Rant: 25 resume submissions so far> 1 interview


Currently applying at DC and NY firms. 7-10 yrs range of international work , it doesnt help that i have zero local experience. I customize my resume, submit to 2-3 companies/day located across the U.S. Got a panel interview and almost got hired, but HR told me they really want me but can't offer because she said projects are dwindling this time of the year (4th qtr), so they don't know what to do with me.I'm  Back on the drafting board.

my main sources:, archinect and linkedin

Job application is such a thankless endeavor, each day it takes a toll out of yer confidence and enthusiasm; there were moments of depression.

Share your experiences! :)

Anyone from DC who could help me out. Tnx

Sep 27, 13 1:09 am
Sergo Antadze

it looks you are doing well if you have 1 interview in 25 applications. you should of tried between 2008-2012 when you may be sending 25 applications a day and no response at all for 4 years.

Sep 27, 13 5:13 am

Welcome to the jungle!

I use to live in the DC area, if you could get a sweet gov or gov contracting job you'll have it made. I had an interview or two but couldn't break in (Pentagon and Dep of State) however you have more experience so good luck.

Sep 27, 13 9:07 am

I am going to echo Tiko-G's point. 1 interview for 25 applications is pretty good. A few years back, I sent out hundreds of resumes all over Canada and the US with only a few interviews, granted I didn't have 7-10yrs experience. Keep your chin up -  there is work out there, you just have to keep applying and be patient.

In your downtime, I would recommend that you get yourself involved in local organizations or your local AIA chapter and start networking. Doors will open up eventually.

Sep 27, 13 9:28 am

Thats a pretty good ratio. Applying in the Boston area, now looking for about 5 months. I probably sent out close to a 100 resumes, got 4 interviews. Everyone always ended up hiring someone with more experience, even for jobs asking for 0-2 yrs experience. ( i have a masters and 2 years' experience working for a general contractor). It is frustrating, I am seriously considering going back to school or construction management. It pays better and there are more jobs than in architecture ! 

Sep 27, 13 2:31 pm

Just keep trying, you are getting a pretty good response (positive) rate getting 1 interview for every 25 applications. In the last 2 years since graduating I've put out over 200 applications and only received 6 interviews, and 3 we're not even as an intern architect (related municipal jobs, better pay and benefits, just diversifying as firms give me the old polite, "we aren't looking right now but we will hold into your resume" spiel). 

Sep 28, 13 10:32 am

I would not spend the money for a cm degree I would just keep working with the gc, construction companies will value the work experience not what degree you have after having something and you already have a master so you are good.  

Sep 28, 13 1:26 pm

More money for education in a bad career choice? LOL

Sep 28, 13 3:58 pm

there's not enough job posting to even allow me to apply to a lot of firms.

im even tempted to look at craigslist .lol

Sep 30, 13 12:42 pm

Try looking for firms that you want to work for and get to know them and network with them. Become a candidate in waiting so once a job is posted online you are already a know person and referred by someone on the inside not one in a thousand or more random people applying when it is posted online.  Online Jobs are the least effective, I recommend just walking up to a firm you like and ask someone in the job you want for advice, "How did you get to this Job that you have, what could I do to advance my career" Just remember not to beg for a job just ask for advice.

70% of your time should be talking to real people, sending emails and not getting a response back is not talking to people.

25% of your time should be networking with others and forming a job club, I did this in Chicago last week, AIA Chicago has 12 openings total so much slimmer market than DC and New York, we had three recruiters show up, and several firms asked about helping them with their staffing needs for short term assignments.

Then 5% of your time you can apply to job adds.


Do this, use the book cracking the hidden job market as your guide and you might measure your job search in weeks or month not years.


Best of Luck, consider the Chicago Young Architects Forum as a model if one does not exist where you are start one, the leadership in these professional organizations are rarely short on opportunities and connections.


Best of Luck

Peter Normand

Sep 30, 13 2:27 pm

I agree on some of Peter Normand's points. Looking for jobs on indeed, archinect, and monster aren't very efficient since many firms do not post job openings there.


