Architectural Ellipsis

... Intern Architect ...

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    Your Job Posting is Confusing

    Everyday Intern
    Oct 19, '16 12:24 PM EST

    Occasionally I peruse the recent job postings here on Archinect just to get an idea of the types jobs out there and what they are looking for. Many times I find these postings confusing and/or contradictory. Now I've posted about some of these job postings before in the forums (you can sift through my post history if you're really interested in finding them), but I thought I'd post a little more in the good ol' blog here rather than having it get lost in Thread Central. 

    I noticed this posting for a job at John Toates Architecture & Design for an Intern Architect (copied below because the link above will eventually be broken when the posting expires or is taken down):

    John Toates Architecture & Design is looking for talented and motivated Intern Architect(s) to join a small but growing traditionally inspired residential architectural design firm based in the Philadelphia area.  A minimum of 2 years of post-graduate relevant experience in custom residential design and construction documents is preferred.  A completed degree in Architecture is required and licensure is preferred.  Hand drawing/sketching, AutoCAD, Sketchup, Photoshop, and related computer program skills are required.  Candidates shall be a self-starting problem solver, with a passion for the holistic approach to architecture and be willing to operate as a project team member.  Responsibilities will increase with experience, exhibition of actual skills set, and personality traits.  Candidate will be working on all aspects of multiple projects under the supervision of senior staff members through schematic design into construction documents.  The firm is located in the Devon area close to 202 and 76.  The firm's projects are located in Center City Philadelphia, the Philadelphia suburbs, and spread out across the east coast representing a broad variety of design opportunities beyond the typical architectural firm's portfolio.  A relaxed but passionate work environment and competitive benefit packages are offered for this full time position.  Please send a letter of interest including why you should be considered for this position along with a current CV and work examples to[email protected] for consideration.  Visit us at Phone inquires will not be accepted.

    Now I could go through and meticulously address the grammar and punctuation of the posting and critique the overall effectiveness of the medium, but I won't. Instead I'll just advise you that if you apply to this posting, make sure to write your cover letter in one big block of text. Then, let us know in the comments if you get an interview. 

    Putting that aside, what I really want to draw attention to are the requirements and preferences for the candidate for this position; keep in mind this posting is for an intern architect. Requirements are as follows:

    • Completed degree in Architecture
    • Hand drawing/sketching, AutoCAD, Sketchup, Photoshop, and related computer program skills

    Preferences are as follows:

    • A minimum of 2 years of post-graduate relevant experience in custom residential design and construction documents
    • Licensure

    Looking at just the requirements, a great number of qualified intern architect candidates could potentially apply to this position. So taken all those that apply, it is generally understood that hiring practice would use the preferred qualities to limit the pool of potential candidates further. So a typical intern architect (aka, someone who does not yet have a license to practice) is going to see this posting and see that licensure is preferred, and they might assume it is not worth their time to respond to the post because they won't be able to compete with applicants who have their license.

    Conversely, a lot of licensed architects that would be well qualified for this position might not even look at the posting because it is for an Intern Architect ... a title they've worked hard to get past by earning their license. They would be looking at postings for junior archtiects, or something like that. Not only that, but any who would open and read this posting, might not want to apply because they want to be paid an appropriate salary commensurate with their title as an architect, and this type of posting suggests that the firm is only willing to put forth enough salary for an intern.

    If the employer really wants an intern architect, why list the preference for a licensed architect? And if the employer really prefers a licensed architect, why advertise for an intern architect?

    In the end, someone will apply and they will get the job. But for everyone else who applied and didn't get the job it is nice to know why you didn't get it so you can improve your chances on the next one. But with the confusion as to whether this employer really wants an intern or an architect you might be left wondering if it was because you did, or did not have a license ... among many other things.


    • Yes, that is confusing, but I would gladly spend all day and night trying to make it understandable to Brad Pitt.

      Oct 19, 16 2:50 pm  · 

      I thought you might like that Donna

      Oct 19, 16 4:17 pm  · 

      Jennifer < Angelina < Donna

      Oct 19, 16 8:27 pm  · 

      Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?


      This is your first comment on Archinect. Your comment will be visible once approved.

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About this Blog

An ellipsis [...] is used to signal an omission, an unfinished thought, aposiopesis, or brief awkward silence. Architectural ellipses are those aspects of the profession we (perhaps intentionally) omit, gloss over, or let dwindle in silence. Generally applied this blog should encompass many aspects of the profession. Yet, as an intern architect (now architect) I'll focus primarily on the architectural ellipses that occur in the internship process (and beyond).

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