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Marketing, advertising and PR

Get into fashion! Tips from the online marketing manager at boohoo.com

Sophie Lockard, the online marketing manager at boohoo.com, explains how to get your graduate career in online fashion retailing off the ground.

How do you set about getting into the fast-paced world of online fashion marketing? According to Sophie Lockard, the online marketing manager at boohoo.com, you need to be persistent, tenacious and willing to gain as much experience as you can. You might also be able to use social networks such as LinkedIn to find opportunities.

Once you’ve got a foot in the door, you’re likely to find yourself in an exceptionally buzzy, fast-paced, responsive working environment. Like Sophie, you too could have the satisfaction of being part of a phenomenally fast-growing business.

Our TARGETjobs online marketing executive, Jackie Balchin, asked Sophie about her work and how other graduates can break into this competitive area, and here are Sophie's answers.

What makes the fast fashion industry so exciting?

It's the industry that I always wanted to work in, so to end up where I am is a dream come true!  When you're inspired by the product you're marketing it naturally makes you more passionate about what you do and helps drive success for the company and your own career. Working for a company such as boohoo is exciting because of the massive growth we've achieved. It means no two days are the same and you work at an incredibly fast pace which gives you a sense of personal fulfilment.

Can you name three things that would really make a student's application for work experience stand out?

Employers see so many CVs, it really is important to grab the reader's attention. The first thing I would recommend is making sure your general structure and layout is clear and easy to read – use bold headings, short descriptions and bullet point key information. Make sure that your content is punchy and to the point. For previous experience just include a line or two about the company, then split your experience into responsibilities and achievements. Anyone can list their responsibilities, but if you also detail achievements it evidences what you did well and the difference you made. Obviously you are applying for work experience but if you can showcase any other internships or unpaid work this helps set you apart. Even if you keep a blog, put that on there too as it shows your extracurricular passion for fashion!

Secondly, include a short summary at the top of your CV. This should tell the employer more about your unique qualities and the role that you are looking for. A summary helps an employer get an instant feel for what you're about and hopefully inspires them to read on.

Lastly, I would say to be persistent. Companies receive so many CVs. Often the applicants that have stood out to me have been the ones who have chased HR or emailed me directly through LinkedIn.

What types of entry level jobs should a recent graduate aim for?

It really depends on the company, but generally, graduate or assistant roles or internships across the business. There are all sorts of careers you can move into, including marketing, e-commerce, buying, merchandising, studio, design and more!

What key skills do you need to get into marketing in fashion?

Fashion is difficult to break in to so you will need to show that you are organised, a team player, have good communication skills and can think creatively, and that you have drive, motivation and lots of enthusiasm.

Would you expect a student or graduate who wants to work in marketing in fashion to be using social media, and in what ways?

It depends what area you want to work in, if it's social media then definitely! Anyone who can show they have a sound knowledge of social channels will definitely set themselves apart. If you have a fashion blog that will help too, as it shows you have a committed interest in fashion.

Aside from fashion and fashion marketing degrees, are there other degrees that would make an application stand out?

Within our marketing team we've had people from a range of degree backgrounds, including business, launguages and journalism. I did business at university as I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do. it was a great course and gave me insight into business entirely which I think has been really useful.

Any motivational words for students aspiring to become marketers in this very competitive industry?

Be determined and get as much experience as you can – even if it's unpaid. Once you get a foot in the door, sometimes that's all you need! Be tenacious and follow up on applications. Good luck!

This article first appeared as a blog post, How to get your foot in the fashion world, on TARGETjobs Bloggers and we thought Sophie’s advice was so helpful we wanted to share it on targetjobs.co.uk too.

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