Joining CFF offers you a rare
opportunity to meet fresh faces and
create lifelong business alliances.
It sets the stage for networking and
sharing ideas with the entrepreneurs,
executives, and designers who drive
Chicago’s fashion industry.

Internship Tips

10 Tips for Interns

  1. Don’t be intimidated because you are a student. Because of people’s busy schedule you may have to be first to open the line of communication with coworkers and supervisors.
  2. Don’t be afraid to talk with people.
  3. Take initiative; ask for things to do instead of waiting to be told what to do.
  4. Learn all you can about the industry.
  5. Read everything you can get your hands on. For example, letters, contracts, and trade publications.
  6. Don’t complain about doing the grunt work.  Learn how those small tasks contribute to the big picture in the company.
  7. Take advantage that you are a student.  Everyone wants to help a student learn..
  8. Learn from people who are most respected and/or star performers in the office.
  9. Ask to attend meetings and events.
  10. Don’t burn any bridges

Salary Tips

Tips for handling when Salary History is required

  • Do not state an actual number because if you state a number that is too high, the employer will automatically screen you out. If you state a number that is too low, the employer could either end up paying you less than what the position is worth or they might assume that your skills are not worth much.
  • Answer their request in your cover letter, not the resume. Give the employer a reasonable salary range with the lowest end being slightly higher than your absolute minimum. You can state something like, “My salary requirement is in the $40,000 - $50,000 range, based on the job responsibilities and the total compensation package.”
  • Including salary requirements in the cover letter gives you the opportunity to bullet-point why you are the right person for the job and emphasize to them that you are worth this money. Make it clear to your reader that this range is negotiable depending upon the position’s responsibilities as well as the total compensation package, including benefits.
  • Do some research to find out what the typical salary is for that type of position. There are salary calculators available on-line to determine the average salary, which even factor in cost of living indexes based on geography.

Tips to Negotiate an Increase

  • Determine your worth in the marketplace.  Contact the competition, clip and save relevant employment ads, talk to executive search firms.
  • Consider how to become more valuable to your employer.  Take on additional responsibilities, or discover new issues and projects that will make you more valuable to the company.  Take advantage of the popular “cross training” mentality.
  • Feel confident about asking for a raiser, and don’t worry about getting fired.
  • Phrase your request assertively, not aggressively.  Leave out any “or else” threats.
  • Anticipate the objections, worries or problems your request might generate, and incorporate the top three or four in your initial statement.
  • Set limits: Don’t ask for a raise in general, but for a raise of a certain size.  Don’t allow an open-ended time eliminate on getting a response, ask to be informed within two weeks.