I received an application from a girl recently that inspired me to write this article. Before I go on further, I have to stress that my tips are tailored for those who want to assist freelancers in creative jobs. Reason being, the way you would approach a freelancer for a job differs from how you would approach a company employee for a creative job. Though in certain areas, you can apply the same tips.
Although, I do far less freelance stylist work now, I still receive applications from people who want to assist; and too many times I see people make the same mistakes like:
1) Clearly sending a 1 fits all application, i.e. you can tell they have been busy with their Copy and Paste button
2) Showing evidence that they have no idea of the niche I work in
3) Using a casual and over-friendly ‘Gossip Girl’ tone
4) Not explaining why they actually want to assist me and how they could benefit from my experience
Consequently, when I read the below application, it was such a breadth of fresh air! I’ve blocked her name and personal contact details for the usual reasons, but everything else is from her:
Dear Ms. John,
Doing some research on the leading characters of the fashion scene in Berlin, I found your name listed as a Contributing Writer for Œ Magazine. Your commitment to the African fashion industry and your aesthetic really amaze me, specially in a market that is so driven by American/European standards. Moreover, your work as both a stylist and a writer resonate with my own interests, therefore I would like to ask you if you could use the help of an assistant.
I am a 24 year old Chilean, currently living in Berlin and trying to break my way into the fashion industry. I studied journalism for five years in my home country and then moved to Berlin to find a job as a fashion writer, only to realize some time later that it is undoubtedly necessary for me to gain practical experience in the field first. I am interested in assisting a stylist because I know that the job requires a lot of work and there is much help needed.
I don’t know if you live in Berlin, but if you do, I would love to help in whatever way I can. My current situation makes it impossible for me to be available before May, but after that date I should be free to get hands on with some work.
In case you would like to know further details about me, I attach my CV. Also, my phone number is xxxxxxx.
I look forward hearing from you!
As I said, I was really impressed by her covering letter. The lady showed she had taken the time to research me and had found out what drives me and how I wish to contribute to the fashion industry at large. In addition, she gave me an idea of her back story and how she had come to where she was now, career wise. After reading her covering letter, I knew I wanted and had to help her. She reminded me of the covering letters I used to write to assist Way Back When. So I had a Skype meeting with her and in that discussion, told her of a magazine that I wanted to put her forward to assist. Reason being, there she could get great first-hand experience of writing and styling. I also got in touch with the editor of the magazine to put in a good word for her. The girl now has to submit a trial article to the magazine, so the rest is up to her.
Part of my blog is dedicated to giving tips, advice and helping beginners who want to work in the creative industry; so it felt great helping this girl in this way.