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Crafting a Distinctive Persona

Introduction

This article or blog is about the importance of personal image of a fashion student within the global fashion industry. Here some basic and necessary points are noted that are mostly relevant to the individual personality branding. The ways through which one can stand out in the crowd of people by socially mirroring his/her professional front with full confidence during any kind of interview or offline & online conversation in the professional atmosphere are suggested. Here some tips or trick age given to improve self-awareness without being too arrogant/ over friendly with someone. Also this self-reflection article provides knowledge about industry professional online or offline interviews, seminars and event operation.

PART 1: Self-Reflection Article
Q1. How to build self-awareness?
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Self-awareness is a must for everyone who likes to engage in broad professional atmosphere in the fashion industry. Self-awareness can be basically defines as the ability to present yourself clearly & objectively by the help of introspection and reflection. In self-awareness the most important three things are – who you are, what you do and what you want to do. The person needs to know about his/her own self so that when attending any professional gathering can show their professional image branding their own qualities and skills to attract as much people as can be possible. Though it is not possible to attain the total objectivity reflection about oneself but there are certain fundamental degrees and ideas which exist on the spectrum of self-awareness (Bowen, , 2018). First of all self-confidence and knowing what do you want to do/ become and where they want to reach is a must since if you will not be aware of what you want to achieve then it will be impossible to show that in the confidence out there in interviews. When attending any professional interview, the candidate must adhere in their mind to bring out the best professional image of themselves to the interviewer so that the first impression can say it all (drapersonline.com, 2009). There are certain things that need to be remembered while presenting self-professional image to the professional gathering so that the atmosphere can be built positively.

Practice listening – Paying attention to the speaker, observing the speakers body language, emotions while delivering his/her thoughts and evaluating them by comparing how good you are at those points, all these are hearing practices to be aware more.

Creating own time & space – Knowing self-inner side and connecting with the inner mind should be made a daily routine and spending time developing own skills are crucial practices of self-awareness. Most distracting and disturbing things nowadays are the digital world, so to carve out the inner solitude spending quality time with own-self is a must.

Journaling self-awareness – Processing you own thoughts with the help of writing them down and recording your own inner mind state is a part od improving self-awareness.

Gaining different perspectives – As you write down your own thoughts, reviewing them and getting their feedbacks is necessary to increase the self-awareness practices.

Practising mindfulness – Paying attention towards your inner mind state as it arises and always trying to surround yourself around meaningful daily life habits such as eating god and healthy, listening good speeches, talking positively and mindful walking is beneficial for improving self-awareness in people.

Q2. How to build online presence?

Online presence is defined as the overall process of drawing and presenting the social traffic towards a personal or professional brand in the social media platform. It generally means attracting more people towards you or your virtual image in the social world such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other virtual atmosphere. In recent time, being regularly visible in the social world is as important as being present in the physical world. All the social platform activities you do present your personal and professional image. The marketing of the social image and social interactions are strategies to develop the relationship with the fashion industry or it can be any other industry which you want to become a part of. In fashion industry social environment, mirroring the social reflection or profile of who you are and what you want to be in both the personal life and in profession front is important (statista.com, 2017). In order to build a good presentable social image on media platform, there are certain steps which if followed will enhance your social profile which will also reflect your professional self.

  • Social media interactions and marketing of self-image branding is very much important for building a relationship with the audience and to attract more eyes towards you.
  • Online presence can be made by either by some sort of blog or any social media account, after setting up the promoting yourself, increasing follower engagements and making business connections too.
  • For an effective professional online presence needs to draw the attention of the leads and capture their attention. In recent days, to stand out in the social media crowd, potential presentation and regular engagement is must using right strategies and techniques such as captivating contents, compelling posts etc. (Mair,, 2018)

Building a significant and consistent professional persona on all the social media platforms needs a step by step action plan.

Action plan

Appendix 1 Appendix 1
Q3. How to develop professional networking?

