The fashion industry can seem difficult to break into, but the truth is that recruiters often look for new integrants!
When writing your fashion designing resume, keep in mind that most recruiters are interested in experience, commitment and an undeniable passion for fashion.
This article will guide you through the process of writing a fashion designing resume that meets modern standards, to help get you noticed.
Resume objective for fashion designing
Your personality and your professional aim as a fashion designer could be what convinces a hiring manager to call you in for an interview, and beyond just your portfolio – including a resume objective in your fashion designing resume is a chance to rise above your competition.
As a fashion designer, you need extensive knowledge of fabrication, tailoring, manufacturing procedures and garment design, and your challenge is to channel all of this, along with your best personality traits, in your resume objective.
According to Truity, that provides excellent career advice for fashion designers, there are many different kinds of fashion designers and they all have different responsibilities and areas of expertise.
Your resume objective needs to be tailored to the type of design job you are pursuing (costume designer, clothing designer, footwear designer, etc. etc.), so you want to choose adjectives and experience based on what will hopefully be your future job.
Creative design professional with 8+ years of experience in fashion creation and product styling. Unique ideas, excellent client collaboration track record, an eye for detail, and a desire to continue evolving as a designer.
Resume skills for fashion designing
When applying for a job as a fashion designer, skills matter. This is where you will be able to showcase everything you know how to do, and what it is that makes you such a great designer.
A tip is to always scrutinize the job posting you are responding to, as it will hold important information and keywords you can use when describing yourself. Pay attention to what they are looking for, and try to channel this in your resume skill section.
A designer needs to be great at drawing and sketching, have business understanding, be creative, have an eye for detail, and be excellent with colors. Designers also need leadership skills and to have the ability to work independently.
To stand out with your fashion designing resume, you should try to mix soft skills (passionate, driven, detail-oriented, etc. etc.) with hard skills, such as the design programs you are proficient in and any actual abilities.
Creative | Artistic | Excellent drawing ability | Business experience | B.A in Fashion and Merchandising | Detail-oriented | Time-management | Leadership skills | Style & color expertise | Adobe Suites proficiency
Fashion designing work experience
Fashion designers work in a variety of fields. They design clothes, shoes, furniture and more, and the work experience section is your opportunity to show how well you know the business.
What is so special about fashion is how many people are eager to work in the business, and this means you will almost always have competition when applying for a new job.
In the job post sampling performed during our research, we identified a tendency where employers asked for at least 2-3 years of experience working in the fashion business.
The truth is, employers are rarely desperate to hire, due to the general interest in fashion designer positions, and they tend to be picky. Having work experience can set you apart from other applicants, as it shows you know what you are getting into.
A portfolio speaks volumes, but work experience is a guarantee for the employer that you can handle the stress and pressure that comes with working in the fashion industry.
Sample Work Experience
Skechers, Manhattan Beach, CA
Designer, 2017 – 2020
Worked under the direction of the design director, and supervised the creation of footwear for an international market. Performed style analysis, identified trends and worked with outside vendors.
- Organized trips for market research and found innovative ways to reduce the travel costs.
- Initiated a partnership with an internationally known designer, which led to new opportunities for the brand.
- Was involved in the hiring process of new assistant designers.
- Designed footwear that went on to winning a price for most innovative design.
Sundance Holdings Group, LLC, West Valley City, UT
Associate Fashion Designer, 2012 – 2017
Worked closely with the design director and other designers, created elaborate sketches by hand, did CAD layouts, and built strong and collaborative relationships with merchandisers.
- Successfully organized seasonal walkthrough meetings to make sure the whole team was on the same page.
- Took the initiative to conduct client surveys to increase understanding of what the client wanted.
- Introduced Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) programs to the design team, which improved efficiency.
- Was behind one of the most popular product lines in 2016, and received praise from supervisors and management.
Renfro Corporation, Mount Airy, NC
Lead Fashion Designer, 2009 – 2012
Expanded on CAD designs, developed presentations, maintained close relationships with sales teams and merchandising, organized samples and oversaw the execution of design projects.
- Created fresh designs that appealed to a younger clientele, which led to a 40% business increase.
- Trained 4 new team members and was promoted to lead fashion designer as a result.
- Implemented a second layer of revisions to catch any errors in production, and improved product quality with 17%.
- Developed seasonal trends and initiated an online marketing campaign that went viral.
Fashion designing education
There are countless design schools all over the United States and in the world, and many fashion designers will have attended some form of fashion related study program.
It is not required to have studied fashion if you want to work in the business, but our resume- and job post sampling showed that it is something that tends to be desired by employers. According to Study.com, an undergraduate degree in fashion is a clear advantage when applying for a job.
For those who lack design related education, it is definitely possible to compensate with work experience or independent fashion courses, so don’t worry if you majored in something other than design.
While it looks great on a fashion designing resume – there is no nationwide requirement for you to have attended an institution accredited by the National Association of Schools and Art Design, but we recommend that you look into it if you are serious about this career.
University of Lincoln, Lincoln, United Kingdom
Master’s of Fashion Management, 2016 – 2018
Full Sail University, Winter Park, CO
Bachelor in Graphic Design, 2012 – 2016
Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ
Associate of Science, 2010 – 2012
- Fashion Design and Merchandising
If you feel your academic achievements aren’t impressive enough, or if you have specific courses you want to highlight due to the requirements of the job, this is where you would go ahead and add them.
