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    Almost that time of year

    By Hasselhoff
    Feb 8, '06 11:51 PM EST

    I'm realizing it's almost time for me to apply for my first architecture job. Does anyone have some tips? I had a solid resume for a geologist, but well, it's not that unique for architecture. No jobs, no awards. Any thoughts on what I should do or how I should approach this? Also, suggestions for design sheets. How many do I include? One well documented project? A few? For the portfolio, what should be in a job portfolio vs. a competition portfolio? How do you look for jobs? Just fire out 100 resumes? When should I do it? April? Argh!


    • liberty bell

      My most successful job searches were always the result of being in the right place at the right time. Smaller firms generally don't know in April if they will need to hire someone in June. I would generally call the firm and ask who a resume sould go to, then drop off a resume right into that person's hands if possible, right when I was ready to start working (at the very end of the semester), and if I happened into a firm that needed someone right away it would work out. Bigger firms are more likely to commit to someone for summer in April. In smaller firms, find out what they have to work on and then tell them how you can help - for example, I had done cabinet drawings a previous summer and happened to get a job because they needed help doing cabinet drawings for a church project.

      There is a professional practice class at Penn, taught by Harris Steinberg I think - he has a good sense of the firm culture in Philly as part of his course is sending groups of students on office visits. Or are you not thinking of staying in Philly for summer?

      Feb 9, 06 10:13 am  · 

      I have pro. prac. with Steinberg. We do go to offices and whatnot. That's a good idea though. I'll ask him what the best way to find a job for someone with no experience is. I think I'll stay in Philly. I don't really want to, but I think it's the most economical and after last summer, I need to actually earn some money.

      Feb 9, 06 12:50 pm  · 

      Drop off a resume at the local AIA chapter. Depending on how active the chapter is, they may have an online option, but it can be an excellent resource either way. Small firms can have a hard time attracting applicants, and in their despair have been known to turn to the AIA for some leads. Uppity-ups at the larger firms are often very involved with the local chapter, as well. So you have firms that are definitely looking to hire coming to one location to look for some good resumes. On top of that, you get some savvy points for utlizing the network.

      Along the same lines, go to some AIA functions and strike up conversations. People at these functions are usually the people with the best networks, and they're often principals and the aforementioned uppity-ups. Check out the wild and crazy vendor/fancy showroom parties that reps like to throw to spend all of the money that they make off of our projects. They're usually a little heavy on interior designers, but anyone you talk with is likely to be in a good mood.

      As for the portfolio, don't worry too much about it. How much time an interviewer spends with your portfolio is a possible indication of how likely it might be that you'll be doing any design work. Make sure they indulge you, at least. Whatever you do, don't be the "design only, NO CAD!" guy. Everyone hates those guys, and even at the best design firms someone has to actually do some work.

      Best of luck.

      Feb 9, 06 10:46 pm  · 

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