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How to shine as a candidate in a competitive fashion market
We are often asked how people should position themselves to stand out in a recruitment process. We are experiencing a highly candidate-driven market, so navigating through a sea of other good candidates to truly set yourself apart and secure your dream position is becoming increasingly more challenging.
Ultimately, brands are hiring talent that can help them expand and strengthen their position in the market. Therefore, having a great track record in change management, high growth businesses, developing new channels and markets, perhaps while facing resistance from owners, market conditions or investment restraints, shows resilience, longevity and loyalty – star attributes. It is crucial that professionals in the fashion sector demonstrate that they are adaptable and flexible, and that they can also step-up when faced with a challenge.
If you are looking for a new opportunity, there are some key questions to ask yourself.
How good am I?
It might sound obvious, but the more successful you are, the more likely it is that you will be approached by a search firm. People who are recognised for their successes and praised as star performers are easier to find and are highly sought after in the fashion industry.
When assessing a candidate’s suitability, we will look at their company’s track record, latest results, and anything positive that makes them stand out from the competition.
How visible am I?
One of the most effective ways to be recognised and identified as talent is to participate actively in dialogue within your field. Speaking at industry events or conferences, having articles published or being quoted in the press will help to increase your visibility. Being a spokesperson, an innovator, or force of change in the sector will, at all levels, enhance your personal brand.
How well connected am I?
It is easy to be internally focused, particularly when you are busy in your role, experiencing time constraints or based outside of London. Many people talk about networking, fewer actually do anything about it. Networking effectively amongst your peer group and across your industry is a powerful way to increase your chances of being noticed. The most successful networkers invest in their professional relationships consistently and over the long term. This type of behaviour is far more genuine.
How am I perceived?
In fashion, it is common for professionals to stay in the industry their whole career. Any negative feedback after leaving an employer on bad terms will spread quickly and is likely to come back to bite you. Don’t burn bridges and let the way in which you left your previous employer stop you from getting your dream job.
Have I covered the basics?
Even working in the executive market, it is surprising how many of the basics candidates miss, such as listing their phone number, a poorly written CV, or even spending enough time researching the brand before an interview. Be sure to tailor your CV for each new opportunity and really sell your key capabilities, and experiences that set you apart as a great candidate for the job.
Who do I talk to about my career?
Partner with an executive search specialist. Take a long-term approach to building strong, mutually-beneficial relationships with key recruiters. We are easy to contact and engage with and are always looking to meet talent in the fashion sector. Keep in touch and we will update you on any changes in the market until we have something suitable to discuss with you.
There is never a simple turnkey solution on how to set yourself apart in the fashion market, but keeping focused on polishing yourself and following these tips, will help you to be seen.
If you would like to discuss your opportuntieis or to find out how we can help source the right professionals for your business, get in touch for a confidential discussion.
Fashion – Executive Appointments