Q. I have a question and I am keeping my fingers crossed that you can enlighten me. I am a recent graduate with a degree in fashion design. I have bought all of the resume books and cover letter books but still can’t find anything with enough flair for the fashion industry.
I have the resume part down, but how does one ask for an internship in the fashion magazine industry? What should I say in my cover letter, and further still, what should I not say? I hope you can help. Any advice would be appreciated.
A. I would hope you wouldn’t find a copy of “you” in a book. Instead of copying a letter already written, pull bits that help illustrate your excitement and creativity. More importantly, define for yourself exactly what kind of job you’d like to aspire to. Do you want to be a fashion editor, a stylist, market editor?
Since you’re willing to ask for an internship, you probably already know that your first job will most likely be the grunt work - errands, ironing, packing, steaming, making appointments for your bosses, etc. Before you ask for an internship (which is usually non-paying), ask for an assistant position with a low paying wage, but a start up the magazine ladder. Honesty, enthusiasm, and offering to work hard (example-you’re active so lugging trunks for shoots will be a breeze, you’re organized so clothes and accessories will always be accounted for, lists will be catalogued, etc.). Briefly explain your love of fashion and why you’ve chosen to pursue it in the magazine industry. Leave any negativity out of the letter and be ready to follow up with a phone call since magazines get inundated with young graduates wanting to work for fashion magazines.
Send your package to not only the editors of the magazines, but also to the human resources departments for each publishing house. Call the publishing houses and find out the appropriate people in HR to send your materials to so as not to just write “attention: human resources”. And be ready at the interview to talk about the magazine you are applying for a position with in regards to the editors (know their names), designers they have recently featured, the fashion spreads, etc. Assert your willingness to work hard, learn fro your superiors and contribute to the magazine. Good Luck!