In case of fashion industry, networking is called the life line to get ahead in the professional front. A good fashion career either in buying, marketing, modelling, designing or retailing needs competitive qualities to drive attention. So to vie for coveted jobs of your own choice, you need to bring out your game for every interview wherever and whenever you are approaching fashion firms. However it will not be enough just to walk to the doors of the interviews and ask for a job but rather than competitive advantages are must to excel ( Murillo, , Mosquera, , Juaneda Ayensa,, & Pascual,, 2019). There are few things considered good to quickly crack the fashion events for networking.

    Talking to more and more people is the first step towards networking, exchanging contacts for further use will be best possible way to spread the channel. Starting with a good compliment works as ice breaker when comes to make acquaintance in fashion events. It makes any conversation to start easily followed by the physical appearance or the dressing sense and style is the second most important since clothe are the primary thing in fashion events. Other than exchanging number, passing out the most recent information about you will also help a lot to make them remember who you are.

    Another thing which is important to make a good impression in any fashion event is your work, if you are a volunteer or you are working as any other responsibility assigned to you. In fashion event, if you get a chance to contribute your energy or your skill, don’t be back-seated because work speaks better than words. To make a great acquaintance your work will be enough to make people remind you. In fashion events, generally there is always rush since people are buy doing their own jobs so in that occasion, never miss to grab any opportunity where you can showcase your talent within the guests (statista.com, 2020). It boosts your image presentation and makes it easy to develop new connections or contacts for future use.

    Most important factor in developing and increasing your professional presence is attending more and more events where you can be able to socialise with fashion industry people, learn from them that how to make statements worth recognising and many more things. Fashion industry events are the best place to meet new people from every area of the industry whether any designers, bloggers, makeup artists or any stylists. Your body language, your speaking capability, your exposure and skills makes you way smarter than just talking to people normally or asking them their business cards.

Q4. How to prepare for a job interview?

Jobs interviews are a quite tough nut to crack for some people in this fashion industry whether some excel in it with ease. It depends on how the candidate is confident and how he/she is nervous, how the candidate speaks, the attitude, the skill presentation, body language, the behaviour whether that is too friendly or arrogant and factors like this puts a grate impression on the interviewer when they meet you for the first time. Your personality presentation in the interview is the most significant key factor which works as magic on the interview panel is it create good affect. Certain specific determinants to take care of before attending any fashion industry job interview are –

  • Staying positive and being calm is the first necessary thing to do because being nervous will make you uncomfortable and that will impact your interview with the professionals also.
  • Preparation should be chosen according to the job profile for which you are going to give the interview. It is vital to have knowledge about the employer as much as possible since that makes them that you are well aware of the company for which you came to interview for (Olumide, , 2018).
  • Practice always helped in making people better, so keep practicing about the speech delivery and how you will convey your views and thoughts to the interviewer, talking about your past experience if exists and sharing your strong pints with them makes them believe in you and your genuine personality.
  • Preparing for the questions that they will ask you in the interaction and what you want to give answer to them according to your knowledge and skills that you have is crucial since upon that your being employed or not depends. So the answer needs to be appropriate and according to the questions and not anything else.
  • The last but not the least thing to remember is being normal and general in your behaviour throughout the interview session is good for every candidate. Some candidates become over-friendly which is not at all an impressive behaviour on the other hand being arrogant and sharp-speaker is also not good. The correct temper to talking with interviewers is being what you are, the company professional who interviews candidates are aware of each and every type of candidate behaviour so they mostly like those people who shows them their original side (statista.com, 2021). Being fake and giving unnecessary friendly talks impacts negatively sometimes. On contrary, the interviewers appreciate normal and genuine behaviour of the candidate. So it can be advised that show your original and genuine side of the professional behaviour in the interviews.
Q5. How to interview a fashion industry professional?

While interviewing candidates being fashion industry professional, you have to go first with the portfolio of the candidate since it has most of the information needed about them and later on interview conversation with the candidate helps to decide whether to choose or to reject. In fashion world, there are a lot of various types of jobs available, based on each and every skills acquired where there can be makeup artist, textile designing jobs, merchandiser, stylist, creative director and so on.

When you are playing for the interviewer role to examine candidates for industry selection candidature, you need to focus on some aspects such as –

    Make lit of the questions which you were going to ask to the candidates about their academics and past experiences or some other questions that directly relates with the job responsibility for which the interview is going on (statista.com, 2021).

