How many CVs did you send out before you got a job?


I sent out 200 once, this was in early 2012.

How about you?  One of my friends sent out about 100, I think some others who were more picky took 2-3 months before they got their job. And, some were lucky to continue on where they left off pre-post-grad.

Feb 4, 14 12:46 pm

I have sent out two. I have gotten two jobs.

Feb 4, 14 12:59 pm

LOL, i knew some lucky sod would say that.

Feb 4, 14 1:01 pm

I suppose Economically places are different from place to place, some jobs have 600 applications for one job posting.

Feb 4, 14 1:02 pm
Non Sequitur

I sent out 3, got 3 interviews, got 3 job offers, all within 3 weeks post graduation.

Feb 4, 14 1:02 pm

non sequitur, how many applications were made to those 3 jobs?

Feb 4, 14 1:04 pm

My first was with a world class firm with an office in a less than desirable location, the second was to a large firm in a huge city. I do not know what I have done that anyone else wouldn't. If it's luck, I can accept that. I have, however, taken risks for both including putting money into travel and correspondence that, had I not, would have likely meant not getting the job.

Feb 4, 14 1:05 pm
Non Sequitur

Aristotle, just 3. One of the offices I applied to returned my call the same day I sent them my CV/portfolio and cover letter.

Feb 4, 14 1:06 pm

@ non sequitur, sorry, my question was about how many applicants made applications to the same jobs you were applying to. I'm applying to recruitment sites, and obviously I'm not the only one, so it's highly competitive.



@ sneaky pete, what tips could you give to me, what are the secrets to winning the job, do you think? I know all the software packages, I have won 2 awards and still no job. I'm UK based, I'm guessing you are american. Congrats on your success.

Feb 4, 14 1:10 pm
Non Sequitur

Aristotle, I've never looked at recruitment sites, I don't know how they work so I can't comment. I've always directly contacted the principle or HR rep to the offices I wanted to work with. I built a website and a hard-bound portfolio and carried sketchbooks into interviews. Softwares are easy to learn and everyone and their neighbours think they are 10 out of 10 at them. It's not an advantage. Technical/construction competence and personality get you job offers and promotions.

Feb 4, 14 1:17 pm

I would suggest that the interview is key. Both times I doubt my resume or portfolio would have secured the positions by themselves. They did get me a look, but not the job, I would say that the interview was the most important part. I felt at ease, they liked what we talked about. If they can get along with you and see you working with them from the interview, then I believe you're golden.

Feb 4, 14 1:20 pm

I always get an interview for every two resumes sent out - problem is - someone else always gets the job. I always fumble in the last quarter of the game

Feb 4, 14 1:44 pm
Saint in the City

I did 2 for 2, but then was let go during the economic downturn -- I sent out about 20, got five interviews, and just one offer, which is where I am now.  Several of those interviews were at places that weren't even really ready to hire anyone.  Ah, being without a job.  So demoralizing, yet disheartening.

Feb 4, 14 3:50 pm

none, i prefer to send a resume.

Feb 4, 14 5:48 pm

Its not about the number, its about the quality... same thing with the penis... it's not the size, it's how you use it ;) haha

Feb 5, 14 11:01 am

Woaah how is this even possible what you are writing here?!  Right now I'm on my job search and I've already sent out exactly 271 applications...I only got few offers of unpaid internships but since I would have to relocate I just couldn't afford them.  I made my Bachelor of Science (4 years) in September and each day I feel more and more worthless because I can't find this job. Now I feel even worse..

Feb 5, 14 3:11 pm

all my jobs, expect for the very first one, were based on a recomendation from someone already at a company.  randomly sending out paper is a pretty low percentage game. cultivate a strong network in school and afterwards

Feb 5, 14 3:45 pm
Non Sequitur

Inside connection/recommendations will only get you an interview, at best. If you can't detail or demonstrate that you can use your time effectively, you won't get hired. After 200+ emailed CV, perhaps it's time to take another look at your portfolio and skills.

It's stupid easy to make pretty pictures using any rendering software and most firm principles are no longer impressed by just this. It seems most people failing to land jobs just have 3D or software "skills". I would not take a second look at an applicant who could not, on the spot, accurately detail a simple project... no mater how many photoshop layers they use in their "portfolios".

Feb 5, 14 3:54 pm

That would be a good lesson to learn if it was something the interviewing company was looking for. It's also a good thing to have under your belt regardless, considering it's part of the job description. But there are plenty of firms looking for moldable clay, and having too much concrete knowledge COULD work against you.


There's no formula, no secret sauce.

Feb 5, 14 4:00 pm
Non Sequitur

SneakyPete, good point, but you have to be one helluva good candidate for an office to invest time to "mold". Perhaps schools are just guilty of misleading their students in thinking they are ready.

