I just received a dissertation from a fashion graduate seeking to assist me, yes not an application- a dissertation.  As I read her dissertation on why she felt she should assist me, I spotted so many No-No’s that I felt compelled to write this post.

Based on her dissertation alone, here are my tips on what to avoid when applying for a stylist assistant position-

1. Do not start of your application by greeting your would-be employer (in this case, me), with the casual greeting of ‘Hi’.  Why?  Well for starters, I don’t know you, we are not friends and as much as fluffy, deceased fashion TV shows like ‘The Hills’ and ‘The City’ would have you believe that the fashion industry is one never-ending party where hot, near-naked male models swing on chandeliers; the fashion industry is a business and should be treated as such.  Consequently use a more formal greeting until you and the stylist become bezzy mates.

2. Do not write a dissertation- write a short, punchy application where you list your achievements and how you can be of help to the stylist.  I am not kidding when I say, the ‘application’ was a dissertation.  Fashion graduates should realise that people simply don’t have the time to read applications that are too lengthy.

3. Don’t forget to attach your CV.  I couldn’t believe that the girl had not attached one.  For me a CV is just as important as a covering letter, because I can see where the person lives (which is of huge importance as I can begin to work out travel logistics), what they studied, what work experience they have etc.

4. Don’t second guess your would-be employer.  As I read this girl’s application, I couldn’t help but smirk when I read statements like, ‘This is a probably a long shot’ (believe it or not, this is how she started her application!!), ‘I bet you are thinking how I can work with you since I already have 2 jobs‘and ‘I hope I didn’t bore you’.  All these comments did was drive negative thoughts further into my skull, so in the end, I did think, Yes, your dissertation was a long shot, you wouldn’t have enough time to assist me and yes, I was rather bored whilst reading your dissertation.

5. Don’t forget to include your full contact details, and by this I mean that your phone number is essential.  The girl who applied to me forgot to include this (and I might add that had she attached a CV, this information would have been there); and I remember in my styling assisting days that when I applied for jobs, many stylists would get in touch with me on the phone saying they needed me either the next day or sometimes, that very day.

I also need to add that I did respond to the girl and gave her some basic advice on how to write a much better covering letter and CV.

I also added that I could give her more in-depth advice for a fee.

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