    It is must to know the behaviour of the candidate so ask them behavioural questions about their capability and potential to be fit for the organisation. Ask them about their past experiences if acquires or you may also ask for situational questions such as “if this happens any day what you will do or how you will do with that situation” and so on.

    Review thoroughly the resume of the candidate before asking questions to get knowledge about what they have in them and how they can contribute potentially in the designation. It save s time avoids unnecessary questions.

    The hiring professional must speak less rather give chance to the candidate to describe their expertise and skills and qualifications during the interview. But it must be made sure that all the necessary questions should be asked.

    Most necessary thing to notify is watching the non-verbal signals and actions of the candidate such as eye contact, proper speaking tone, appropriate dress and also make sure that when you are representing the company your actions should also reflect manners and courtesies.

    After professional talk you must ask about their personal life also because the personal life impacts and environment puts a huge effect on the working abilities of a person (Sudha, & Sheena, , 2017). It will also make the candidate feel assured and now their interests and hobbies or their desires in future to understand them in a better way.

These are few of the things to nurture with while taking the interviewing candidate responsibilities on behalf of an organisation. You also need to be humble polite and soft spoken so that the candidate can also feel comfortable while interacting with you.

Appendix 1

These can be some of the frequent questions asked in interviews. Answering them appropriately will take you towards your desired success in life and career.

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Conclusion

The above written material is a self-reflection article or blog that how it is to be a part of the fashion industries, what are the dos and don’ts in the interview sessions. It is a self-awareness article that highlights the preparation for a job interview, hoe to present an impactful image in n fashion industry events and how to impress people and make contacts so that they can be used later on. Finally it can be concluded that a confident and well-mannered personality can do half the thing which will make your acquaintance desirable in the fashion industry world.

References

drapersonline.com. ( 2009). Retrieved January 11th , 2021, from 14 ways to promote a new fashion label online: https://www.drapersonline.com/archive/14-ways-to-promote-a-new-fashion-label-online

statista.com. ( 2020). Retrieved December 2nd , 2020 , from Fashion eCommerce report 2020 : https://www.statista.com/study/38340/ecommerce-report-fashion/

statista.com. ( 2021). Retrieved February 2nd , 2021 , from Fashion : https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/ecommerce/fashion/worldwide

Murillo, , Y. S., Mosquera, , A., Juaneda Ayensa,, E., & Pascual,, C. O. (2019). Omnichannel shopper segmentation in the fashion industry. Journal of Promotion Management, 25(5).

statista.com. (2017). Retrieved December 20th , 2020 , from Leading social media used for professional purposes according to marketing professionals worldwide as of February 2017 : https://www.statista.com/statistics/693350/social-media-marketers-use-professional-purposes/

statista.com. (2021). Retrieved March 3rd, 2021 , from Social media - Statistics & Facts : https://www.statista.com/topics/1164/social-networks/

Bowen, , T. (2018). Becoming professional: examining how WIL students learn to construct and perform their professional identities. Studies in Higher Education, 43(7).

Mair,, C. (2018). The Psychology of Fashion. Routledge.

Olumide, , E. (2018). How To Get Into Fashion: A complete guide for models, creatives and anyone interested in the world of fashion. Luath Press Ltd.

Sudha, , M., & Sheena, , K. (2017). Impact of influencers in consumer decision process: the fashion industry. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 14(3).

Appendices

Appendix 1 Appendix 1 Appendix 1
PART 2: PDP (Personal development plan)
a) Short bio

Steps to introduce yourself in an interview with a short bio:

Starting with your full name pronounced clearly so that they can remember it

If working somewhere, mention the current organisation name and your designation there

Your personal life too needs a short introduction

Highlight your personal and professional goals that you have decided to achieve

Share your academic qualifications and relevant skills that you acquire for his specific job

Any relevant accomplishment or achievement if you pursue

Your extracurricular activities, likes and dislikes which you do in free time

Don’t forget to mention your other expertise and areas of skills and competences

Mentioning what you expect from the organisation is also important

Make them understand why they must choose you over other candidates for the job in that specific organisation

End with a good thanking note

b) PDP Form

Personal Development Plan is an set action plan that need to be followed step by step so that there will be a positive growth in the professional field of a person. These actions include identification of the goals that are set first the he actions needed for accomplishing those goals are casted after that the sources from where the goals can be fulfilled are analysed and finally there exists a progress monitoring of the goals set up.

