Superdrug’s beauty coordinator and edtorial assistant, Annie Whitfield provided us with eight exclusive tips to make it into the beauty industry as well as some interesting advice on how to make a good impression to employers.
Annie at Superdrug’s Dare magazine
University of Sunderland fashion journalism graduate Annie, whose first venture was an internship at Grazia, told Fashion North: “I was obsessed with magazines and I always knew I wanted to work in them.”
However, after interning there for a month, she moved onto further opportunities at Elle, Stylist, The Sunday Times Style magazine, and Red before landing her job at Superdrug’s customer magazine Dare. Annie told Fashion North that “confidence is key” when in a working environment by making contacts with the people you work with. Of course, this piece of advice will not take you all the way into your dream career but it certainly gets you started.
No.1 ‘Organisation without a shadow of a doubt’
Organisation is a must-have skill to have in any job but especially within the beauty industry as there will always be many different jobs to do, and the beauty cupboard needs to be sorted. A great way to start arranging your work is by colour coordinating your schedule as recommended by Annie. Sometimes it is about being more strict with yourself knowing you have deadlines to complete but mainly experimenting with different ways to find out which works best for your mind.
No.2 ‘Turn the pressure into a positive’
Beauty is a competitive and fast-paced industry which means it can be stressful at times if you have 3 deadlines due in the space of an hour but it is about turning that ‘pressure into something positive.’ Fast thinking and forward-thinking can sometimes help you produce your best ideas working under a tight schedule. Although Annie grew great confidence in her field as she said: “I pitched ideas after getting confidence from the news-days” which helped her prepare for her job role now.
No.3 ‘Your email is essential’
When it comes to applying for internships, it can be a bit of a scary time and you are not alone, everyone in the industry has been in your position. The key to landing your dream placement is acquiring a chatty tone across your emails to make you sound intrigued in the job role as well as the industry. This is a skill which you will learn while working in the industry by understanding how to email PR companies and not sounding too formal.
No.4 ‘Make contacts’
When you are at a placement, one of the most essential things is to make as many contacts with the industry as you can because everyone knows everyone. It is about building up a list of the people you have met whether it is your assistant at a PR event or on a photoshoot they may help you land other internships in the future. Speak to as many people as you can because you never know which opportunity may be round the corner.
“I was in awe of everyone around me, it was a great place to be” – Annie Whitfield on her Stylist internship
Annie (right) with Kylie Jenner’s former BFF Jordyn Woods (left) at the launch of the Eylure x Jordan Woods collection
No.5 ‘TikTok is your best friend’
Beauty is so popular on TikTok which is why it is important to use it as much as you can because it is one of the most popular platforms for sharing content to the present day. It is a great form of uploading organic content into the industry by being able to experiment with crazy ideas you may have that you want to share. Secondly, to help grow your following on TikTok, it is important to use relevant trending fun songs and hashtags which are on the trending page at that time, therefore, it will help increase views and followers for your brand.
No.6 ‘Not all jobs are in magazines’
Due to the situation of the coronavirus, there may be thoughts going through your mind in terms of jobs and how it is going to be possible to secure an internship. However, it has provided a more positive community within the industry therefore if you have ideas you would like to pitch to a company then take your stride and do it. If you have content you would like to produce for that website then work on getting your name out there by making yourself as employable as possible. There are many ways into the industry which may not be your traditional print magazine route but fashion and beauty brands are always looking for copywriters and social media promotion even if you are not being paid for the piece, it shows great experience for your CV.
No.7 ‘Use your initiative’
Always make yourself noticed in an unnoticed way and this shows great determination and skill to any employer who you may work for. If you think the beauty cupboard needs tidying, tidy it. If you have completed your tasks, find more to do. Do not just sit doing nothing because if you do more that has not been asked of you it will provide you with good representation for yourself in that particular brand.
Annie Whitfield (right) with Mollie Charlotte Hammond (left), beauty writer at Harrods
Those are our top tips from Superdrug’s Annie Whitfield who gave us an exclusive insight into her job in the beauty industry. Remember to be a ‘dog with a bone’ and grab all the opportunities you can because it can be easy to give up but if you have the passion and determination you will succeed.
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