Fashion merchandising is an interesting career to have. It combines brand management with style forecasting. Within the fashion merchandising field there are various career opportunities. These include roles such as managers, visual merchandisers, merchandise directors, and buyers.
Part of fashion merchandising includes being able to interact well with designers and manufacturers. So a background in business can be beneficial.
Apply for a place at university for a fashion based degree. Whilst a degree is not essential for all employers, many industry professionals prefer degree educated individuals to work for them. Having a fashion-related degree will not only increase your job options, but also your success. A fashion merchandising degree or study program will take between two and three years to complete, depending on your chosen level of study.
Gain experience in the fashion industry. All career roles require experience, so use your free time whilst you are studying to build up an impressive portfolio.
Start by getting a job in a shop, whether this is boutique or a large shop in your local mall, ensure you get as much out of the experience as possible. Perfect your skills in retail mathematics, sales and customer service.
To help build your experience even more, apply for a fashion-based internship, preferably in fashion merchandising. If you struggle to find an internship opportunity on your own, speak to your university careers office as they may be able to help.
Enjoy your time as an intern, take notes and learn as much as you possibly can. If possible, let your boss know that you would love to work at the company full-time once you complete your internship.
Spend some time developing your portfolio. Fashion merchandising is a majorly competitive industry. Create both a hard copy of your portfolio and a digital copy that showcases your technological skills and talents and computer-aided designs. Include ections with reports, merchandising plan examples and merchandising display examples.
You can gain some helpful advice from online resources, such as from sites like withmydegree. Use various online sites to build up you knowledge and ideas about what a good portfolio consists of.
If the company that you intern for is unable to offer a full time role, start looking at online listings and in the newspaper. Speak to friends and lecturers from university to see if they can suggest any companies that may be looking to fill a fashion graduate role.
Take careful notes about what most fashion merchandising roles are looking for and requesting from candidates. Ensure that your resume boasts all the key skills that are required. If you do not already have one of the skills or are unconfident with a certain required area, make time to learn to do this properly.
As well as your commercial resume, create a resume that contains all of your important pieces of university work. This is a great way of showcasing all the skills that you learnt whilst studying, as well as showing off your achievements from your internship or other experience.
Carry your portfolio around with you as much as possible. Speak to anyone and everyone about who you are and what you are looking for. Use your portfolio to showcase your skills and talent.
Begin applying to merchandising jobs. Use the internet as a key resource for this. Book an appointment with one of your university’s career advisers and ask for their help and advice for searching for graduate level jobs. If your internship placement can’t offer you a job, ask if they can recommend any similar companies to apply to.