When it comes to getting that first job after architecture school, many students have no idea what it actually takes to be successful. Let me tell you from personal experience, having observed friends and colleagues and three years of research - it is quite simple if you know what you are doing. On the other hand, it can be very frustrating if you don't know what you are doing.
Let me share with you one simple advice that should be the very foundation of your job 'mindset'. This should be your underlying goal at all times. You may even stop every week or two and reflect whether you are following this one simple step or not.
And that one single most important thing is: EMULATING AN EXPERIENCED PERSON.
Your goal should be to emulate someone who has somewhere around 2-3 years of experience working in architecture firms.
In emulating an experienced person, try to copy their:
Resume. It is simple, non-designy, only showing relevant and recent work experience. Remove all other garbage from your resume - it actually hurts you.
Portfolio. Mostly comprises of real life and/or technical drawings done using latest software. Do not fill up your pages with fancy renderings, hand drawings, paper models and paragraphs upon paragraphs of text.
Confidence. Experienced people are confident in their technical abilities. They are also confident in for instance, in their interviews because they know their previous work experience is relevant. They know it is exactly the type of work experience the employers are looking for. If this particular employer does not hire them, another one will. Do not act desperate and/or unsure of yourself. Unfortunately, this cannot be faked. You must, at least, actually be confident in your technical abilities if you do not have real life work experience.
Dressing. Do not wear those old unfitting clothes from high school graduation ceremony. Get new clothes that are fitting and classy. Get nice shoes. Mind you - the dress code is not formal. It is business casual. Do not wear ties or tuxedos. Also, this dress code is forever, not just for interviews. Slowly start changing your wardrobe.
Conversations and manners. Stop talking about school, start talking about architectural projects or architectural industry. This will be key if you are networking or meeting potential employers. Stop texting every 5 minutes, stop making immature jokes, stop talking about your personal life and stop talking about how you were getting really drunk last weekend. Keep your personal life out of your professional life. Also, it is time to grow up.
Goals. Experienced people aim higher. They want a good job, not just any job. They want a good salary, not just anything they can get. They want a particular position or a particular type of work experience. When you start valuing yourself, the employer will also value you. When you act desperate and needy, it makes it harder for the employer to trust you. They are thinking- what's wrong with this person.... But when you show you have goals, it shows you are confident.
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.