Don’t add courses that are unrelated to fashion, as this will only take up unnecessary space on your resume, and omit this section if you don’t have anything relevant to add.
Our resume sampling showed that courses only tended to be added to resumes where the applicant lacked a fashion related academic degree, so if you have already added a B.A, Master’s degree or a certification program to your resume – don’t worry too much about this section.
We are going to list a few examples of courses that could be added to your resume if you have attended them. We strictly advise you to only add courses you did attend, and avoid exaggerating or being untruthful.
- Fashion Design
- Sketching for Fashion Design
- How to Create a Fashion Collection and Launch Your Own Brand
- Clo3D for Beginners
- Patternmaking for Fashion Design
Certifications are not a priority in the fashion industry, the way it would be in a medical profession or teaching job, but you can obtain certifications to demonstrate knowledge.
This is not required, and you should only include this section in your resume if you have relevant certifications.
When we sampled resumes, a certification section was not usually included, as longer programs and fashion studies tended to go into the education section.
Our research showed that a relevant certificate could influence hiring managers positively, but it was not something employers tended to ask for in the dozens of job posts we surveyed.
- Fashion Styling Certificate (Bayswater College, London)
- Professional Certificate in Fashion Design and Creation (EDX)
- Fashion Stylist – Accredited Certificate Course (Design E-cademy)
Complete fashion designing resume sample
Fashion design exists in many forms, and to put what we have learned here into practice, we have picked out a real fashion design job post, to demonstrate how to tailor a resume to the specific job requirements.
Urban Outfitters is looking for an associate designer with 2-3 years of professional experience. They want someone who can draw and sketch, who has a great eye for colors and shapes, excellent time management skills and who has experience working with various design software programs.
Their ideal employee is a self-starter who can multitask and who handles feedback and constructive criticism well. We will use this information to put together a great resume.
Talented fashion design professional with 3 years of experience working in the fashion industry. Excellent communicator with a background in furniture design and home decor, and proficiency in MS Office and Adobe Creative Suite. Dedicated to creating innovative designs and growing professionally.
Organized | Driven | 3+ years of experience | B.A in Fashion Design & Merchandising | Multitasker | Adobe Creative Suite | MS Office | Detail-oriented | Excellent drawing & sketching skills | Trend spotter
Bed, Bath & Beyond, Philadelphia, PA
Designer, 2018 – 2020
Strategized and executed multiple product lines, was involved in selecting appropriate styles, analyzing sales success rates and partnering with the management.
- Designed and presented a product line that became a national bestseller.
- Reviewed inventory procedures and found a solution to combat inefficiency and decrease material waste.
- Was rewarded for always offering to take on extra shifts and work nights and weekends.
- Implemented the use of additional design software, which simplified the work process and achieved faster results.
Intermix, Philadelphia PA
Stylist, 2015 – 2017
Greeted customers, provided personalized suggestions and acted as personal shopper. Provided excellent customer service and rang up sales using POS system.
- Increased sales with 37% by styling and offering to take photos of clients in their outfits.
- Started a company affiliated blog with style suggestions, which brought more business to the store.
- Performed sewing duties in-store to accommodate customer demands, by hemming pants and more.
- Broke the record of daily sales four weeks in a row during the first month of employment.
London Metropolitan University, London, United Kingdom
Master’s Degree in Furniture Design, 2017 – 2018
Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Bachelor in Fashion Design and Merchandising, 2011 – 2015
- Adobe InDesign CS6 Tutorial – Beginners to Advanced Training
- Design, Prototype and Share with Adobe XD CC
The fashion industry relies heavily on creativity and personality, and you need a resume that stands out along with your portfolio. Experience is important, which is why many young fashion designers accept unpaid internships to get their foot through the door.
Make sure your personality and your experience bounces off the page when a hiring manager picks up your resume, and don’t be afraid to sell yourself with every item you add to your CV.
- The fashion industry is incredibly diverse, and you need to center your resume around the type of fashion design job you want.
- Experience speaks louder than certifications and academic studies, but in order to gain necessary experience – you often need to have studied fashion at an accredited institution.
- As a fashion designer, you need to know how to use design programs, technology and software, so don’t forget to mention your expertise in the skill section of your fashion designing resume.
Tips from Experts
“You can fill your CV up with the most amount of information that you can think of, because you really want to portray that you know as much as possible.” – Anthony James, Menswear Designer, So Called Fashion
“Your number one thing – you need to have an intro for yourself. An intro is a really great way to showcase who you are.” – Paola Kassa, Freelance Designer & Blogger
“The first thing is to be confident in yourself, and two – use what you have. I am sure you have done something. Maybe you have worked in another industry but you don’t know how to apply those skills to the fashion industry.” – Courtney Nicole, Fashion Design Student
Regardless of what type of fashion designing job you are pursuing, you are always going to need a good resume.
Many fashion designers make the mistake of thinking that an impressive portfolio is enough, but hiring managers often want to make sure you have relevant work experience and a proper understanding of the business.
Put as much time and effort into your fashion designing resume as you did when putting together your portfolio, and make yourself a force to be reckoned with in the industry of fashion.