Our first INTOFashion masterclass of 2016 was hosted by FAD Trustee and talent specialist Carole Robb.
Carole has over 30 years experience in the fashion Industry. Before becoming a design agent for Vohs & Co Recruitment, she was Design Director at Monsoon, Head of Womenswear at Boden and also acted as a senior consultant for Mothercare, Cath Kidson and East.
Carole’s Top CV and Covering Letter Tips
Your CV should be no more than 2 pages long. Get a ruthless friend to edit it if you’re finding it hard to cut it down.
Keep your CV format simple and well thought out. Quirky embellishments, humor and irony have no place here and make you stand out for the wrong reasons.
Send your CV as a word doc or PDF. Other formats can cause problems, which means your CV may go unread.
Your covering letter should be a paragraph long at most. This paragraph should contain relevant information only and be tailored to the role you’re applying for.
If your CV is on Draper’s Record, or another website, go online and make a minute change to the punctuation or wording. The website then recognizes it as a new CV and it goes to the top of the list.
It’s essential you have a Linked In profile. This is how many agencies and brands recruit. Be sure to include key words in your profile so it will turn up in searches e.g. Creative Knitwear Designer.
Carole’s Top Portfolio Tips
After graduation do not neglect your portfolio. Set yourself new projects to keep it fresh.
Look for gaps in your portfolio and address them. Do you need more evidence of your CAD work? Do you need more casual designs?
Your first 6 pages should have the ‘wow factor.’ They should hold employers interest and showcase your best work to date.
A portfolio should be A4. It’s east to print and portable.
Include swatches, samples and hand sketches. A completely flat computer generated portfolio is boring. Make sure yours stands out for the right reasons!
Don’t limit yourself to London consider other cities like Manchester where there’s fashion industry jobs and the cost of living is cheaper. In ten years time I think it will be UK’s 2nd fashion capital.
Design is a tiny part of the industry; in fact it’s one of the smallest areas and most poorly paid. If you’re going to be a designer make sure you’re doing it for the love!