Careers Finding a Job Top Skills for Fashion Interns Essencial Skills Needed to Work As an Intern in the Fashion Industry Share PINTEREST Email Print Tony Anderson/Getty Images Finding a Job Job Searching Skills & Keywords Resumes Salary & Benefits Letters & Emails Job Listings Job Interviews Cover Letters Career Advice Best Jobs Work-From-Home Jobs Internships Table of Contents Expand Your Intern Role With Required Skills Top Resume Skills for Fashion Design Design-Specific Skills in Fashion General Skills for a Fashion Intern By Penny Loretto Penny Loretto Penny Loretto is the Associate Director in the Career Development Center at a Skidmore College, a small liberal arts college. She has her own career counseling practice, Career Choice, where she works with adults in career transition. She conducts career planning workshops including researching career options, job search strategies, and resume development. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 06/03/19 The fashion industry is a very competitive field, and to become successful, you must have the talent, creativity, skills, and ability needed to do the job. Your Intern Role With Required Skills in Fashion In an internship in the fashion industry, your role can vary greatly depending on the aspect of the business in which you're working. Some options include fashion retail, fashion design, sales or editorial work. Your day-to-day responsibilities can include merchandising, sales, sewing, sketching, promotion, advertising or event planning. Interns are encouraged to have a passion for and skills in fashion to succeed, as the days are often long and the hours grueling. If you don't love what you do, you're likely to burn out quickly. Finding an internship in fashion is a great way to learn the ropes and find out what it's really like working in the industry. You may decide that you have the skills in fashion work to succeed in a fashion career. Top Resume Skills for Fashion Design Interns When listing your skills, list some of your skills in fashion that pertain directly to the work you'll do in fashion. For example. you'll need to have strong drawing skills in order to sketch out and present design ideas. Other skills are less specific to your fashion job but apply to any type of job you'll do, such as persistence and good listening. Both of these skill categories are important to employers. Design-Specific Skills in Fashion Describe the skills that you've learned through your education, experience, and training that apply to the type of work you think you'll be doing as an intern, such as the following: Highly Creative and Artistic Even if you are not in the design portion of the industry, creativity and an eye for what is visually appealing is important in every aspect of the business. Your creativity and sense of style can influence even written materials and promotional ads. Your skills in fashion should include these. Creative ideas about design and fashionStrong sense of styleSuperior writing and descriptive skillsAbility to translate ideas into words Strong Drawing Skills Interns need preliminary fashion skills, including the ability to sketch ideas, from potential garments to room layouts of a runway show. While being a true artist isn't necessary, you should be comfortable sketching out your thoughts to help explain your ideas. Ability to translate ideas into sketches that illustrate potential garments and accessoriesTranslate ideas into useful sketches that illustrate room layouts for a runway show Good Eye for Detail In fashion, the details are everything. That's true of both the clothes and the business. You will often have to juggle multiple projects at once that require your constant attention, making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Attention to and an eye for detailProject management skills to balance multiple projectsInteract with all factors and people that have an impact on a project or task Understanding of Texture, Color, and Quality Fabric Whether you're a designer or a public relations specialist, fashion interns should understand the basics of fabric quality, textures, and complementary colors to talk and write intelligently about the products. Understand the basics of fabric qualityUnderstand and appreciate texture in the various types of fabricKnow complementary colors as well as how to match colors in intriguing and different waysBe able to talk professionally and knowledgeably with customers and fashion coworkers Strong Visualization Skills When dealing with garments and fashion events, you have to be able to visualize what the finished product will look like so you can plan accordingly. Able to dress mannequinsSelect and coordinate outfits, colors, and accessories for displayMaintain retail displays for attraction and cleanlinessAble to drape fabric, pin fabric, and trim fabric General Job Skills for a Fashion Intern The following skills are very important to employers, and they matter regardless of which field you're working in. You can also mention some of these skills, along with an example of when you've used them in the past, during an interview. While you won't necessarily be expected to have competence in all of these areas, these also give you an idea about the skills you need to develop to grow in your career Excellent Communication and Interpersonal Skills Your interpersonal communication skills are essential. As an intern, you'll be dealing with people at different levels in the company, as well as outside designers and vendors. Able to build rapport with customersAble to build rapport with coworkersRespecting the diversity of customersSelecting and helping customers select outfits and accessories that enhance their appearanceAble to communicate tactfully when an outfit is not quite right for a customerKnowledgeable about the clothing and accessories being soldRespect the confidentiality of customers and coworkers A Good Sense of the Business It's important to have an understanding of current trends so you can pinpoint what will be the next big thing. Understanding that fashion is a business and not just about creating beautiful clothes is important for your success. Represents the company respectfully and professionallyHave an eye for current fashion trends to spot potential sales winnersAble to operate organizational and computer systems to input dataDeal with inventory management and orderingKnowledgeable about social media marketing including Facebook, Twitter, and InstagramUnderstands the concepts of generating revenue and making a profitCan do bookkeeping and understands payroll and financial matters A Competitive Spirit The fashion industry is competitive, often with many interns competing for just one position at the end. You need to be able to handle the pressure while remaining gracious and professional. Able to handle competition and pressure with grace and dignityWork well with other fashion interns who may also be striving for the same goalUnderstand the competitiveness of the fashion industry, in general, and thrive in this environmentAble to handle the pressure leading up to major fashion events and rise to the tough challenges. Ability to Work Well With a Team One of the key fashion skills you'll need is the ability to collaborate with others effectively. You'll be part of an extensive team that works very closely together on major projects and in meetings. Able to effectively collaborate with the other players in a team environmentProblem solve and generate solutions rather than finger-pointing and blamingBelieving that diverse ideas and points of view add value to projectsValuing diversity in your team members Knowledge and Interest in Current Fashion Trends While you don't need to be a slave to the recent trends yourself, you should be aware of what's going in the fashion world to have the right perspective when coming up with ideas. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic about current fashion trendsKnowing when a fashion trend is not right for a customerSeeking new fashion and product knowledge to serve as an expert for the customersConstantly looking for the latest and greatest to stay competitive in the fashion industry The Bottom Line The fashion industry is very competitive. So make sure to include core skills in your resume like excellent communication and other interpersonal skills. Don't forget to highlight your knowledge of current fashion trends in your cover letter. And use examples to demonstrate how you applied this knowledge and your skills to succeed in prior work during an interview.