How to write a great fashion CV

Put your best foot forward with a stunning fashion CV! Use these tips and templates to write a winning CV that will help you secure more interviews.

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Table of Contents

  1. How to write a great fashion CV
  2. What to highlight in a fashion CV
  3. The structure of a fashion CV
  4. Do’s and don’ts for a fashion CV
  5. FAQ: Fashion CV Example

How to write a great fashion CV

Fashion designers require a strong sense of style and keen attention to detail. As it happens, these same skills apply to the writing of your CV, which needs a well-presented layout and tailored descriptions of your best qualities to catch the eye of hiring managers.

This guide will show you:

  1. What to include in your fashion industry CV
  2. How best to structure your professional CV
  3. Essential tips to help you land an interview

What to highlight in a fashion CV

Your CV should make it clear where your talents lie in the design process. This could be your expertise in the initial planning and drawing stage, your excellence in fashion merchandising prior to sale, or some stage in between.

Discuss relevant experience and training working with briefs, sketching ideas, procuring materials, producing prototypes, coordinating photoshoots, attending fashion shows, creating marketing collateral, and selling fashion products.


The structure of a fashion CV

The structure of your fashion CV will vary depending on your chosen CV format. There are three options:

  • Chronological — This format emphasises work experience.
  • Functional — This format focuses on skills.
  • Combination — This format balances skills and work experience.

The chronological format is the preferred format of most hiring managers and is the format we use with the fashion designer CV sample below, but all these sections will also appear in a combination or functional CV – the only major difference will be the order in which they appear.

Contact details

Add your contact information to the page header at the top of your CV. Include your:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • Address
  • Relevant professional links (e.g., LinkedIn profile)
  • Fashion design portfolio

Present this information clearly so that the recruiter can easily contact you should they wish to advance your application.

Professional summary or career objective

Use a professional summary or career objective to provide a brief overview of your skillset. A professional summary covers your key skills and experiences. A career objective focuses on a statement of your career aspirations and top skills. If you already have several years of experience in the fashion industry, then a professional summary will work best. Consider a career objective if you’re at the starting point of your career.

Skills

Use the skills section to tailor your CV to the job description. Study the job posting and pick out some of the desirable skills to add to your CV. Hard skills relevant to the fashion design include:

  • Apparel design
  • Pattern making
  • Digital drawing
  • Knowledge of fashion trends
  • Software skills, such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator

And here are some soft skills:

  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Multitasking skills

Aim for a mix of soft skills and technical skills, with slightly more weight on role-specific hard skills.

Work history

In the work experience section, run through previous jobs that are relevant to fashion design. For each position, list your key achievements and responsibilities in bullet points If you lack hands-on experience in a fashion designer role, then any relevant retail experience with visual merchandising will be worth mentioning.

Education

In the education section of your CV, list your highest level of education (e.g., master’s or bachelor’s degree).You can also add any relevant certifications in this section, such as those related to computer-aided design (CAD).


Do’s and don’ts for a fashion CV

Do:

  • Tailor your CV to the role.

    Pick out major skills listed in the job description, match them with your own and include them in the skills section of your CV. The inclusion of specific keywords will ensure your CV performs well in applicant tracking systems (ATS).

  • Add a link to your portfolio.

    The best way to convince a hiring manager to offer you an interview is to show them examples of your work. Set up an online portfolio, and attach a link in the CV header alongside the rest of your contact information.

  • Check other CVs for inspiration.

    Checking other people’s work can help improve your own designs. The same goes for your CV, and you can browse hundreds of industry-specific CV examples on our website.

Don’t:

  • Go overboard with graphics.

    In general, it’s best to maintain a simple, clean CV design. Photos of your work and other graphics will merely detract the hiring manager’s attention away from your skills and experiences. Save that material for the professional portfolio you can link to the CV.

  • Include your grades.

    Unless your grades are exceptionally high, there’s no reason to include it on your CV. Put the focus on any awards or recognitions you’ve gained for your studies or work.

  • Forget to proofread.

    Attention to detail is key to success in the fashion industry. Even the smallest spelling or grammatical mistake could lead the hiring manager to discard your application.


FAQ: Fashion CV Example

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for a fashion job application?

Unless the employer says not to, always include a cover letter as part of your job application. The cover letter is your chance to expand on your key skills and separate yourself from other job seekers. You can also use the cover letter to explain any gaps in your CV.

Q: How can I write a fashion CV without a lot of work experience?

If you don’t have much experience, then you can still use the fashion designer CV example above as a CV template. Feature any freelance, intern or volunteer projects where you got to display skills or abilities needed for fashion work. If you also lack this kind of experience, then place greater emphasis on your education and specific skills.

Q: How do I change my fashion CV to apply to different jobs?

Always tailor your fashion CV to the role. To do this, read through the joills and qualifications needed, and then address them in your professional summary, skills and work history sections. For extra help, use our CV Builder, which provides professional templates and job-specific suggestions for filling out your CV.

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