By Megan Leone
Finding a job in the fashion industry may seem tough as it is, but throwing in young age on top of it makes the task even more difficult. Gaining experience in the industry is a struggle, as many opportunities are presented with the requirement of several years of practice already. How can a 20-year-old break into fashion, when so few entry-level jobs exist?
Without networking, starting a career in the fashion industry feels impossible. Knowing the right people, and making constant connections is honestly the easiest way to land an interview. Instructors, friends, roommates, classmates, and even stylish people on the street are the key to learning new skills and creating strong references that bump the odds of interviewing even higher. Having a good recommendation from somebody is almost as important as experience in the industry. However, networking can be difficult for many people, and figuring out how to reach out to someone can be tough. Taking local fashion classes is a great way to be introduced to like-minded people, while also improving skills. Meeting people in a sewing class or merchandising class is an easy way to connect with others. Volunteering for a fashion related company is a fantastic way to meet new people in the industry, while doing good in the community. People of many interests and backgrounds attend volunteer events, making it easy to expand a personal network.
During the interview process, respectfully flaunting skills is essential. Many employers feel hesitant to hire young people; it is often assumed that younger employees are unfamiliar with work practices, and lack of industry know-how. A company needs to know that the interviewee is capable of handling whatever tasks are thrown at them, and that they’ll be great to work with. That being said, a few gaps in the resume is not the end of the world. Showing an excitement to work, and a willingness to learn can often mean just as much as to a company as an existing skill.
Breaking into the fashion industry at a young age can be extremely intimidating, but with the right attitude and a lot of persistence, starting a career in fashion is absolutely within reach.