I graduated from the Fashion Marketing program at LaSalle College in 2005 and I still remember the knots in my stomach, when the time came to look for a job…

I wish back then, I had worked with a Recruiter who would provide me with some guidance as to where to begin and how to get myself in front of the best companies. Hence, why I’m writing this – for you graduates ! I hope these tips can help you find your home after graduation.

*These tips may also assist those struggling to find work in the fashion field.

Where do you begin ? You should have begun networking during your studies and if you didn’t, get to it now. Go to events, job fairs and grow your online network (LinkedIn). If you have landed an internship – GREAT – if you haven’t, don’t stress. An opportunity will come up, but keep your eyes and ears open !

Job search process

– Indeed and LinkedIn are the sites most used, by companies scouting talent. Make sure to have a complete profile on both sites; having a profile picture, is always a good idea.
– Apply spontaneously to companies via their website. I remember getting the most calls this way, when I was a new graduate with no experience.
– Send a brief note to a member of the talent acquisition team of a company you would like to work for, via LinkedIn and ask for an exploratory meeting.
– Headhunters : Be selective, don`t work with every recruiter on the block especially not one whom you get a bad vibe from. Make sure this person is credible, took the time to meet you (in-person) and understands who you are and what you want.
– Is using a Headhunter after graduation, your best choice ? NO ! Companies will not pay us the fee we charge for new graduates. Your chances of getting an interview or job on your own, after graduation are higher by applying on your own.

It`s all in your presentation- points to reflect on

– What do your social media pages say about you ?
– Is your CV reflective of who you are and showcasing your experience properly ? Free of mistakes and typos ?
– Know the company and sell yourself, show proper interview etiquette.

Be flexible ! (title, job, company)

– When coming out of school, realize that you will not immediately begin your career with your dream job. You may need to start at the bottom and grow – this is a great learning experience.
– Your first few jobs out of school, will help you determine what you like doing, what kind of organization you want to be part of and more !
– Keep in consideration the market you are looking in. Opportunities in fashion capitals, like New York or Milan differ from those in Montreal. Montreal is home of Quebec-based retailers and distributors.
– Don`t pay attention to titles ! What is most important is that the role reflects your experience and strength. Some candidates refuse a role because of a difference like Junior or Assistant. What you are doing is most important – not what you are called.
– Sometimes we meet candidates with little experience asking for salaries that don’t match their experience, are over the standard, or want roles they are unqualified for, demanding 3 weeks’ vacation off the bat ! PLEASE be realistic and realize that you need to begin somewhere.
– My first job was low paying and the commute was crazy long– but it gave me the BEST experience !

Do the proper Research and be selective when sending in your application

– At times, we get a single candidate applying for 5-8 different postings with our firm. At that time, we question what this person wants to do.
– A candidate will tell us that they are flexible and are open to doing various things, but this isn`t always a good sign for the client. You may come across as desperate to the employer.
– Do you know anything about the company you`ve applied to ? If called without any notice, would you be prepared and knowledgeable of who this company is ?
– It’s happened where I`ve called a candidate who applied to a job and she had no idea or recollection that she had applied. This does not give a good impression. Keep track of where you are applying and the date you submitted your application.

Know what you want !

– What do I really want to do, that I am fully qualified for ?
– Where would I commute to daily ?
– Salary: what is the amount of money I need to survive vs. what I want and feel I merit ?
– Are there other things that are important to me, that can compensate for salary ? Clothing allowance, vacation, great company culture, benefits, parking, flex hours ?

The right job for YOU is at your fingertips – if you do your research, acknowledge your capabilities, the market and sell yourself to the company you wish to be part of.

If you require any assistance, contact me at 514-844-5111 ext 111 or via email, at nsignore@prestigerecruitment.ca.

All the best !