In case you haven’t seen The Devil Wears Prada a million times as I have, there’s a lot of hard work that goes into working at a fashion magazine.
Sure, there’s glitz and glam, and the job definitely comes with its perks. Can you say swag bags from heaven, and not to mention samples and gifts galore? But the truth is, there’s a lot that goes into making those glossy pages perfect: They’re called interns.
Fashion magazine interns are just, if not, as important as the editors they’re interning for. They’re there to make sure the editors’ days run as smooth and effortless as possible, essentially doing duties that an assistant would do. They even help the editors’ assistants. So the job is extremely important and is not for the lazy and unorganized. You need to be on top of everything.
Depending on what department you’re interning at you may have extra responsibilities delegated to you such as writing copy, coming up with article content and pitching ideas, sample management, completing expenses, booking travel, etc. You’ll be running around town doing errands and possibly even attending events and meetings, and not to mention making all the coffee and tea you could possibly imagine.
But the pay off from gaining and completing an internship at a top tier fashion magazine is beyond amazing. It not only will teach you the necessary skills to survive in the fashion industry but also put you through obstacles to help you grow as an individual. You can also leave you with great connections and references, and long-lasting life lessons. So how does one go about even snagging one?
It’s pretty simple, honestly. When I landed not one, but two interviews, with Marie Claire and Seventeen Magazine, it was surreal. But I knew I had put in a lot of groundwork to get me to that point. I went with Marie Claire and had the most stressful time of my life, but learned so much and walked away from it with a new way of thinking. I interned anywhere I could before though. I started a blog, wrote as a fashion expert for a website, assisted local stylists, worked retail, modeled and volunteered backstage at fashion shows. I basically emerged myself into fashion while in college. You will have to do the same and get started now because these internships are extremely competitive. Check out my tips on how to get you to the fashion magazine internship of your dreams.
Tips to get the fashion magazine internship of your dreams
1. Have an Interest in Fashion
You don’t necessarily have to be solid on what exactly you want to do just yet. That’s why you intern: to gain a feel on different career paths to consider. But having a solid interest in fashion is a major key. Fashion magazines also look for people who are studying fashion while in college or have studied some area of fashion before. Although not required it helps. You will also need to be aware of designers and brands, its a big no-no if you don’t.
2. Start a Fashion Blog or Write for Someone
Fashion magazines are more than just pretty pictures; there are words. Showcasing your writing skills is always good, especially if you want to do an editorial internship where your main focus will be writing. Read and study the writing voice of the magazines you want to intern for, get a feel of what their style is and work your hardest to create pieces that would seamlessly blend onto their pages. Websites like College Fashion hire contributing writers by semester and writing for a site like this will really help your resume stand out when applying.
3. Intern at a Local Magazine or Fashion Company
Having an internship or two already under your belt is best, and if you can have them at local magazines even better. They don’t have to be huge magazines, the city you live in has some sort of publication. Find out what they are and reach out for internships. If you’re not able to intern at a magazine intern at a retail boutique, with a fashion stylist or do a virtual internship with a fashion company.
4. Get Involved in Your Fashion Scene
No matter where you live, there’s a fashion scene. But if there genuinely isn’t one, make one. Get involved in the fashion community and start attending events and volunteering. You can help out backstage at your local shows or just even stuff goodie bags and greet guests at events. Just do as much as you can. All this on your resume will really help you stand out.
5. Work as a Receptionist
For a few months in college, I worked as a part-time receptionist at a hair and beauty salon. It helped me to learn how to multi-task and manage schedules for multiple people while remaining calm and poised. These are skills you’ll definitely need to be a fashion magazine intern. You’ll be doing so much at once that you’ll have to really be strong at multi-tasking while not cracking under the pressure.
6. Be Persistent and Determined
Applying is the scariest part. You may not hear back at all, but just keep trying. Fashion magazines hire interns based on semesters so you can apply and look out for them every Fall, Spring Summer and Winter. Check out sites ed2010.com and freefashioninernships.com for the latest internship postings. You can also go directly to the website of the magazine you want to intern for and find a proper contact to submit your resume and cover letter through.
7. Your Resume and Cover Letter Need To Be On Point
There’s nothing more annoying and off-putting to a fashion magazine than receiving a resume and cover letter that’s not formatted correctly or has grammatical errors. Double and triple check your resume, your university or college has services that can make sure your resume and cover letter are perfect. In case you thought to skip a cover letter, don’t. You need a cover letter, fashion magazines receive countless applications. So your cover letter is your area to shine and really let them hear your voice.
8. Don’t Be A Mess On Social Media
They’re going to check you out on all forms of social media and make sure you’re not pouring shots of tequila every other night. Clean up your social media accounts if necessary and don’t give them a reason to pass on your application based on what you tweeted one drunken night.
9. Take On a Job In Fashion
You don’t need to be doing crazy jobs while in school, but I highly recommend doing a fashion retail job. It’ll keep you abreast of the latest fashion trends and also teach you how to multi-task and help you gain a sense of your own personal style.
10. Dress For The Job You Want
If you land an interview make sure you get it. I’ve heard stories of girls who showed up to their interviews in cut off high waisted shorts and crop tops. That’s a no. It’s a fashion environment, so it’s good to wear trends that are in but make sure they’re office-appropriate. Look to what fashion editors wear as inspiration, you gotta dress for the job you want.
Happy internship searching! I hope these tips help you be Anne Hathaway’s character in The Devil Wears Prada (after she gets the hang of it).
Cross-posted from LoneStar in the City.