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Yesterday, ELLE’s EIC, Lorraine Candy — respected journalist, agenda-setter, and all-around fashion media game-changer — took part in a live Facebook Q&A. She spent an hour giving advice on all things career-related from how to nail that first big interview to how to get a foot in the door here at ELLE.
Missed it? Fear not, we've rounded up Lorraine's top ten tips for you below.
‘Be strategic and well researched. Define where you want to be, really understand what you will do in that role after doing research, and then tailor your CV accordingly. Make a list of the places you think you would get relevant experience from and set your sights on getting work experience there.’
Define Your USP
‘I would say, to work at ELLE you need to define what makes you a brilliant employee; what can you offer that no one else can? What is your USP as an employee? Always go the extra mile, be enthusiastic, positive and confident. Treat everyone below and above you with respect and politeness.’
Be a Team Player
‘I believe everyone’s voice is relevant at ELLE, and I am very careful not to employ people I believe will not support teamwork. Make sure you are really into the detail of what you do. Deliver what you are asked to, then ask yourself what more could I do to make it better?’
‘Smile and be happy; this goes a long way. Moodiness or sulking is a killer to a good work environment.’
Read, Read, Read
‘Keep reading. Absorb all the words you can and keep writing; like any skill it requires practise. Then, define your own personal style and get the facts in - waffle is not highly prized in fashion writing. Cathy Horyn, Robin Givhan (who won a Pulitzer Prize for her writing), Vanessa Friedman, Rebecca Solnit, Holly Millea, Suzy Menkes, and all our wonderful journalists on newspapers here like Hadley Freeman, Jess Cartner Morley, Laura Craik, Lisa Armstrong and Alexander Fury. Plus, the ELLE team of writers Victoria Coren, Emma Forrest, Lotte Jeffs, Kenya Hunt, Lena De Casparis and Rebecca Lowthorpe. There are so many fashion writers who have such a wonderful way of playing with words.’
How to Stand Out
‘The number one thing is attitude. You need to be positive, polite and brave enough to offer ideas. Yes, you will be asked to do tasks that you may not want to do, but believe me there are parts of my job I really don’t like doing but I have to - get over that. Do everything efficiently and with a smile. I always remember the interns who are like that.’
Lorraine's ELLE Highlights
‘Last year I went to the UN HQ in New York with Emma Watson to hear her game changing #heforshe speech, and to interview her for the cover of our first feminism issue of ELLE – that was a real career highlight for me. I like to make people think. I like to challenge the norm and for every day to be an adventure. I have travelled to every continent on the globe through my career which makes me feel very privileged, and I take as much joy sitting in the front row of a fashion show as I do meeting the young interns who go through ELLE and go on to make great career decisions.’
How to Ace a Job Interview at ELLE
‘I have employed people from many different backgrounds to work in fashion. You don't have to go the traditional route to be an excellent employee. You have to be passionate and good at what you do, and smart about your work. I will always ask people: 'What can you do for ELLE?' and that answer needs to be specific and factual, not wordy and full of meaningless promises. Really think about that question if you ever want an interview here, everyone.’
‘"Think big or stay in bed” is a good one.’
The Seven Golden Rules to ‘Making it’
‘1) Do not ask via social media. No one takes that seriously, but bear in mind if you come for an interview I will check your personal social media, so nothing you put online is private. Remember that and project the profile you want to define you.
2) Spell everything correctly. Attention to detail is vital.
3) Have new ideas.
4) Know the product you want to work on; you would be surprised by how many people I see who have not read the most recent issue. True story.
5) Be kind, polite, enthusiastic and positive.
6) Do no chase status as a goal, you will not show any passion for what you do if that is what drives you.
7) Be happy and realise life is not just your job, it is all the other things you have too, especially family.’