Karen Collier Careers, an award-winning recruitment company specialising in the fashion industry, has joined CMYUK’s Creatives in Residence Live (CIRL) initiative to help those taking part land their ideal first jobs.

With the CIRL programme now well past its halfway point, Karen Collier will be working alongside its graduates to help them write stand-out CVs, as well as offering guidance on preliminary video and face-to-face interviews.

Karen Collier Careers is a family-run business that was set up by Karen Collier in 2010. Prior to setting up the company Ms Collier held a variety of senior roles across the fashion industry, working in manufacture, supply, purchasing and garment technology. In 2016, she was joined by her husband Richard, a former international investment banker, who now handles the talent acquisition side of the business.

‘Working with CMYUK is a perfect collaboration because like us, it has strong core values and is passionate about what it does,’ said Ms Collier. ‘Most entry-level roles these days require one or two years worth of experience, so CIRL is such a great opportunity for graduates to gain the right work experience in real time before finding permanent employment. I love the fact that CMYUK has taken these graduates through the whole process from start to finish. It shows that they care about what happens to them afterwards, which is why they have brought in a specialist recruiter to help them through to the final stage of the process.’

Ms Collier has already had her first session with the CIRL graduates, explaining to them the difference between going through an agency or going direct to a company. ‘We will support the graduates 100% throughout the whole process,’ she said. ‘Discussing their CVs with them, understanding what brands they would ideally like to work for and getting to know them personally. It’s  just as important to match personalities as it is skills. If someone is excellent at their job but doesn’t fit in with the rest of the team, it’s never going to work. Once we have found a suitable role that a graduate would like to apply for, we shoot a video interview with them, which along with their CV is sent to the client. We even meet our candidates an hour before their actual interviews, close to the location, to help steady their nerves.’

Robin East, group sales and marketing director at CMYUK, added, ‘Our CIRL initiative ends in March and as part of the process we are supporting our young talented graduates in their job hunting. Just being part of the programme has upscaled their skills and experiences immensely, not to mention the important contacts they have made. By partnering with the exceptional Karen Collier, we know the CIRL graduates will receive the highest level of advice and expertise to help them put that first step on the ladder.’