Feb 5, 14 4:06 pm

I do realise that I have got a huge space for improvement, especially in areas that you -Non Sequitur has pointed out- detailing and construction drawings. Nevertheless I put some of technical drafting works in my portfolio, the ones that I made for school and I thought they were good enough. 2 years ago I was working in architecture office in Germany (for 5 months), where I was more or less a CAD-monkey (which I actually enjoyed since I felt I learnt a lot there). Of course I didn't put any of those drawings in my portfolio, since I don't think those were really "mine". Nevertheless, I do know the company that hired me in Germany was really happy with my performance (although I still had much of a language barrier problem!) and I am like 99,99% sure my next employer will be happy with my work too. The point is that I somehow cannot get to the point where I could prove that.

Right now I am at the point where I desperately want to move out of my home city, that is why all these ideas about networking and so on are pretty useless for me. So I keep sending out my applications, literally everywhere now,  but I'm somehow stuck!!

Feb 5, 14 4:49 pm

I'll give you a piece of advice. Don't just send out resumes "anywhere..." First off, firms can just "smell it." Trust me, I've been around the block with this issue. Second, you may eventually find a job and you'll start working, but then you'll realize that the work you are doing is shit and you hate being there... The first thing I would do is to spell check your resume and CV... you will be surprised how many errors you can find if you take the time to re-check them yourself rather than using spell check. Case in point: "an" & "and" are two totally correctly spelled words, yet when you spell check you won't realize you are making the mistake. Another suggestion, make sure your resume is cleanly and consistently organized. Eliminate all the graphic shit. No one cares. Have a nice stylized (simple) font if you want to be fancy or use another character instead of a bullet point if you want to go even further, but limit yourself to that. Keep it black and white. Also, try to define your specific role in each project. Include project type, square footage, budget (if applicable). this will give the employer an idea on what kind of projects you have worked on. If you have experience with projects between 5-10,000 SF, but don't have any experience with projects 100,000SF that may be a red flag for the employer. This is not necessarily true, but I am just putting it out there. 

Feb 5, 14 5:29 pm

Sent out ~25 applications in late summer, got three offers and another interview.

Feb 6, 14 8:20 am

I believe in carefully constructed, personalized applications that could include a small portfolio sampler, your CV, and a cover letter that shows you know the firm's work. For my first job search in Berlin, I sent 10 applications (printed, not email) and got 8 responses, 5 interviews and 3 offers (two of which were underpaid, and therefore rejected).

My second job search I sent 8 applications and got 5 interviews with 2 offers. I do think that there are jobs out there but email is so easy to ignore - you have to make a strong (but time-sensitive) impression on people who have the power to hire.

In terms of building a network - I believe in the power of it but haven't had to rely on it yet, luckily. 

I also know people who are really highly skilled and put a lot of time and effort into their applications, who receive no responses. It depends on where you live and if you catch a firm at the right time (beginning a new project/competition, for example). This is where it's handy to have connections who can tell you when a project is ramping up and could potentially be hiring.

Feb 6, 14 10:17 am

I'm curious how much experience people in this thread had before they got these jobs that they are talking about. It seems like the people I went to school with who had prior job experience pretty much fell right into spots, while those who had little or no experience had to put a lot of effort into getting something.

Given my location I have been primarily sending out online applications for openings I find through websites like archinect and aia sites. It's not particularly pleasant because there tends to be several hundred people applying for each position. Out of the last 30 applications I’ve done, I have had 6 interviews/phone interviews and have been asked for further interviews with three of them, no offers yet, and one of them was a rejection. As a whole, I have been looking for quite a while and have probably been at about an interview for every ten applications. I really don’t like this approach…

Feb 6, 14 10:36 am

Stephanie and Nathan make some really good points. I had work experience from before I got my M. Arch. which may have helped. The first job I got I had met the Principal of the firm at a college lecture, the second was due to a friend mentioning they were considering hiring due to a need for more staff and I stuck my nose in. It pays to keep in touch with classmates for more than just friendship.

Feb 6, 14 10:40 am
Non Sequitur

Stephanie & Nathan, I worked in a small 2-man office while completing my undergraduate degree. I used examples from those projects (small res/com renovations) to balance my academic portfolio and graduate research. I applied to 3 firms within the week following my thesis defence and had interviews & job offers at all of them.

So yes, experience counts, but any competent student who took the time to understand design and detailing should be able to enter the working world without any problem. It's just that sexy renderings only go so far if you can't understand construction drawings. At least, that's the main hiring criteria in my market.

Feb 6, 14 11:57 am

I think experience is exponentially more important at the start of your career, which is woefully ironic. I am perfectly comfortable with my level of design and detail understanding in relationship to my peers. My undergrad was very practical and emphasized building systems, so I tend to have a better grasp of that sort of thing than many other people with 0 arch firm experience. I also really like a good detail.

Feb 6, 14 2:01 pm

I think experience is exponentially more important at the start of your career

Once you hit year 5, and you have not progressed accordingly, then finding a job is very problematic - I had much better results in 09' in the depths of the recession then In do now at year 5 with no IDP and no Job Captain experience - just BIM modeling - well anyone with 1 - 2 years exp. can do my job just like the guy they just hired who is a real eager beaver.

