are considering a new role this year, don’t dismiss it. The competition will be fierce but if you immerse yourself in industry changes, understand expectations might need to shift and are prepared to learn new skills, you can find the right job for you. Our article shares expert tips to guide you on how to find a fashion job – post a pandemic. Good luck!

Tips to find a fashion job in 2021

1. Set your goals

Set your goals might sound simple, but have you really sat down and thought in-depth about what it is you want from your career? Candidates that have a clear vision about what they want always stand out – and are more likely to get the job.

Questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Where do you want to be in one, three and five years’ time?
  • What brands do you want to work for? Luxury? Fast-fashion? Sustainable?
  • What skills do you have and what skills do you want to gain?
  • What are your monetary goals?
  • How does your career ambitions fit with your personal goals? Do you want a work/life balance? Do you want travel with work?

Your goals might include a step up the senior-role ladder, a career shift or a completely new role altogether. Whatever you’re striving for, create a plan with steps to achieve it. A clear path is a much easier path to follow.

2. Study the fashion industry

If you work in fashion already you might be tempted to skip this part. Before you do, ask yourself if you really know everything about the industry? Competition is fierce. For every role up for grabs there will be another thousand applying. Because of this, the only way you’re going to stand head and shoulders above the rest is if you have exceptional knowledge.

Tips for studying the industry include:

  • Research brands you want to work for. What is their history? What are they doing now? How are they operating? Who is the CEO? What are their employees like? Learn about past and present collections.
  • Review, analyse and compare competitors. Where does each brand sit within the market? What are brands doing the same? What are they doing differently? What are future plans? How could they improve their offering?
  • Understand industry operations. The industry has changed dramatically in the past 12 months. There’s still a lot of uncertainty but there are a lot of valid future predictions too. Study these, and develop your own ideas too. What vision do you foresee for the industry and why? How can you support that vision?

3. Work on your own personal branding

How you represent yourself to potential employers is crucial. Whether you want a career in luxury or fast-fashion your own personal brand needs to represent this. Recruiters, Head-hunters and Talent Acquisition experts will search online for information about candidates before considering CVs and interviews. Are you confident your online and offline profile represents the kind of brands you want to work for?

Take the below steps to find out if you need to improve your own personal branding before embarking on finding your fashion job:

  • Google yourself. Online information to potential employers is everything. Put your name into Google to see what comes up and review the results employers will have access to.

- Is the information professional?
- Does your online profile reflect the kind of role you want?
- What can you do to improve the results?

  • CV. Your CV is your professional business card. The information shared must be detailed, articulate your skills and show off your best attributes. It can be tempting to only tweak old CVs, however this is your only chance to landing an interview so spend time scrutinising your document to make sure it leaves a lasting impression. Need help? Look at our fashion job CV tips for more support.
  • Portfolio. We have seen many portfolios in our time. The most common error we see is that work doesn’t reflect the role the candidate is after. You need to have a Personal Portfolio as well as a Specific Portfolio and be prepared to alter these as you go for different roles. Check out our Fashion Designer portfolio for job article to make sure yours lives up to employer expectations.
  • Local business networks. Every town will have at least one or two business networking groups. They may not be filled with fashion enthusiasts but you will find an abundance of experts in a variety of fields. Getting to know people from other sectors and industries is a great way to expand your knowledge and you never know who their connected with – the CEO of Prada could be their neighbour!
  • LinkedIn Groups. The professional platform is known for its social groups. These are closed groups where people involved all have something in common – whether that’s job title, location or interest. Find the right groups to follow and make sure you’re active within them. Read every post carefully, comment on them and (if allowed) share your own. In time you’ll see familiar names and can start making meaningful connections with them.
  • Get into blogging. Don’t worry you don’t have to suddenly launch a fashion blog. However, if you can then of course that would be something special! You can be a fashion blogger fan by simply subscribing to a few favourite blogs and keeping up to date with the stories and articles they’re sharing. Comment on the blogs and follow bloggers and their fans on social media. In time, you’ll build up online relationships with like-minded people and start forming some valid connections.

4. Improve and increase your LinkedIn presence

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for recruiters and employers. If your LinkedIn profile isn’t suitable your chance at being considered for a role will stop there. Invest time in perfecting your heading, about section and experience to make sure your personal branding, skills and ambitions are captured.

LinkedIn is also an effective platform for making connections and raising your profile. All of these elements help head-hunters and employers find you. Research people from a variety of brands that could improve your network. If you’re a fashion designer seek out other designers to connect with. Look for recruiters who specialise in the roles you’re looking for. And strike up conversations with trend influencers talking about the future of the industry.

