Whether you’re a new college graduate or you recently decided to pursue a career in the fashion industry and you don’t know where to begin, an entry-level opportunity is a great place to start. Typically, entry-level roles require no more than the appropriate degree and internships as they relate to the job requirements. Some work experience may be required, but every company and opportunity is different.
Although these roles are entry-level, hiring managers will expect you to possess the necessary technical skills, as they pertain to the job requirements. Additionally, support your résumé for creative and design roles with a portfolio or website displaying your work. You may be considered an entry-level candidate, but you have the work ethic, passion, and determination of a seasoned veteran.
Focus on your field of expertise and concentrate your search on roles that include “coordinator,” “assistant,” “specialist,” “junior,” or “generalist” in the job title. Entry-level opportunities will help you gain valuable work experience required to take your career to the next level.
1. Assistant/Junior Account Executive
You will provide administrative and showroom support to senior account executives and, in time, you may be given the responsibility of managing your own individual accounts. Sales support and customer service will consume most of your day while providing an opportunity to establish relationships with buyers. Hone your selling skills by absorbing product knowledge and demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively and achieve productivity goals.
2. Showroom Coordinator
Assist in the management of all samples including keeping inventory, pulling samples for clients and editors, maintaining sample order, and overseeing client mailings. Your office management expertise will prove worthy as you’re also responsible for shipments, computer maintenance, and office supply management.
3. PR Coordinator/Public Relations Assistant
The public relations team will look to you for assistance on everything from tracking coverage from national and international press to preparing weekly coverage recaps. Additionally, your support with the production of publicity collateral, product images, media alerts, press kits and press releases will be required under the guidance of upper-level staff.
4. Office Coordinator
Senior-level executives depend on you to help manage the day-to-day functions of the corporate office. From booking travel to processing expense reports, your organizational skills will face the test as you maintain an efficient office and serve as the face of the company as you greet visitors.
5. Production Assistant
You will have a hand in the production planning process including maintaining the order entry procedure, placing orders, and tracking deliveries. Organizing fact sheets and compiling information while communicating with vendors as needed will allow you to appropriately respond to inquiries and issues as they arise.
6. Editorial Specialist/Assistant
The coveted role of editor-in-chief requires one to start with the basics. Proofreading copy for typos, spotting punctuation errors and fact-checking will help you attain your goal. As a reward for taking initiative, a byline on the company website or printed publication may also be a possibility. This is your opportunity to cultivate a network of contacts at public relations agencies and brands that will be of great value when you’re ready for the next stage in your career.
7. Design Assistant
As a liaison between design and other departments, you will help source seasonal inspiration, communicate with vendors to source new fabrics and trims, update line sheets, and attend and assist with garment fittings. Not to be mistaken for an trivial role, the opportunity to work side-by-side with high-level designers provides a chance to discover valuable industry experience.
8. Account Coordinator
If public relations is calling your name and you live and breathe all things fashion, beauty and social media, this is the role for you. Develop your career at a PR firm that can give you access to industry insiders who may seek your organizational and creative skills. Responsibilities include celebrity/editor gifting, organizing and attending events, developing pitch ideas, facilitating client relations, competitive research and coordinating clip and press activity. All of this will be required of you in addition to overseeing daily operations, expense reports, sample tracking, database updates, and other related tasks as they occur.
9. Sample Room Coordinator
The calendar will become your best friend as you manage the activities of a sample room. Ensuring market and production fit samples are shipped and received to all showrooms on time will require delegating and overseeing the workflow of the sample room to all parties involved. Creating and maintaining order will prove your management abilities and prepare you for a role as a sample room manager.
10. Social Media Specialist
For the social media savvy, the responsibilities of this role may come naturally. However, an advertising and marketing background will also be required. Assisting the Social Media Manager in managing and developing an online social media presence includes developing copy for both editorial and marketing efforts for all social channels. You will brainstorm brand-appropriate content for various social media platforms.
11. HR Coordinator
A world of recruitment, employee relations, compensation, benefits, and talent management awaits. Get your start by way of completing general administrative tasks pertaining to calendar management, expense reports, office supply management, travel arrangements, filing, and memo generation. Support the human resources department while you work your way up the ranks.