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Fashion Internships: Tips For Standing Out

1. Don’t overdress forthe part.
Having style does not mean dressing in designer clothes, necessarily. In fact, it’s nice to highlight one or two designer pieces at most, if you have them. You want to look your best but avoid “trying too hard.” For these interviews, a business suit would be out of place. Just look comfortable, but put together. A great idea would be a casual dress with Tory Burch flats and a cardigan. It shows that you appreciate designers and their style, but you also know how to look cute with cheaper fashion options. Most interns I worked with wore Forever 21 or H&M outfits. It’s more important to accessorize and buy classy basics than splurging on designer outfits for interviews. 

2. Remember to keep following up about the internship with your contact.
Fashion editors have EXTREMELY busy schedules. It does not mean that you didn’t get an internship if you don’t hear back from them immediately after your interview. In fact, you should probably e-mail them 2 or 3 days later saying how great it was to meet them and mention the internship possibility again. You need to remind them who you are because they deal with thousands of applicants! However, don’t be too pushy. One or two e-mails following up on where they are in the selection process is the most you should do.

3.  Avoid cliché answers.
Originality is key when trying to land an internship. They do expect somewhat of the same answers to generic questions. For example, most people will say they are hard working and dedicated as words to describe themselves. Similarly, it is common to hear girls say that they will bring a unique perspective to the magazine. While it is not necessary to think of an answer that’s never been heard before, think of characteristics or experience that would make you stand out. Another popular interview question you might hear: Who is your favorite designer or style icon? Please do not answer Chanel and Audrey Hepburn. Though these may be great answers, they have been overused and don’t show any originality. They are looking for answers that show you know depth within fashion and have an individualistic style. Personally, I answered that Joie or Rebecca Taylor were my favorite designers because their girlie pieces epitomize my personality. I love the ethereal style behind Joie’s pieces and the floral prints Rebecca Taylor uses.

4. Be very available. Avoid talking about conflicts in your schedule from the start.
Remember that you are fighting for an internship with them; they are not fighting for you to be their intern. In that respect, it’s important to show the editor how dedicated you are to an internship and have cleared your schedule accordingly. They might not need you to work every day of the week, but avoid implying you have other priorities. If they think your schedule seems too complicated to be a reliable intern, they will just find someone else with more availability.   

5. The format of your resume and cover letter is important.
Cover letters are not optional for the popular fashion magazines. More importantly, your format must be professional. Go to your college’s career advisors to proofread your resume before sending anything. Editors will delete emails with resumes and cover letters that look unprofessional or have spelling errors. This is not the place to act like “Elle Woods” and send your resume on pink paper. Also, they like resumes to be 1-1½ pages long at most. Though you may have tons of job experience, only include the experience relevant to the internship you’re seeking. For fashion, that could include retail experience as well as jobs at other magazines. They do not want to see that you were a bartender once. Keep your resume structured and simple! A cover letter should only have a few paragraphs explaining what you want to tell them about yourself and briefly summarizing what you did in your past jobs or internships.

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