Appendix 1 Appendix 1 Appendix 1
c) CV

A curriculum vita is basically a Latin word that can be described as “course of life”. These curriculum vitae are generally shortened by the name of CV or it has another name that is a resume. In some place the curriculum vitae is also known as only vita that is just a written overview or a collection of information about a person having all of his/her educational information, personal information and experienced information is presented. It is just a short description of the work life of a person from the initial days to till the present time. CV is a typical document which a job applicant uses to present all of their educational and professional accomplishments in the life time. CVs are used for applying for the designations within the areas of a person’ specifications or expertise. It summarises within it all of the relevant achievements in order to interest or entice the hiring personnel or manager when anyone is applying for a new job vacancy.

Appendix 1
d) Cover Letter

A cover letter is a typical letter format or it can also be termed as motivational letter or introductory letter that introduces the attachment of that file or document that is accompanied with the cover letter. Cover letter is generally given along with curriculum vitae (CV) or a resume for a job purpose. The cover letter attached with a resume is just an introduction to specify that, what are your desires, what are your skills, what are your qualification in academic field, what are your experience benefits and what you think and want from the business firm that you are applying for a job vacancy. The main purpose of a cover letter is to grab the employer’s attention to make them read your resume. Basically there are three types of cover letters present, one is the Application cover letter that is geared up for a job centric curriculum vitae and is tailored with specifications and skills required. Second is the Prospecting cover letter which is written for all general job vacancies by the job seekers. Last one is the Networking cover letter and as per the name it is given to make contacts with businesses. Networking cover letter is called das the black sheep of all the cover letters.

Appendix 1

Figure 3: Sample Cover Letter

Appendix 1

Figure 4: Cover Letter Anatomy

e) Business Card

A business card can be said as that small card which contains a small representation of your business information that bears few of the important details in it. A business card tells about the company or any individual or any professional working in any organisation. This card is a typical business card that includes in it the card owner’s name, or the business affiliation i.e. the company name in it which is basically present as the logo of that business brad along with that present the contact information about that personnel or company. It is given to make new connections and contacts so that either the business or the professional can be spread more. The company addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses of that business or personnel and a website id mentioned (website only for businesses). In some of the business cards there are images also signifying the brand or business which moreover gives extra exposure to the people. There are different types of business cards named – Premium business card, Standard business card, Matte business card, Embossed business card and last is Gloss business card.

Appendix 1
f) Mood board

Mood board can be termed as a visual tool that helps in creating communication with our own thoughts, ideas, creative concepts and visual ideas. It is an arrangement that is fully planned and well thought by using materials, images, text pieces and many other things which all are intended together to evoke or project a specific concept or style of thought.

A mood board can be prepared by:

Set the direction of your chosen project

Gather all the necessary materials

Add attractive and inspiring images

Add motion & sound to your project

Decorate it colourful with various fonts and files

Change it from messy project to an organised one by assembling the materials

Keep space for more inspirational material

Present your thoughts

Connect the project with your ideas

Asking for feedback is a must

All these steps when collected together we will get a mood board to elaborate ot creative ideas through project designing which will highlight our thoughts and make us explore more.

Appendix 1

Figure 6: Mood board sample

PART 3: Pitch

After assessing and preparing for the field I wanted to join as my career which is in the fashion industry, I gathered a lot of information on what skills and experience will be needed to become a professional fashion industry personality. I have listed few of them that will help in self-promotion while participating in different fashion industry events as professionals

Highly artistic and creative designing skills – these skills and designing competences makes a person different from other and make them visible in all kinds of fashion industry events among people with great impression. These are those skills which one learns from their academic experience and training to apply them when working as professionals.

