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Our blog aims to answer your questions on searching for a role in fashion/textiles/accessory design, marketing, promotion and PR. The Fashion Careers Clinic is a specialist careers advice service based in London. For more information on what we can do to assist you in your fashion job search, please visit our main site: www.fashioncareersclinic.com

If there is a subject you would like us to cover on this blog which is related to fashion job searching, please email: steph@fashioncareersclinic.com with your query, and we'll do our best to answer it here.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

RE: SOCIAL VERSUS BUSINESS NETWORKING - KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL!

Hi all,

Some of you might have seen my recent quote in the Sunday Times, regarding how designers can improve their chances of finding a new role. One of the ideas mentioned was to use networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They were just two of many sites, as I'm sure you are all aware of the hundreds - if not thousands - of networking sites, general ones and those specific to the fashion industry.  Now, I'm a huge fan of these sites - after being a complete technophobe for many years, I am relatively new to the whole thing, however I am now on them many times a day to network with new designers, find out news, etc.  

The thing that has constantly surprised me is the number of people using these sites to create profiles and look for new jobs - nothing wrong with that I hear you say - that's good, surely?
Yes, I keep telling everyone to get a profile on Linkedin, Nineteen74, Coroflot, The Fashion Industry Network, etc - however what I am surprised at is the number of people who post discussions in the forums regarding looking for a job, their details, etc - but don't bother to check spelling, punctuation, or even write a detailed description of what they are looking for.

Some of the posts I have seen are shocking - such as 'Hi there - am looking for job', 'I want job in fashion now please - call me' 'I am a designer - let me know if you have any jobs for me', 'I have all design facilities - get in contact for all jobs'.

Why on earth would a client respond to that??

Remember that even though these sites provide a less traditional way of job searching - and therefore less formal than normal routes - prospective employers will still be judging you as much as they would be if you had sent in a covering letter and CV for a job application.

Points to consider:
- Keep your posts in the forums and your profile professional at all times;
- Don't use 'text speak';
- Make it clear who you are, what type of role you are looking for, and why you are qualified for that role;
- Go into detail - instead of simply saying 'I'm a Designer'- say something like 'I'm a qualified Designer with a BA in Fashion Design, and xxxx number of years post graduate experience. My speciality is ladieswear, with a focus on denim and jersey, and the majority of my experience is with high street suppliers. I am available for freelance or full time roles - if you have a vacancy, please let me know so I can send you my CV and images of work'.  Make it as easy as possible for the prospective employer - if you just put 'I'm a Designer' then the client will probably not have time to email you and ask what type of designer you are, how many years of experience you have, etc. 

Remember that the nature of these networking sites means that your details are there for hundreds or sometimes thousands of people to see - do you really want them to be left with a negative impression of you, simply from a post you have published on a site??

Hope this helps!

Steph
THE FASHION CAREERS CLINIC

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