Like I have always said, doing generic applications will lead to failure. There is too much competition out there to be generic and succeed. You must become “special” to some architecture firms because you have got exactly what they want. They will hire you without thinking twice. Here are the 4 best ways you can be more focused and streamlined to get that first architecture job exactly where you want:
1) Streamline your portfolio: Relevancy and drafting skills. If you are applying to a commercial architecture firm that mostly designs university buildings – there should be something in your portfolio to address that. If it is residential firm, your portfolio should be full of residential projects. Remove everything else that is not relevant – even if it includes most of your school projects. If you don’t have much relevant projects, build a new portfolio. Get a trial version of the software they use in the firm that you want a job in, select a real life project and try to model it. Do technical drawings rather than focusing on the designing. Do a simple design with good technical drawings. Remember focus on showing relevancy to particular types of architecture firms and show that you can do architecture drafting.
2) Streamline your resume: education and skills. Remove all garbage work experience and volunteer experience. Focus on highlighting your skills and education (assuming you don’t have work experience. If you do, that should be the highlight of your resume). And for god’s sake, keep it simple. Just use a white piece of paper with black text. That is all you need to succeed. Even the best architects use this same format.
3) Streamline your networking. Stop wasting time online with LinkedIn or Twitter. Stop asking your friends and family for help. The absolute best people to network with are people who already work in the firm you want to get a job in. Look for any introductions to their employees or ways to meet the owners of the firm. This will be the best use of your time. Focus focus focus. Know what you want and you will save a lot of time. The time you save can be used to make a streamlined portfolio. Other networking methods can work but will have a 90% failure rate in most cases.
4) Streamline your time. Possibly the most important and the hardest of all. This one requires strict discipline. You must not waste time watching TV, playing video games or going on family picnics. Your mission is to get a good architecture job so that you can build a good foundation for your career. You should always be thinking of ways to improve your portfolio, resume, network and technical skills. The more effectively you use your time, the faster you will get there. There is no shortcut. If you work slowly – it will just take longer. So work hard and work efficiently and you will be happy when you look back to all the hard work that finally paid off.
Original article published on FirstArchitectureJob.com
I write posts to help fresh architectural graduates secure jobs in architecture firms. Most graduates struggle because there is no manual on what to do after graduation and it can be an overwhelming experience. I write about how to prepare resumes & portfolios, networking, application strategies, firm selection, job interviews, softwares etc. Note: some articles are re-posted (with permission) from FirstArchitectureJob.com and I credit them at the bottom of those posts.