Find A Job: Winning Search Methods

Finding and getting a job in the fashion industry that you want can be a challenging process, but knowing more about job search methods will increase your chances of success. This article is for new job seekers and for those who have been out of the market for some time and need to hone their job hunting skills.

Finding a fashion job can take months of time and effort. But you can speed the process by using many methods to find job openings. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that people who use many job search methods find jobs faster than people who use only one or two.

Where to learn about job openings:

  • Personal contacts
  • School career planning and placement offices
  • Employers
  • Classified ads
  • National and local newspapers
  • Professional journals
  • Trade magazines
  • Internet resources
  • Professional associations
  • Labor unions
  • State employment service offices
  • Federal Government
  • Community agencies
  • Private employment agencies and career consultants
  • Internships

Personal contacts:

Many jobs are never advertised. People get them by talking to friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, teachers, former coworkers, and others who know of an opening. Be sure to tell people that you are looking for a job because the people you know may be some of the most effective resources for your search. To develop new contacts, join student, community, or professional organizations.

School career planning and placement offices:

High school and college placement offices help their students and alumni find jobs. Some invite recruiters to use their facilities for interviews or career fairs. They also may have lists of open jobs. Most also offer career counseling, career testing, and job search advice. Some have career resource libraries; host workshops on job search strategy, resume writing, letter writing, and effective interviewing; critique drafts of resumes; conduct mock interviews; and sponsor fashion job fairs.


Directly contacting employers is one of the most successful means of job hunting. Through library and Internet research, develop a list of potential employers. Then call these employers and check their Web sites for job openings. Web sites and business directories can tell you how to apply for a position or whom to contact. Even if no open positions are posted, do not hesitate to contact the employer: You never know when a job might become available. Consider asking for an informational interview with people working in the career you want to learn more. Ask them how they got started, what they like and dislike about the work, what type of qualifications are necessary for the job, and what type of personality succeeds in that position. In addition to giving you career information, they may be able to put you in contact with other people who might hire you, and they can keep you in mind if a position opens up.

Classified ads:

The “Help Wanted” ads in newspapers and the Internet list numerous jobs, and many people find work by responding to these ads. But when using classified ads, keep the following in mind: - Follow all leads to find a job; do not rely solely on the classifieds. - Answer ads promptly, because openings may be filled quickly, even before the ad stops appearing in the paper. - Read the ads every day, particularly the Sunday edition, which usually includes the most listings. - Keep a record of all ads to which you have responded, including the specific skills, educational background, and personal qualifications required for the position.

Internet resources:

This is obvious to you, however in the interest of presenting a complete list of job search methods, a blurb about online resources is a must…. The Internet includes many job hunting Web sites with job listings. Some job boards provide National listings of all kinds; others are local. Some relate to a specific type of work or industry; others are general. To find good prospects, begin with an Internet search using keywords related to the job you want. Use sites and blogs specific to your profession or to career-related topics to post questions or messages and to read about the job searches or career experiences of other people. In online job databases, remember that job listings may be posted by field or discipline, so begin your search using keywords. Many Web sites allow job seekers to post their resumes online for free.

Professional associations:

Many professions have associations that offer employment information, including career planning, educational programs, job listings, and job placement. To use these services, associations usually require that you be a member; information can be obtained directly from an association through the Internet, by telephone, or by mail.

Private employment agencies and career consultants:

Private agencies can save you time and they will contact employers who otherwise might be difficult to locate. But these agencies may charge for their services. Most operate on a commission basis, charging a percentage of the first-year salary paid to a successful applicant. You or the hiring company will pay the fee. Find out the exact cost and who is responsible for paying associated fees before using the service. When determining if the service is worth the cost, consider any guarantees that the agency offers.


Many people find jobs with business and organizations with whom they have interned or volunteered. Look for internships and volunteer opportunities on job boards, career centers, and company and association Web sites, but also check community service organizations and volunteer opportunity databases. Some internships and long-term volunteer positions come with stipends and all provide experience and the chance to meet employers and other good networking contacts.

From the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition. US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.