Recruiter Interview – Emily Levine
Tell us a little about yourself.
EL: I grew up in LA and have been interested in fashion and building relationships with people starting at a young age. I’ve always loved style, interior design and the creative industry, and I think my job is a great hybrid of all my passions. I strive to be thoughtful in my approach when connecting clients and talent, and I think my strong sense of integrity and resourcefulness is why people often look to me for career advice. More than anything, my goal will always
be to perform at the highest level as an outgoing and strong relationship builder.
How did you get into recruiting?
EL: I fell into recruiting by accident actually. After graduating college, I moved to New York City, and I was looking for jobs. At that time, I was determined to be a talent agent. While I was interviewing for talent agencies, I was keeping myself busy by temping through Career Group Companies and Fourth Floor as a candidate of theirs. I then decided that I wanted to temp internally in our New York office and try out recruiting. I ended up really loving it – both the candidate piece, and interacting with clients. I found that it was actually very similar to being a talent agent. I’m just representing a different kind of talent, and I really fell in love with the art of matchmaking.
Tell us about Fourth Floor.
EL: Fourth Floor is a high-end fashion recruiting firm. We specialize in freelance and direct-hire placement within the beauty, home, apparel, luxury, retail, children’s apparel, action sports, and event industries. We take the time to get to know all of our clients to serve as an extension of each brand we partner with. We are a rapidly expanding team of collaborative and innovative recruitment professionals, and our goal is to connect leading brands with the very best talent.
Why would a fashion industry job seeker want to work with Fourth Floor?
EL: We have a really strong pulse on what’s happening in the job market, and we’re fortunate to work with a lot of exclusive brands and companies. I talk to candidates, and they share their frustrations with applying online and being one number out of thousands. When they come to us, we’re able to leverage the relationships we have and secure interviews for qualified candidates. Our clients really trust us, so when they have a confidential opening, companies will reach out to us with positions that aren’t posted on the brand’s website or posted on job boards.
Tell us about the hiring process at Fourth Floor.
EL: You can apply directly on our website by submitting your resume to an open role, which will then get routed to a recruiter for review. If your qualifications are a match, we invite you into our office and ask that you bring your resume and portfolio. You’ll meet with our team of recruiters to share your background, experience and what you are seeking in your next role.
What types of fashion industry positions do you recruit for?
EL: Our openings include everything under the fashion umbrella, both freelance and permanent. It could be anything from sewer, patternmaker, textile designer, allocator, buyer, planner, merchandiser, retail, product development, ecommerce, etc.!
What sources do you use the most to find fashion industry talent?
EL: We’re huge advocates for LinkedIn. We post a lot of our jobs on LinkedIn and StyleCareers, and we’re always finding new talent there. We also find amazing talent through referrals who apply directly on our website, and by networking. Fourth Floor has partnered with FIDM in the past for special events in order to target students interested in the industry. Our social media is something that’s growing rapidly at the moment. We post about our team, career advice, events, contests and new jobs every single day! Follow @fourthfloorfashion on Instagram for the latest updates. We have some really exciting announcements and giveaways coming up!
What are some common misconceptions job seekers have about your job?
EL: People sometimes wonder if the ads we’re posting are real. Of course they are. It would be a waste of time to waste someone else’s time, as well as my own. As a recruiter who’s been doing this for six years, we want to place people who are excited about the job, and who meet the qualifications. I always do my best to manage a candidate’s expectations about the market, if they are being realistic about job title, compensation, etc.
What should job seekers know about your job as a recruiter?
EL: We are just as much an advocate for you as we are for the client. We are on your side to really do the best job possible for you, and to help propel your career forward. Our team cares a lot about finding a good fit, and to understand what’s important to you. We then work diligently to produce that for you. I also want job seekers to know that patience is important. We are digging deep to make sure we have all the right information, and are matchmaking on your behalf to find the best long term fit. It’s not a good placement for anyone unless both the candidate and client are happy. We are also here as a resource for you when it comes to advice and guidance on your search. And lastly, job seekers should know that we need to know the whole truth about your resume/job history so that we can paint an accurate picture, help secure the offer you are looking for, and build a great working relationship.
What are some of the most common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make when looking/applying/interviewing for a job?
EL: People can be too casual on interviews. Keep in mind that this is still a job interview. When it comes to attire, dress for the job you want, and be on brand. During the interview, don’t come walking in with a drink in hand. The only thing you need is your resume and a neat portfolio. And that’s another thing, the resume itself needs to be organized, well formatted and visually pleasing. It’s a first impression!
What’s the craziest thing a job seeker has said/done?
EL: I’ve had a candidate add me on Facebook before leaving the office. Even outside the office, Facebook isn’t the appropriate platform to connect on when leaving an interview. Make sure to stick to LinkedIn.
What’s the most inappropriate thing you’ve seen on a resume?
EL: I’ve seen headshots, birthdays, mother and father’s names… things that are not pertinent to a job search at all.
What advice do you have for younger job seekers?
EL: Be humble and open to different opportunities. A lot of candidates who just graduated really want to be on that fast track for growth, and while it’s important to be ambitious and eager, it’s important to remember that you also need to earn your stripes. Show the interviewer that you understand that you are eager to learn, and are excited to start at the bottom and develop skills. You need to own what you don’t know in order to grow.
What are some common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make during the job search process?
EL: A lot of candidates make the mistake of being too loose online with their social media. Make sure that you’d truly be comfortable with your potential boss/colleagues seeing your content. If not, get rid of it. It’s also crucial to be aware of your body language during an interview. People will get slouchy or lean on the interviewer’s desk and it’s too comfortable. Be mindful of the fact that you’re a guest in somebody else’s office space.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
EL: Career Group Companies and Fourth Floor are growing, and we are really excited about a lot of the companies that we’re working with. Our mission is to meet with amazing talent, and we want them to feel excited to send their friends, current/former colleagues and/or family members to our firm. Even if it’s not for immediate placement, or if we don’t have the right position at the right time, we’d like to be a continuous resource for people for career advice. We’re not just here to place people in jobs. To me, it’s more about building great relationships, even if that means just providing valuable guidance and counseling.
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