Common Mistakes When Applying For Digital Marketing Roles in Fashion


Common Mistakes When Applying For Digital Marketing Roles in Fashion

digital marketing in fashion


Through technology, brands have several options for marketing their products in innovative and creative ways. Have you ever wondered why an ASOS ad pops up, right after visiting the website? Well, this one example of how targeted ads are used in digital marketing within the fashion industry to increase sales.


Digital Marketing has become one of the leading career paths within the fashion industry. With social media and technology evolving, the sector encompasses more roles and skills than ever before, thus taking over traditional marketing. Digital marketing is a diverse career option that has a place for everyone who’s creative, a wordsmith and anyone who has the ability to think outside the box. As someone who works in the industry, studied marketing and went on to complete further short courses, I have learned that there are certain things we should not do when applying for a digital marketing role. 


Below are a few tips that have helped me secure jobs in digital marketing:


Uploading a CV without a portfolio

Applying for a job with an online portfolio is imperative and will increase your visibility and presence. A digital portfolio is an online collection that represents your skills and allows you to show the hiring manager what you are capable of. It can include different types of projects you’ve worked on such as photography, data analysis, articles, research etc.

Attach a link to your portfolio to your CV or upload the file when applying for a job. Building a portfolio is also a great way to counteract a lack of experience in a field or role. Create your own experience by taking on independent projects such as creating a personal blog or either writing for a brand. I built my portfolio by using my personal fashion and lifestyle blog to highlight my SEO, content writing and social media skills. Websites such as Duda, Squarespace and Canva are great options for creating a professional portfolio that reflects your personal brand. You can also use Flipsnack to create a free fashion marketing template portfolio.  As a freelance fashion writer, I’ve used websites such as Contently and WordPress to create a digital space that showcases my articles and professional expertise. Through Contently’s platform, freelancers can connect directly with brands and pitch their work to them. The platform also has a rates database and a freelance rates calculator to help you determine the amount you should charge for each client.


TOP TIP: My portfolio links are already included on my 2 page CV and are hyperlinked in a different colour.  This element is crucial not only for attracting a hiring manager’s attention and making it easy for them to navigate your application but also for looking polished and professional.


Relying on past qualifications

The digital marketing industry is constantly evolving and is an expansive career with a lot of opportunity for growth. I have learned that the knowledge I gained from my marketing and communications qualification was not enough as the industry, especially in fashion, is ever-changing. I decided to complete a short course in digital marketing to stay abreast with the industry trends and learn new digital marketing skills such as email marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) to name a few. You can complete short courses from websites such as Hubspot, Google Online Marketing Challenges and Social Media Quick Starter. You can also pick up some soft skills in digital marketing-related fields like photography, influencer marketing, design software and video editing to show that you know all aspects of marketing and can lead support on a wide array of projects.

The University of the Arts London offers a digital marketing for fashion online short course to give you an overview of the latest tactics and strategies, helping you stay ahead in the fashion industry. The course is highly practical, and each week you will put the learning into practice with realistic assignments and get personal feedback on your work from an expert tutor. You can also pay close attention to the strategies your favourite big brands apply by critically analysing their social media posts, influencer campaigns and the type of marketing campaigns they have.


TOP TIP: For example, I personally love the ASOS brand and I always analyse how they use their content marketing to grow their brand. This reference has helped me pitch ideas to the brands I’ve worked with and has helped me understand digital marketing in the fashion industry. 


Using a generic CV for every application

Many job seekers use one version of their CV when applying for roles, which could lead to disappointment as each role has different specifications and requirements. Digital marketing roles are competitive, especially in the fashion industry.  Ensure you stand out by tailoring your CV to a specific job description by highlighting keywords and specific skills listed in the job description. This shows the hiring manager that you’re interested in the job and that you are suitable for the role. According to, many employers now use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Software to scan job applications that don’t fit the parameters of the job description. The software scans CVs for specific keywords or phrases related to the role. If your CV doesn’t include these words and phrases, you probably won’t even secure an interview.  I used to wonder why I would receive the infamous ‘we regret to inform you…’ email for almost every job application I was qualified for until a recruiter mentioned that my CV was not tailored for the specific job. She suggested that if the job description asks for ‘strong interpersonal skills and social media skills’ I should include those words in there somewhere but only if I have those skills. In my personal profile of my CV (short paragraph at the top a CV), I usually edit and tailor it based on the specific job I’m applying for and the type of skills and requirements they expect.


TOP TIP: Check out the Pepper Your Talk ‘Simple CV Edit Workbook’ to get you one step closer to securing the job of your dreams.


Pretending to know a specific digital marketing technology or term

There is a great deal of jargon that gets used within the industry and it may be tempting to pretend you know a term or you’re familiar with a particular software or technology. Don’t be ashamed of not knowing something, rather use it as an opportunity to learn and hone your craft. I remember how confused I was when the term ‘lead generation’ was used in a meeting. At that moment, I wanted to quickly google it but as the meeting continued I started to pick up what it actually meant and even asked a question to clarify. A career journey is about learning and taking daily steps towards becoming an expert. Allow yourself to be a beginner.


Including irrelevant social media accounts

Including a link to your social media accounts on your CV should reflect your personal brand and serve to demonstrate why you’re qualified for the job. For example, if you’re applying for a social media manager role, your social media accounts should not feature unprofessional content but rather be a reflection of your professional capabilities. Your Instagram account, for instance, should appear aesthetically pleasing and creative if you’re applying for a role that’s specifically focused on creating content on Instagram. However, creating one professional online profile is also a great way to have an online professional presence and it also serves as a second digital portfolio. I personally use LinkedIn to share my articles or work with my connections and to connect with recruiters and industry peers. My Instagram account has served as a creative outlet for me and is a platform I use to showcase my creativity and create fashion and lifestyle content. It has helped me secure jobs with fashion brands and is a reflection of my personal brand. We all know how imperative social media is in the fashion industry if you want to create a more aesthetically pleasing Instagram account you can download apps such as Tezza or Filmora to edit your pictures and videos. Creating a social media content on platforms such as Later and Coschedule calendar is also a great way to schedule your posts, analyse your statistics and post consistently. 


Applying for a new role is challenging especially during these unprecedented times, however, it’s also an opportunity to become creative and to stand out as a viable candidate. Remember to trust the process, hone your craft, apply the above tips and be kind to yourself. You are doing well, sis!


Words by Wandi Jama


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