Vincent Duran, a recruiter for BCBG, came to speak in one of my merchandising classes about BCBG, their internship, program, how to apply, and what is expected from an intern. He also gave us yips on interviewing as well as what to include in our resumes and cover letters. His advice was very beneficial and I hope you will agree.
- Find out who you are sending it to. Using “Dear Relevant” should only be used as a last resort. Research and find out who you are sending this to. It not only makes the letter more personal but it also shows them that you did your homework.
- No more than 3-4 sentences per paragraph. Your cover letter is meant to inform the company on who you are, why you are applying and what relevant experience you have. Vincent told us that often times recruiters have only a few seconds to decide whether they are going to keep your resume or throw it away. You have to be precise and find a way to stand out in order to be selected.
- List as many activities in college as possible. Companies want to see that you are involved on campus. Joining organizations, clubs and sororities/fraternities are among the most common ways to get involved. Another thing that they are looking for is leadership. Don’t be afraid to run for office and be active. Being a member of an organization is great but running for office is a great way to stand out and show that you have all of the qualities that a recruiter is looking for.
- We don’t care what you did in high school. Most high school students were in many different clubs, played sports and were on student government. That is great but if it is not relevant, try to keep it off your resume. If you do not have a lot of experience, become as involved on campus as you can be so you can eventually get rid of your high school activities.
- It’s all about the handshake. You can learn so much about a handshake. If you want to leave a great first impression, always use a firm handshake.
- Wear what you would wear on the job. The beauty of the fashion industry is that not all companies want you to wear a suit to work everyday. Some might but it really depends on the company. For instance, if you work for Abercrombie & Fitch, you can expect to wear jeans, a casual top and flip flops to work everyday. Try to research and find out what you are expected to wear on the job and dress accordingly. If you are unsure, wear a suit. It is better to be overdressed than too casual.
- Show me energy. During an interview, it is the interviewers job to decide if this person is the right fit for the company. BCBG is a high intensity, fast-paced job. While this might be great for some, it is certainly not for everyone. Show the interviewer that you are able to survive and posses the energy they are looking for.
- Prepare for behavioral questions. Be prepared to answer questions such as: “Describe a time when you worked in a group and didn’t see eye to eye.” or “Describe a time when you took initiative.” These questions help you to prove that you are capable to handle whatever they throw your way.
- NEVER say fashion is your passion. You will almost always be asked “Why did you decide to get into fashion?” Almost like a reflux, the majority of people say “Because I have a passion for fashion.” Avoid this at all costs. This answer has become a cliche. Honestly tell the interviewer why you want to work in fashion since very few people in this industry do not have a “passion for fashion.”
- ALWAYS come prepared with a question. At the end of an interview, when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, your answer should always be “YES!” This shows that you are very serious about this company and internship/job. It also shows that you are very brave since asking a question in an interview can be intimidating.
- Relax. The important thing to remember is to relax. Whether you get the job or not, interviews help you to grow. Take away the good and the bad from every interview in order to better yourself for future interviews. Also, keep in mind that the person interviewing you is a human. They are not out to ruin your life. They are simply just doing there job.
For those of you applying to internships this summer, good luck. I have been applying for internships this week and have found these tips to be extremely helpful.