Just a few years ago, I was in your shoes. I had just graduated college with a BA in fashion and was ready to conquer the world. With several internships under my belt, and a freshly edited resume in hand, I was sure I'd be able to land my dream job no problem, right? Wrong. To my surprise, landing my "dream job" wasn't as easy as I'd hoped and well, dreamed it would be. What came the following months after graduating were a lot of sleepless nights, anxiety filled interviews, and NUMEROUS emails which WREAKED of desperation. But what I didn't know then that I do know now, is that you can't control everything, and what's meant to be will be. So as you face your first few months of real adulthood, and unemployment, try your best to relax and not freak out like I did.
Right after graduation
I made it a point to reach out to all of my past bosses. It's super important to pop into their inbox and put yourself at the top of their minds. Just say something to the affect of;
Dear (insert your bosses name here),
I hope you are doing well!
How is everything at (insert company name here)? I just wanted to reach out because I recently graduated and am avidly searching for job openings in the industry. Should you hear of anything I would really appreciate you keeping me in mind.
Thank you again for all you have done for me.
(Insert your name here)
Don't be too pushy, rather make it about them, asking how they have been. Slip in at the end that if they hear of anything you'd really appreciate them keeping you in mind. Being referred to a job by a past boss is honestly the best way to go. If they can personally connect you with someone, the likelihood of you getting the job is higher than if you just coldly apply.
It’s going to take time
For me, and you probably feel the same way, I found it frustrating, that unlike other industries, landing a job in the fashion industry before you graduate is super rare/almost impossible. Unlike finance, where people sign job offers a year in advance, you most likely won't receive your job until after you've graduated and are here in NYC!
But, first things first
If you haven't done so already make sure your resume is perfect. Whether you have a friend, older sister or mentor you trust. Ask them if they wouldn't mind looking over your resume and editing it for you. It's super important to have a second set of eyes, someone who will be brutally honest. If you don't have someone to help you, we're here to help!
For me, I made it a point each and everyday to check sites like Ed2010.com and Fashionista.com as they update their sites daily with job openings and provide direct contacts for the jobs. This is so important because often when you're filling out an application online your resume is going into a black whole. I somewhat equate this to Alice jumping down a rabbit whole, not sure where she’s going. If you can find a direct contact, at least you then know your resume is going directly into someone’s inbox.
And in the meantime....
Focus on Yourself
At the end of the day, focus on yourself. Whether you run a blog on the side, or have an interest in photography, put all of your free time (while you're not job searching, of course) honing in on and perfecting these skills. Who knows, you might end up turning your side project into a full-blown career.
Need some extra advice, don’t forget to order your copy of “Making it in Manhattan” the Beginner’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the World of Fashion” here!
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