Last week, we received one of the best emails ever from a Fashionista reader eager to get his foot in the industry's door:
TO: Fashionista FROM: G. SUBJECT: I need some resume tips!
My name is G. and I live in California. I'm about to apply for a summer internship with BIG TIME MODELING AGENCY in San Francisco but I'm not quite sure what to put on my resume. I've never worked with an agency before but have always found it very interesting. I don't want to be a model, date a model, or party with models. I just want some great experience that could lead to an interesting career. I'm 20 years old. I like psychedelic death metal, riding my bike, french new wave, and Lara Stone. My favorite agency is COOL MODELING AGENCY in NYC but don't tell THE OTHER ONE that. I admire Hedi Slimane, Olivier Zahm, and Larry Clark. Should I put all of this on my resume? Should I make a play list of my favorite bands? Or should I list my one time job at Starbucks when I was 16? I think that might show I can make excellent coffee runs??
What do you girls think? Thanks so much!
G., thanks for the awesome email. Three industry experts with a ton of hiring experience have answered your questions. Here's what they had to say:
Robyn Berkley, Partner, People's Revolution: "Don't spell anything wrong, and don't put pictures on your resume. The cover letter should be strong and direct--and it should sell yourself in a way that would translate to our environment. List your positive attributes and what you would bring to the job. As for the resume, be concise. (One page or less is enough.) And make sure to include references and past job/internship experience."
Jeffrey Monteiro, Designer, Bill Blass and Jeffrey Monteiro Labels "I get so many resumes--for Bill Blass and and my own line--so I'm looking for someone who shows enthusiasm, and not just for fashion. Resumes that are directed to the needs and philosophy of the company, that convey what appeals to the applicant about us, catch my eye. It's much more effective to send a very specific resume to five companies you really want to work for than 15 that you don't really care about.
Spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes really get to me. Everyone's gotten very lazy because of spell check. If you spell a place you've worked wrong or my name wrong, that's bad."
Christene Barberich, Editorial Director, Refinery29 "Sometimes, graduates trying to break into the industry follow rigid guidelines. For me, formal, formulaic cover letters are the ones that I put to the side. It should give me an essence--a little wink--of the applicant's personality. If I can tell that they have the confidence to express themselves, I'll always take the time to read through it and respond.
And I'm super old school about spelling. I have an unusually spelled first name. If someone doesn't spell my name correctly in an email, I'll just delete it. If they really cared about connecting with me, they would spell my name correctly. There needs to be a sense of professionalism.
If you really care--if your dream is to work at a certain place--take the time to get to know their content, employees, etc. I remember when I was first applying for editorial positions, I would read several issues of the magazine closely. That way, I could make references to specific things I liked about it."