I was applying for jobs as well in TX region. I started out searching as many firms as possible in a specific city and glance through their websites. I targeted on 25-30 firms that I was interested and wrote down their contact info. I emailed them my cover letter along with resume and work samples on MONDAY morning, and then I visited the firms and dropped off my actual copies of those materials in a neat, simple, and professional format, making sure they were on HR manager/principals' desk. Now I have 4 interviews coming up in next week. 


In my opinion letting the firm see the actual material are much more effective then just sending it via email. It shows your interest and desire to join their team. I am a recent graduate with limited work experiences so I am sure you'll do better than me.


Good luck and never give up!

Oct 4, 13 3:36 pm

Don't give up man.  The DC market is tough.

If you live in the DC area, consider being active in one of the professional organization chapters, AIA, USGBC, ULI.  Join a committee, go to events, and network face to face. 

The National Building Museum hosts good lectures/networking events too. 

Oct 4, 13 4:15 pm

Exactly the thread I was looking for!

So far I have applied to 16 companies who posted jobs mainly in the AIA, indeed and archinect site. As I have scoured every posting available that I'm qualified in the metro DC area, I'm currently looking at NY jobs right now. There's a lot of jobs but hey, I think I've got far more competition there compared to DC. Am I right? 

I only have 3 years experience so my initial thoughts were more experienced ones like you are hired faster. It doesn't help that I require a sponsorship also. Any advice?

Oct 16, 13 5:15 pm

I just accepted anoffer from a DC firm. Im starting 2 weeks from now. Thank You for your valuable responses, I would be glad to help and share my experiences to those who need them. best of luck to yall

Oct 16, 13 8:00 pm

Congrats! We would like to hear more about your up and coming job.  Tell us about the interview, company and job position... very curious. tnx

Oct 25, 13 11:26 pm

Yeah, The sponsorship is a hurdle, try looking at large firms or firms doing international work as they are more familiar with Visas and work permits. Also forget the online applications the computer programs will automatically screen you out you need to go directly to a person working in a job you want ans ask them what advice they have for you. Don't beg for a job but ask for advice leads and referrals. Once people meet you and realize you are smart and a nice person to work with they might consider you for an opening with their firm or recommend you to a colleague. 

Also do not be anonymous, use your name have a linked in profile and a profile here on archinect, it is free and you can showcase a sampling of your work. The first thing a potential employer will do is Google your name, try to set things up so they can find something good about you.


Over and OUT

Peter N

Nov 2, 13 11:15 am

hey Peter,

What would you recommend to those of us who are not in major cities and have much less opportunity to network?

Nov 2, 13 2:36 pm

natematt, Move to a major city or College Town if you can.  If you are looking for a job in the city and you live a few hours away such as I am experiencing right now I would try to plan a full day of interviews I try to get 5 in a single day when I am networking. I took to hosting a job hunt club at the Chicago Young Architects Forum which is a part of the AIA and this had helped too and I have given some advice as well. Interview #1 8-9 9-10 travel to #2 10-11 Lunch with a classmate or friend in the industry, 2-3 #4 and try to get the next one near or in the same building as the last one, and then meet people after work for drinks or coffee. Pack your day full.

Set a time one to two weeks out and start asking for brief informational meetings not hiring interviews and try to cluster them in one area or along a reliable transit line and try to get one interview ever two hours in one neighborhood and then next week try another.  You can find tons of info on businesses and their locations by searching just enter architects and some criteria such as earnings and number of employees. Starchitects get tons of request so don't get to emotionally vested in their response either way. 

In college towns check out the local AIA and attend one of their events such as a collective Lunch and learn or awards ceremony, then you have lots of folks in one place.

The phone also is a good way to network ask for a phone call at a specific day and time.

If you are staying where you are due to personal or interpersonal reasons you need to make yourself the center of the community of architects and designers around you. become involved in your local AIA, host events or start your own annual wards program. Throw a party give an award and lots of architects will show up as they too want to network and show off.


But seriously consider moving no place is so special that it is worth being destitute in.


Over and OUT

Peter N

Nov 4, 13 11:28 am

I am where I am for monetary reasons, moving is not an option without securing a job first unfortunately.

Thank you for the advice though, I will have to see what I can do with it.

Nov 4, 13 11:45 am

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