The fashion job and internship search can be overwhelming, especially when you feel like you don’t have what it takes to formulate a killer résumé. But sometimes, we’re actually more qualified than we think we are. As busy college students, we often forget that the skills we acquire in our classes all semester long are worth an honorable mention, too. You’re constantly learning and growing, so it’s only fair that your best abilities are being reflected on that 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. But between those impressive public speaking skills you’ve worked on in speech class and those grammatical superpowers, it’s still important to be selective with what you decide to put in that limited amount of space. And since highlighting a well-rounded history of experience isn’t always as easy as it seems, I’ve come up with a list to help you out if you’re a little stuck. Keep reading for tips on how to stand out and score your next interview with your boss-to-be. With the right preparation, you’ll be on that morning commute to your dream workplace in no time.
- Written and verbal communication: This is an essential skill to any team. And along with having people skills, presenting an ability to write well can be just as important in showing that you know how to get the right message across with people of all levels in the company. Instead of making another bullet point in your skills section, show this one through your résumé as a whole by proofreading until it’s clear of any spelling or grammatical errors. Even the simplest mistakes like using the wrong form of “their” can knock you down a few points, so check and then check again!
- Presenting: Whether it’s for a speech class or a final project, we get tons of opportunities to hone in on our presentation expertise. Reminding your employer of this valuable asset can also support the fact that you have good people skills. Résumé-wise, this can include anything from participating in a competition for the National Retail Association or pitching stories to editors you’ve had, so show your expertise by adding experiences that have required you to go above and beyond in this area.
- Relationship management: Include any accomplishments you have that involved creating strong relationships with others. From recruiting a group of people to join a club or raising money for a fundraiser, write down anything that shows you’re a trustworthy candidate and you can network with others. Showing that you’ve been able to make contacts and build connections in previous positions proves that you’ll be a great addition to their team.
- Collaboration: Group projects aren’t easy, so now’s the time to acknowledge all the times you’ve stuck it through to make it work. The reality is that your future job probably won’t involve working alone, and being able to collaborate effectively with other people is a valuable strength in any career. Instead of simply stating a cold description of your job experience, mentioning that a retail position has taught you how to work well in a team can be a lot more beneficial.
- Researching: That 10-page paper didn’t write itself, and there’s no doubt that all those hours looking for sources has helped you refine your researching skills. Whether it’s knowing the latest trends or defining brand identities, your future employer will want someone who is resourceful and capable of finding useful information.
- Time management: Employers know that we have a lot on our plates as students, so you’ll need to show them that between all your classes and extracurriculars, you have what it takes to handle all the responsibilities that come with this position on top of your school work. Include school clubs and organizations on your résumé to show you’re a multi-hyphenate who can get the job done.
- Leadership: Mentioning experiences in school clubs or organizations where you were appointed a leadership position shows that you are assertive, but that you are also a trustworthy, responsible, and credible candidate. Write about any times where you got promoted to managing the newspaper team because of this assertiveness or maybe even co-lead the creation of a new project at school.
- Programs: Basic editing skills in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator are impressive assets to be able to have in most careers, so list what you’ve got (and prove to them how multi-talented you are). Don’t forget to include any relevant programs you’ve learned in your classes as well.
- Content management systems: Platforms such as Squarespace and WordPress are valuable tools that you’ve probably worked with while writing for your school newspaper or starting a blog for your class, so write them down if you do. These programs are essential for typing into your résumé since the chances of one or the other being implemented in your future internship are very high.
- Data collection and analysis: Whether it’s taking a stats class, collecting data for a fashion marketing class, or keeping track of finances for your school club, any experience that shows you know how to keep tabs on important info is super useful.
Are there any other skills I didn’t mention that you have listed in your fashion résumé? Let us know in the comments below!
Opening image by Cat Aucker.