What if I told you that you could land a job at Vogue someday? It seems unattainable considering it’s every aspiring fashion journalist’s dream, sometimes to the point where people don’t even want to fantasize about it. But the truth is that Vogue employs plenty of people, and every single person there started with nothing but their dream in mind just like you. You could be next!
1- Pay Your Dues
Every prestigious gig involves working your way up. Your goal of working at Vogue isn’t unrealistic, but the fantasy of stepping right out of your college graduation and into Vogue’s headquarters is. “You can’t just expect to waltz into a prestigious company and take on a top role (unless you have some serious experience). Instead, be prepared to get your foot in the door in a junior role or work your way up through the ranks at smaller companies first,” says Style Nine to Five founder, Christie Lohr. This goes for any big-paying job at a high-profile company – no one starts there.
“Let’s say you want to be a fashion editor at Vogue – what other editorial experience can you bring? You might have to pay your dues at less glamorous publications before you have the experience to stand out at Vogue,” says Christie. There is the rare case of people who do start at Vogue, but it’s not usually in their ideal position. Christie says this is another way of paying dues: “Start in a junior copywriting role or assistant position there and work your way up.” Assistant positions and internships may not seem ideal, but they’re a start.
Another position worth jumping into is an Executive Assistant to the Editor at Condé Nast. Why this specific role? Well, plenty of employees at Vogue got their start in that position before launching into other roles! They were vocal at meetings, helped out wherever they could, and managed to jump into the role they dreamt of from there.
The point is, even if your current copywriting and journalism gigs seem like they have nothing to do with dreams, even if it feels unfulfilling in comparison to what the job you wish you could be doing, it’s a step forward. As Christie says, “It’s all about being humble and putting in the hard work to get there.”
2- Work On Yourself
A lot of hard work goes into landing a job at Vogue. The people who work there didn’t just have one junior job before hitting it big at Vogue right after – they networked, took on all sorts of jobs and volunteer opportunities, got their name out there, and made it.
“More is more and make sure to inject your application with tangible examples of the proactive ways you’re working on your career development,” says Christie. “Every little bit helps when it comes to going the extra mile and standing out among a huge competition base.”
This means that if you want to work at Vogue, you’ve got a lot of preparation to do.
“Are you actively networking and improving your skill set? Are you on top of the industry news? Do you take an active role in keeping your skillset sharp? Are you taking on extra responsibility at your current job?” asks Christie. “Other things you can do: network with as many people as you can in similar roles or with the connections you want, take courses to add or brush up on skills, things like an Adobe Creative Suite weekend course or a digital marketing class online.”
For Vogue, you’ll want to have a strong background in fashion journalism. Things you can do to improve here is take journalism courses and gain a strong background in fashion journalism. There are plenty of fashion publications out there that take on volunteer writers trying to create a portfolio for themselves. A great part of this is that you’ll be able to network with other fashion journalists and you can help each other pivot to the top!
Keep an eye on Condé Nast’s job board and LinkedIn page before you’re even ready to apply, too – that way, you’ll see postings for the job that you want and be able to tailor your skills specifically to the ones they’re seeking. Their LinkedIn page will also link to employees at the company – peruse their skills and experience, too, to see how they made it to your dream job.
Never stop improving yourself and your skills. Don’t stop taking on new opportunities or looking for new learning experiences. The best of the best never got complacent in their career journeys. If you want to work at Vogue, you need to have worked your way toward the ability to call yourself “the best”.
3. Stand Out
The reason that you need to do all the above to catch Vogue’s attention? Well, quite simply, you aren’t one of a few people gunning for their attention. “Gigs like working at Vogue are on a LOT of people’s dream job list, so you’ll have stiff competition and need to stand out,” advises Christie.
Methods of standing out lie in working hard at those not-so-glamorous jobs, taking those extra courses, and networking with everyone you can. Various aspects of those will help you get a leg up, but you also need to make sure you stand out when you submit your application.
“Make sure your cover letter, portfolio, and resume are absolutely flawless when you do decide to apply so your application pops off the screen and wows the hiring manager right off the bat,” says Christie. “A plain Word document resume/cover letter won’t cut it. It should be beautifully designed and every word should be packed with value to the hiring manager. Cut the filler, back your experience up with metrics, and get professional resume/cover letter help if it’s a huge dream job opportunity. Pull out all the stops to personalize your application, follow up with the hiring manager, and stand out in every way you can. Expect to put some hard work in getting your assets and skills up to tip-top shape—this isn’t a time to quickly slap together an application so make sure you’re giving it 110%.”
Outside of all of this, getting your name out there is certainly a big help, too – if you want to be a fashion editor at Vogue, you should be making connections with other journalists online, writing for every fashion publication you can find and posting about your work and the work of others on social media. Make Vogue know your name before your application’s even on their desk!
It sounds daunting, but anyone can do it – anyone can reach out to fashion professionals they admire on LinkedIn. Anyone can find jobs and opportunities they can take on to work their way to Vogue. Anyone can take some extra courses and learn something that’ll help them get a leg up. Your destination job may have a long, winding journey before you reach it, but that doesn’t mean you never will!
Need extra guidance on your career journey? Purchase the Style Nine to Five Get Hired in Your Dream Job Workbook!
Emily Morrison is a media professional with passions for writing, film and popular culture.
Image: monticellllo – stock.adobe.com