Fashion Journalist Skills: Definitions and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 8, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to be a media professional who specializes in fashion, then a career as a fashion journalist may be right for you. The job may require you to investigate happenings in the industry and develop correspondence to report your findings to the public. Identifying aptitudes that relate to being a fashion journalist can offer you insight into working in the industry and help you prepare to pursue your coveted job. In this article, we define fashion journalist skills, provide several examples and list the steps to improve your abilities, use them in the workplace and highlight them throughout your job search.

What are fashion journalist skills?

Fashion journalist skills are a collection of soft and technical abilities that can enable you to be successful as a reporter in the fashion industry. Employers may require you to have these skills before they hire you for the position since they relate directly to the responsibilities you may perform. The abilities may include expertise in working in the media and proficiencies that correlate with fashion and how the field operates.

Examples of fashion journalist skills

The fashion industry may require its media professionals to be personable and informed about recent events to engage audiences with their publications. Your proficiency can also allow you to be successful in a role that often requires multiple responsibilities. Here are examples of fashion journalist skills you can build to prepare for your desired career:

Fashion expertise

Knowledge about fashion is an essential skill for journalists who report fashion news and work closely with other professionals in the industry, including stylists, models and designers. For example, you can easily identify luxury designer brands and anticipate when major fashion events occur. You may also know how to distinguish between timeless fashion pieces and passing trends, which can help you stay abreast of what public figures and consumers are wearing.

Read more: How To Learn About the Fashion Industry: A Step-by-Step Guide

Research

Research can enable you to justify the fashion stories you write. You may know how to identify reputable sources and compile data from multiple channels to sense patterns and draw conclusions. For instance, when discussing a trend that the industry has revitalized, your research may inform you of where the trend comes from and why it's so popular during certain times of the year.

Interpersonal communication

Your role as a fashion journalist may require you to conduct interviews that trigger responses that can complement your story. Interpersonal communication enables you to build positive relationships with interviewees, which can make them feel more comfortable during the meeting and willing to offer inside details that may interest your viewers and readers. For example, ahead of a runway show for a new line of wedding dresses, a prominent fashion designer may participate in an interview with you, where you ask questions about the significance of the pieces and base additional questions on the designers' initial responses.

Written communication

Another responsibility of a fashion journalist may be to publish content about fashion to multiple platforms, such as magazines, newspaper columns and websites. While it can be important for you to be proficient in grammar techniques and sentence structures, written communication can also include knowing how to write for specific audiences. You can follow the style guide that your employer uses for external materials, and you know how to tell stories about the fashion industry that answer readers' questions and maximize readership and engagement.

Related: Journalist vs. Writer: What's the Difference?

How to improve fashion journalist skills

Follow these steps for guidance on becoming more proficient in fashion journalist:

  1. Know where you want to improve. Your journey to professional growth can start with knowing your strengths and the areas you want to enhance. Consider the specialty you want to pursue in fashion journalism to help you determine which areas are most important to enhance to make you eligible for your desired role.

  2. Work as an intern. Becoming a fashion journalist may require a college degree, which gives you an opportunity to work as an intern before you graduate. Look for internships at fashion publications, for example, to gain experience in the industry and observe the work ethic of experienced journalists, which can help you boost your own skill set.

  3. Find a mentor. A mentor is a professional who's an expert at fashion and journalism, and they can help you find employment opportunities and give you feedback on your abilities. Look for a mentor during your internship, or you can ask a former professor to work with you to boost your qualifications.

  4. Distribute a portfolio. Another way to gain feedback as a prospective fashion journalist is to distribute a portfolio that displays your previous work. Constructive criticism from people in your network can help you understand what the industry expects you and highlight your strong areas to increase your confidence.

Related: Multimedia Journalist Skills: Definitions and Examples

Fashion journalist skills in the workplace

Consider following these tips to exemplify your skill set as a fashion journalist in the workplace:

  • Proofread your writing before publication. Use your written communication skills to resolve errors in your draft and ensure it communicates your story effectively before it goes live on a website or on the front page of a newspaper.

  • Ask insightful questions during an interview. A designer, model or stylist may appreciate interview questions that indicate knowledge of current fashion trends and encourage responses that discuss products and designs. Use your fashion expertise and research skills to lead a successful interview.

  • Anticipate future trends. Your newspaper or magazine column may require you to deliver your opinions about the fashion industry to appeal to viewers. Use your expertise to predict clothing styles that may be prevalent in the future.

Related: How To Become a Fashion Journalist: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to highlight fashion journalist skills

Throughout your job search, it can be important to market your employability to boost your chances of receiving an offer. You can show employers you possess the required skill set to fulfill the responsibilities of a fashion journalist. Here's how you can highlight your abilities as you pursue roles in your field:

Fashion journalist skills for resume and cover letter

Your resume and cover letter often accompany your job application, which means they're the first materials a hiring manager may read to form a first impression about you. Specify your fashion journalist skills to capture an employer's attention and distinguish yourself from competing candidates. On your resume, you can add your skills to your professional summary, describe tasks that involved those skills in the work experience section and compile a bulleted list of your abilities in the skills section. On your cover letter, consider telling a story about the skills you developed and why they make you qualified.

Fashion journalist skills for the job interview

If your resume and cover letter impress the employer, you can have another opportunity to promote your qualifications by attending the job interview. The hiring manager may already know what you're capable of in the workplace, so you can provide specific examples to verify that you're as skilled as you claimed. For instance, you can discuss the items in your portfolio to illustrate your talent for staying informed about the fashion industry. Remember to use anecdotes that are most relevant to the job you're after and the company's interests.

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