The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more people will see your posts. Aim to share information at least three times a week. Whether that’s showcasing your work, sharing interesting fashion insights or bringing innovative collections to peoples’ attention. However, remember to not treat the platform like Facebook or Instagram where oversharing is encouraged. Remain professional at all times.

5. Find ways to upskill

Stay at the top of your game by making a continual effort to increase your knowledge. The fashion industry changes all the time, and when it does, it changes fast. Keep up with the ever-changing landscape by asking yourself how you can better your offering. Do you need to improve your social media expertise ? Do you understand the digital landscape and how to attract customers? How can you bring corporate social responsibility to your role? Decide what skills would make you a better candidate and go out and get them.

There are many ways you can upskill. E-learning is popular as everything is online, but do check out your local college and university for short-courses too. If you have the time and money a Degree or Masters will reap huge results in the long run. Upskilling however doesn’t have to mean taking part in a course and getting a qualification. You could ask an expert for their time to explain processes or get a friend to teach you in areas they excel in. The aim is to learn something new to expand your knowledge and make you a valuable contender when you eventually find a fashion job you want to go for.

6. Expand your network

Never underestimate the power of networking. The more connections you have the more opportunities it will bring. There are plenty of networking options in the fashion industry, you just need to know where to find them. Explore places such as:

7. Be persistent

If you already work in the fashion industry then you’ll know how persistence pays off. There is no giving up. Stay confident in your vision and believe you will achieve it, no matter how long it takes. Have your eye on the prize and be relentless in your activities to reach your goal. Invest a lot of your time online searching for job roles, expanding your knowledge, growing your connections and raising your profile. The more time you spend researching and taking action, the more likely you are to succeed. Step back every now and then and analyse your performance too. Are your emails too pushy? Do your social media posts really reflect the candidate you are? Can you find new ways to network? Continually strive to be the best that you can and your hard work will pay off.

8. Find other ways to apply for a fashion job

Most fashion jobs won’t find their way to being published online. Why? Because employers recruit internally or head-hunters put forward quality candidates to fill the roles. Don’t wait for the job you want to come up, go looking for it instead. Find the company you want to work for and contact the right person directly. Use LinkedIn to find in-house Talent Acquisition or HR employer details, but if this fails contact department directors. Emails can get lost in busy inboxes, so if you can, speak to people on the phone.

When you do get the opportunity to apply for a job there is no room for error. You only get one chance, so make it a good one. Apply quickly too. You want your CV to land in the recruiter’s inbox first. Don’t waste time, be smart and be professional.

9. Find a good fashion recruitment agency

Good fashion recruitment agencies are invaluable when it comes to finding your ideal role. Recruiters and Head-hunters will be very aware of the opportunities across the industry. They will also do everything they can to find the right job for a quality candidate. Be wary though, some recruiters might not be right for you. Make sure the recruiter you’re with is a specialist in the career you want. If not, find the recruiter who is. This is so important to ensure you’re not wasting your time.

Head-hunters are great for seeking out exclusive roles. Work closely with them, tell them what you want and keep in touch with them at all times. Don’t fall into the trap many candidates do and share your CV everywhere. Quality over quantity really matters when looking for senior, executive and CEO jobs.

10. Rehearse for interviews

Polishing off interview techniques and nerves takes some getting used to. Which is why preparation is key to leaving a lasting impression. Review your pre-interview processes to make sure you don’t leave a stone unturned. Your CV should be perfected, your portfolio refined and your questions and answers must be honed to reflect the role you want. Practise a dummy-run interview looking at yourself in the mirror. Speak out loud and review your posture and mannerisms. You might feel silly, but going through the interview process time and time again will prepare you immensely for the real thing. Here are some more fashion job interview tips from our experts.

11. Take risks and don’t give up.

Finally, don’t be afraid to learn by your mistakes. It’s rare that landing a dream role will be a smooth journey. Reviewing and improving errors is how we better ourselves. Take risks and go outside your comfort zone. You might surprise yourself by being successful, or you might learn an invaluable lesson. Whatever happens, don’t give up. The fashion industry is tough and competitive, but it’s also exciting to be part of. Believe in your skills, be open to different directions and always look to improve.

All the best in your search to find a fashion job in 2021!

Looking for your next fashion job? Use our expertise as a top fashion recruitment agency to find your next role beyond your expectations.


By Federica Pantanella
26 January 2021 09:00

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