Getting a fashion internship is an important step in your design career, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Fashion is a notoriously competitive industry and every internship opportunity received hundreds of resumes from qualified applicants.
Follow these tips to make the search for a fashion design internship just a little bit easier.
Search in the right places
The first step in finding a fashion internship is knowing where to look. If you know of a designer or brand that you want to work with you can start by looking directly at their site for any internship postings. If you don’t know where you want to intern try looking at Free Fashion Internships, Intern Queen, Fashionista, Internships.com, or Indeed. All of these sites are either exclusively dedicated to fashion internships or allow you to easily search or filter by industry.
Look for opportunities with smaller designers
Don’t completely discredit yourself by not applying to any of the larger fashion houses, but in a super competitive industry like fashion it can pay to target some of the lesser known designers or brands. You’ll not only face a less competitive hiring process, but if you end up getting the internship there will likely be less interns and you’ll get to take on more responsibility. This added responsibility means that you will learn more and have a better shot at getting a great recommendation for your next role. Or, if you’re really lucky, a full-time job with the company you’re interning for.
Tailor your resume and cover letter to the position
When you’re applying for a lot of internships it can be tempting to just copy and paste your resume and cover letter into every application. While this could potentially be a time saver, it won’t do much to get you noticed by hiring managers. Instead you should research the company and the role before preparing your application. Make sure your resume notes where you have the experience they are looking for and use your knowledge of their brand by showing what you can offer them in your cover letter.
Update your social media
Making your social media internship-hunt ready isn’t just about making sure all the pictures of your sloppy Saturday nights are private. Social media, especially for people in a creative industry, is a great way to showcase your personal brand. Think of your social media as an extension of your portfolio and update it accordingly.
Dress like the brand
Trying to figure out what to wear to a job interview is never fun, but it can seem even more daunting when interviewing for a fashion internship. One tip that never goes out of style is to dress in the style of the brand. This will let them know you have done your research and understand their style!
Ask questions at the end of the interview
Almost every interview will end with the interviewer asking if you have any questions for them. Don’t throw out a polite no thinking you look better if you know everything. Have a few questions prepared and show that you are interested in finding the right fit. Stay away from asking about pay or schedule and ask thoughtful questions about the responsibilities and expectations of the internship.
Send a thank you
The simple gesture of sending a quick thank you email to the people who interviewed you can go a long way in showing that you are professional and responsible. It’s also a great chance to reiterate why you are the perfect candidate for the internship and throw out some of the information you learned in the interview.