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    Intern 101: How to make an awesome resume?

    Hi Archinect,

    First, I want to congratulate all the new graduates this year!!! Are you ready for the real world? Finally, you graduated after five years (or more) of hard work, and its time for you to get out there and find a job. When I first graduated, I had no clue what to do with finding a job. (My school didn’t really have much support when it comes to architectural jobs unfortunately.) I blindly sent out a bunch of resumes and work samples, even though I didn’t know what a work sample was. So I decided this week I will share some of my thoughts on how to make your resume (while eating this fancy Sea Salt Fudge Truffle icecream...). Feel free to put in your ideas!

    1. The Magic: Graphic Clarity

    We (architects/students/designers) are visual people. We strive for graphic clarity and consistency in everything we do from school presentations to CDs to our little sketchbooks. Why not our resumes too? If you google "designer's resume", you will find a ton of ways to graphically spice up your resumes. But remember no matter what style you choose, always keep it simple. Limit it to one or two colors. I love black texts with just one accent color or no color at all. Choose a font that's professional and easy to read, and keep it consistent throughout. Use bold and italics to help prioritize information. When your resume is easy to the eyes, it really makes the reviewers/employers' job so much easier. Add a logo! It's just fun and more personal.

    2. Keep it short and sweet

    When I made a powerpoint template for my old firm, I put "KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET" on the template. Don't you hate it when people put a whole paragraph on a powerpoint slide? Do you really expect people to read that in 30 seconds? It's the same when it comes to resumes. Use bullet points for all the job descriptions. Try to keep each bullet to one line (no more than two!). ACTION WORDS! Use past tense for all the old jobs, use present tense for your current job. Don't say vaque things like "Worked in close collaboration with project architect", but instead say what you really did like "Prepared construction documents with project architect on a 4-story residential project". Keep everything to one page!


    I don't think I need to explain this one, right?

    4. Make it relevant

    If you just graduated, the employers don't expect to see a tons of experience on your resume. So don't exaggerate on your experience. Simply put down any internship or related design field that you had. If you don't have any internship experience, be prepared to explain why during the interview (may be you were taking classes? doing study aboard?...) Show them any awards you have, and put a little description under it, so the employers know what they are. Your education, skills, languages, any organizations you joined....

    5. The Secret: Reference Letters

    Instead of writing "References upon request", which really doesn't mean anything, I asked three of my professors to each write a short recommendation letter and attached them to my resumes when I sent it out. When I went for the interview for my first job, they told me they called me in simply because of the awesome letters without looking at my work. So ask for some references from professors that know you well or supervisors at your previous internships. It could help tremendously when it comes to your first job.

    Here is my current resume:

    This is a resume that I made for my friend, who is a user experience designer, so I figured he would need something more visual. He went on a career fair, where most employers said it was the best resume they saw all day. It definitely got enough attention to get him a summer internship that he wanted!

    Resume takes a lot of time to edit. It took me a year to research and refine it to the point that I am comfortable with. That's why I say "make" a resume, not just "write". Especially for intern architects, they expect us to be able to put information together graphically.

    Do you have any resume tips? Share your resumes with us!! 

    Thanks for reading! Good luck for all the job hunting out there.




    • snooker-doodle-dandy
      Jun 9, 13 8:47 pm

      So sorry dude or duddette....can't read your resume....everything is way to small....what da "

      "F" they teaching you in schools these days?  Actually buster you have the brawn to put it out there so go figure out how to reach the masses by giving them something to read.

      Well...they are 10 pt fonts, which is pretty standard for a document. And the actual size is bigger than what's shown here. You know it's just a jpg that got shrunk to fit the page.

      Thanks for reading though.

      Jun 10, 13 6:45 pm

      don't know what the other poster's problem was but i think you've shown some great resume examples here. informative, easy to read, and shows off your presentation skills. can i ask what fonts you used in your friend's UX resume?


      The font I used is Klavika. Found it very useful when it comes to computer-related designers. The closest free font I can find would be Exo. Thanks for the encouragement :)

      Jun 11, 13 1:07 am

      Your resumes look awesome! Thanks for the inspiration :)


      Thanks :) Glad it helps.

      Jul 22, 13 8:07 am

      nice work on the resume!which software did u work on?

      Thanks! I worked in Illustrator.

      Feb 7, 14 12:50 pm

      Wow I love your resume! So simple but chic! May I ask what fonts you used? :)


      Thanks! I think I used Helvetica in my resume, and Klavika on the other one. Hope it helps!

      vado retro
      Feb 9, 14 1:56 pm

      don't fear the Serif.

      Gregory WalkerGregory Walker
      Feb 10, 14 11:21 am

      Joann - you (and others) may find these resumes or even these resumes.... interesting. They're all graphic/UX/UI graduates. Some of them are completely over the top, but they're way more graphically sophisticated than most of ours. Interestingly, for me, there's a lot more emphasis on communicating your skills with various software platforms. Even with that, there's a couple of solid ones in there for sure. 

      We're definitely in 2 different professions, but it's another take on to get your message across...

      Gregory - Thanks for the links! They are very cool design, some are very over the top but some are quite good. Like this one: (and he uses the same colors I did!)

       I think most of the time with colorful resumes you would actually send in a hard copy with some fancy paper. Since companies definitely won't print the resumes out with that much color. Making a resume like these could be a good way to practice self-branding and edit our graphic skills though. Often times in our profession, we need to learn how to communicate information graphically without being too overwhelming. Edit Edit EDIT!

      Sep 1, 14 5:56 pm

      In the spirit of #3, I would also like to add "grammar." On that subject, #4 should be "Make it relevant" not "Make it relevance."


      Sep 3, 14 3:07 pm

      The advice in the OP is fairly good, if somewhat generic. The examples, however, are poor. Far too cute and try-hard, particularly the UX resumes. When I get stuff like that, it goes right in the round file.

      KEEP. IT. SIMPLE. Lose the graphics and the colors. Black (or dark gray) text on bright white paper. One and ONLY one (readable) font at 11 point or larger with LOTS AND LOTS of white space. Use bold and italics for emphasis. Except for the blue, OP's resume gets that right.

      If you feel the need to brand your letterhead, keep it simple and elegant. It should not be distracting.

      Focus your message. Prospective employers want to know two things about you: What can you do? and, How can you make me money? That's it. Give specifics about both, using examples from what you've done and how.

      The format OP uses for work experience, etc. is pretty good. Busy people love bullet points, and the information is specific and on point.

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Documenting the life between our graduation from architecture school and becoming a licensed architect. They say it's the journey that matters, so here we are experiencing the joy of being a great intern. All full posts are available at

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