CV Workshop


Making a good first impression in fashion is paramount, and when applying for jobs, your CV often has to do the talking for you. We asked one of our Personal Development tutors, Jackie Cook, about what makes a great CV. And she should know; Jackie is a qualified Career Counsellor and has over 35 years’ industry experience at brands including Selfridges, Hoopers, WGSN. Here’s her top five tips, for making your CV tip top!


  1. Ask yourself what comes first, Education or Work Experience? There comes a point where your level of work experience strengthens and adds significant value to your CV, more so then your Education. It’s important to consider this when you’re applying for a new role – for example, if you’re starting out as a BAA and you’ve already had a significant amount of retail experience – prioritise this and list it before listing your Education.

  2. Your personal profile can be your ticket in! With more employers using CV scanning software, it can be harder to make sure your CV gets past the Robots and onto the desk of the right HR person. By prioritising keywords from the role description into your personal profile, such as the job title or skill description headlines, you have a better chance of getting your CV through to a potential employer.

  3. We ask – are you a completer-finisher or a resource-negotiator? Learning what your strengths and weaknesses might be, assists you in finding the right niche. We cannot stress enough, understanding yourself is important and deciding what sort of culture suits you in the work context.

  4. Make your Work Experience relevant. It may take time, but tailoring your CV to the role you’re applying for will help you get through to the interview stage. Have a look at your previous Work Experience and make sure it is relevant to the role. By elaborating on your life and past work experience, you’ll give prospective employers a better understanding of your cultural fit with their team. So prepare real examples of when you exhibited those attributes.

  5. Reflect, reflect, reflect. There is no point applying for a role you are not interested in, one which may not be the right fit. Whether it is your previous education or work experience, you already have knowledge of the situations where you thrive or where you may flounder. Reflect back on your life history and where you have been, to help you identify opportunities for a future career life that will work for you.


Fine tuning your CV will take time, but if you start with these tips you’ll be on the right track!

We cover more aspects of Personal and Professional Development in our 6-week Postgrad programme, designed to give graduates the skills and opportunities required to get your foot in the door and secure your first role in fashion.

To find out more about our fashion Short Courses or Postgraduate Programme, visit our Short Courses page or email us to speak to one of our friendly team.


Photo: Associate Lecturer Jackie Cook