Drawing skills – Drawing skills are those skills which makes a person being able to bring down what he/she has in their mind with full potential. All the sketches of fashion promotions are the abilities to make person bring out to people making them unique. It helps in explaining and sketching the ideas in the brain which is very important for a true fashion artist.

Eye for details – In the fashion industry one most important thing needed is being a detailed person, which means when you are preparing any clothing or business design there must be a perfect detailing in that. Keen details makes a project highlight itself in a positive light which makes public as well as professional relations that is necessary for being visible in the fashion industry.

In today’s world, there are numerous ways to be visible on the social platform and with the use of all the other fashion industry standards for making a good impression on people out there, may be it the audience or the industry other professionals. This visibility requires enough good manners and some basic ethics to improve the chances of being visible to the world out there. These basic ethics and manners on the social media platform can be like:

Connecting with the people – To make an impression first of all the thing needed is to choose the group or segment of the audience which you want to get noticed in and for that select the age group whether kids, moms-to-be, gents, old age people or the youths. These selections make it easy for you to bring out the ways through which you can connect with them to get their attention and get a clear understanding about all of their choices, preferences and taste about fashion and thoughts about the industry.

Selecting the media platforms – To be present in the social media platform is an essential part of self-promotion in the fashion industry. So to choose the right platform and the exact way to present you is a must. After choosing the audience section, choosing the media demographics is important such as measuring the Facebook demographics, Instagram demographics and Twitter demographics to get an idea of how these works as promotional media sources. After this just make the exact pan to execute to present yourself in the world with full of skills and experiences having knowledge about the target audience and ready with the media platforms for improving the self-image in fashion industry and in the outside world too.

PART 4: Professional Profile

In fashion industry, having social professional present is more important to be present in the physical events, though being visible in physical fashion events are also very much necessary to have self-promotion and making a statement in the world. In social media professional platforms, the mostly used platform can be chosen for image building such LinkedIn and Pinterest. These two are the ways through which social professional present can be made to contact with new people and interact with other professionals also to build up your fashion industry professional image. Researches said that about 92 per cent of the strong and skilful candidatures are found on the professional media platforms which is utilised by the recruiters to find their suitable candidate for them.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn is considered as the king in the world of professional networking media platforms because it is the hub where you can find the most suitable candidate for your organisation from a numerous of choice of working and active professionals. Most business owners use tis to connect with the job seekers to get in touch with them for recruitment purpose. LinkedIn is a kind of centralised service for career related every aspect. You can get starting from resumes to experience certificates also on the LinkedIn online spaces where candidates share them to get attention of the company owners and also allow them to present the templates and other sample work of your previous work as a proof of originality. In order to maintain the LinkedIn profile and maximise the presentation of your experiences, you need to be visible on this channel on a regular basis with updated account and contents to share. LinkedIn contains all the information of your professional front starting from your skills and learning and your previous experiences gathered. LinkedIn account can be done with these easy steps:

  • Go to the LinkedIn website linkedIn.com
  • Click on the join or sing up button
  • Fill up all the details carefully
  • Click on Join now or Join or Agree
  • Do the security check process
  • Fill the other details required
  • Click on Next
  • Again fill the details
  • Click either “I am a student” or “Continue”
  • Put the confirmation code in the new page which you will get in your email
  • Again click on Agree and press confirm
  • Your homepage is now ready for action

Pinterest – Pinterest is another method of showcasing social presence in the virtual world. On Pinterest, data presented that women are more profound and popular in this platform as compared with men. For female candidates, Pinterest will be the best professional platform to showcase the skills, knowledge, experience and competences to the fashion industry world. It is also said the Pinterest is a great tool to utilise as an online professional portfolio for every candidate as it has unique features to offer the excellent business organisational feature to attract candidates more. There are few steps to open a Pinterest account as follows:

  • Open the Pinterest app website which is Pinterest.com
  • Click on Sign up button
  • Fill up your email address and make a password for that and press continue, or you can link it with your other social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • You will get a welcome message then press Next
  • Answer the details and click Done
  • Get the confirmation code from your email
  • Put that code in the Pinterest account and you are ready to rock

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