What does it take to stand out in luxury fashion recruitment in 2022? Expert advice, inspiration and wisdom from OTB.

We’re already over half-way through January and by now, you might have lost some steam behind your new year’s resolutions and commitments. But change can’t happen overnight. It takes time, experience, dedication, passion, and patience. If you’ve clicked on here, you’re probably ready to make some big changes in your life as you navigate the world of luxury fashion recruitment. Whether you’re entering the industry for the first time or looking to make your next career move, it’s imperative you truly stand out.

Some things never go out of fashion: a polished CV, professionalism, and preparation. However, the challenges and demand the luxury fashion industry is facing in 2022 and beyond is forcing it to make some big changes. Online shopping, sustainability, diversity, and pandemic recovery continue to transform retail and production. It’s an exciting time, and brands are looking for unique talent that matches their company’s commitment to growth.

How are you going to seize these opportunities in 2022? OTB is here to give you some expert advice as well as some inspiration and wisdom from our director Charmain Gyles-Ferguson. Our recruitment services can help you find that perfect position and ace your interview. More on that later, for now, let’s look at what you need to do to prepare for recruitment in 2022.

1 – Know what recruiters are looking for on your CV. 

A generic CV that isn’t tailored to the role you’re applying for isn’t going to cut it. There’s no excuse when it comes to formatting and typos, of course. Beyond that, recruiters are looking for something that sets you apart from everyone else:

  • Longevity and loyalty are an attractive quality – don’t hop from job to job.
  • Think about and demonstrate how you made a real difference to your company; include any metrics or case studies that demonstrate your impact.
  • Mirror the language of the job description and tailor your experience to make it fully relevant for the role.

2 – Do your research.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. So do as much research as you can. That means researching the brand, its history, any recent campaigns, ethos and/or company changes. Find something unique about them that you can discuss in your cover letter and/or interview. You should also take this as an opportunity to consider the questions they could ask. Whatever works for you – whether it’s bullet points or a mind-map – get those answers down in writing.

3 – Look the part.

When you walk into that interview (or open it up on your laptop) you’re there to impress and make a lasting impression. Again, make sure you ace the basics: appear on time, dress the part (don’t turn up with chipped nails and scruffy hair) and have some mints ready for face-to-face interactions; it’s wise to avoid any garlicy meals or cigarettes beforehand.

All of this goes without saying, however, looking the part is paramount for luxury fashion recruitment. The image and reputation are part of what defines some of the world’s most iconic fashion houses. So, when you work for a leading fashion brand, you’re representing them, whether you’re in a customer-facing role or you’re behind the scenes. They need to know you can reflect the premium quality services and products they provide customers and clients.

4 – Don’t let nerves get in the way.

We understand that you might be feeling nervous, so, just take a second to breathe and remind yourself the interviewer wants you to succeed too. There are things that you can do to ease your nerves and boost your confidence:

  • Don’t forget to smile. It’s another obvious one, but you can’t neglect to come across as friendly and approachable. Entering with a smile can help put you in a positive mindset when you make your introduction.
  • Really listen to the questions and answer them, don’t waffle. This is where all the preparation you’ve done can come in to cushion you – if you know your CV, the role, and the company inside out, you’ve got nothing to worry about. This means you’ll be in the position to keep your answers direct and succinct.
  • Leave street jargon in the staff room. Being articulate goes a long way to help you come across as confident and professional.
  • Display your passion and enthusiasm! You can come as professional and prepared as possible, but if you’re not showing a genuine love for what you do and the brand you could be working for, you’re not going to have much success. That passion and commitment is the thing that can set you apart from the other candidates who might even have more experience than you.
  • Have genuine questions prepared to ask your interviewer. Remember, you’re making a big commitment, so it’s important you take the opportunity to learn about your prospective employer and if they’re the right fit for you too.

 5 – Go for the roles that are right for you.

Going for a role that you’re not truly passionate about just isn’t going to work for you or your employer down the line. It takes a lot of commitment and energy to land a role in luxury fashion, and they can be particularly challenging and demanding. Moving just a few months after landing the position is unnecessary stress for yourself and your employer.

Investing your time in finding the job that’s the perfect fit is a smarter move than finding one that will do for now.

Why should you be excited about what 2022 has in store?

We understand that it’s been a tough couple of years, but there’s lot of reasons to remain positive. The industry might have dramatically changed, but in its evolution, new opportunities have emerged.

OTB founder and director Charmain Gyles-Ferguson has over 25 years’ experience in the luxury fashion industry, has coached many candidates and helped them land their dream job at some of the most sought-after companies. She’s taking the start of 2022 as an opportunity to reflect and prepare for what the year has ahead of us:

“2020 & 2021 have been THE most difficult and unprecedented years for recruitment and survival in all areas of life! There were no guidelines, advice, or strategy for any industry on how to survive such a huge crash in the global economy. Now those years are in the rear-view mirror and 2022 is full of hope, plans and decisions to be made. We have lost some large, iconic fashion high street brands in those years; however luxury fashion and lifestyle brands have not only survived, but they’re flourishing, and recruitment is in demand to fill many vacancies across stores and head office roles.

These vacancies have been created because the industry has lost many Europeans who have gone back to their home countries from the fall-out of Brexit and who have wanted to be close to loved ones during lockdown. I also have to mention that many candidates that I have interviewed were not happy with the way their companies have treated them during these trying years and now they’re walking away. The good news is there are quite a few luxury brands who are still expanding and in need of securing excellent, positive talent.

2022 is the year to get your career back on track, be where YOU want to be, DOING what you LOVE to do! All the tips above are what you need to inspire you to make 2022 your year.”

Outside the Box Recruitment is a boutique luxury fashion, beauty, and lifestyle recruitment agency. Our mission is always to find the perfect partnership between our candidates and clients. That means looking at more than just skills and qualifications, but also personality, goals, and ambitions. Our focus isn’t on the volume of CVs we send out or calls we make. We focus on quality and longevity.

The brands we have recruited for are listed on our client tab of our website. If you’re ready to make 2022 the year you land your dream job in luxury fashion, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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A few words about the article author

Dwayne Ferguson is Head of Digital at Outside The Box Recruitment.

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