Basically, your experience should keep pace with expectations/year of experience

Feb 6, 14 2:28 pm

Guys, I have to ask you- could I send you my application so you could take a look and tell me where do I make mistake? I sent 281 applications now and I am already  really desperate and I have no feedback which would suggest me what is wrong. I don't want to post it here in public with such context (because of employers!), so pretty pretty please, anyone??

Feb 6, 14 2:46 pm

FlameAura, where are you sending your applications? Perhaps you are sending them to firms where you would need a visa to work and they are not willing to sponsor any candidate, regardless of experience or any other fact. Are you from EU? Well, Architecture is not very healthy there :\ but you might have luck in the Scandinavian countries or Holland... If you are from EU and sending applications to the US, well, that's why you are not getting responses. You need sponsorphip. And there are plenty of candidates inside the US who don't. Have you tried China, Japan, Singapur, Indonesia...??? And Angola, in Africa?? Anyway, you can send me your application through a private message, I will try to help you with feedback!

Feb 7, 14 9:34 am

Marina CM, thank you very much, I already contacted you via private message. Answering your questions- yes, I am from EU and my focus was mainly on European countries. Having no success here I was also sending out applications to USA, Canada, Japan (but only a little) Australia (also only a little) and China. Ironically, the majority (of a very few) responses I got were from US, where apparently it is really hard for me to go to.

Feb 7, 14 1:58 pm

Some companies don't want you to show their working drawings to random practices, because it's copyright information. There are a few companies that tell you to show "x" no. of drawings as a rule. Obviously, it's up to your conscious whether you adhere to it.

Feb 8, 14 5:41 am

Aristotle, I think editing out the sensitive information in the technical drawings will do. Although I'm not sure if it's proper to place those drawings in the initial portfolio that you send.

Also, like FlameAura, I have been sending our applications and just got a few responses and interviews. I know it's primarily because of the location. I'm from Asia btw. It's really depressing since I want to have an international exposure.

Feb 8, 14 7:19 am

'i have a bachelors degree and some graduate training in the same profession. i have worked in my trade for more than ten years. i went to college, i didn't do drugs, i didn't go to jail, I paid my debts, I did internships. I did everything I was told was the right thing to do in both the short and long term. I have seen offices go to four day work weeks, firms go out of business, and legal action of every sort by people trying to make it and failing. And my professional organization (in my case, both national organizations of by and for architects- NCARB and AIA) can't answer the basic question of whether or not we have a glut of talent- regionally, nationwide or otherwise. My only conclusion is that I am doing something wrong. This is why I am appealing for job coaching.'


...quoting from something i submitted to a Gawker/ABC free job coaching offer.

Feb 8, 14 11:12 am

we don't have job coaching in the UK

Feb 8, 14 11:58 am

I had an informational interview with a couple principals at a smaller office in Chicago last week, off of meeting one of them at a seminar the weekend before. In other words, go to events, networking sessions, and meetups. One thing I got out of it is that you really must research them and talk some about a project or process that they do in your correspondence. The worst thing you can do is just send out resumes and CVs and expect a job interview out of it.  Yes, do apply to postings if you would like the job so much, but don't just apply because it's an opportunity.  And if you have to go about looking at firms that don't have openings posted, get your way in by inquiring at firms, ask people there who do the work — not simply the HR people. Don't start off by asking for a job, but rather for advice. Have a discussion, just start talking to people. This seems to do better than just sending off CVs. 

Feb 18, 14 4:06 pm

Post-grad school

Zero resumes sent out, had an interview scheduled but they canceled and decided to make an offer instead.

Got the job based on networking and recommendations.

The most important part of the job search...NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING

Feb 18, 14 5:34 pm

I can finally answer this question.  117

Almost all of them were for jobs advertised online, unfortunately networking wasn’t that beneficial for me, and looking locally was pretty much out of the question.

So it was…

117 applications. 15 interview offers. 2 job offers.  

Mar 21, 14 11:28 pm

Aristotle, Recruitment sites are a waste of time. Try going to the top5-10 firms you want to work for and develop a plan to court them into letting you in even if it is a temp or part time offer.  Direct Face to face human contact is much more effective than throwing your resume into a black hole for some computer to analyze.

FlameAura Online applications are also not a good use of time they are not a waste but should not be more than 10% of your time in your 40-60 hours of job hunt each week. Personal connections are key. Do send me your application and a description of the firms you are after for a review and some advice.


For those of you moving to Chicago I can offer some info and advice, but if you want to move to a new city apart from one that is wickedly expensive like New York or San Francisco I would suggest you sell your junk pack a car or rent one and just go, being local even if you list your distant cousin’s address or a friend you know and trust is a huge advantage. Also lets think about job hunting vacations, if you have an interview get a couple of others in that day or week if you can, asking someone you respect for advice especially if you offer to buy coffee or a cheap lunch is amazingly effective at getting face time with people who can help you on your search for a job. If you drive or fly across the country might as well pack your day or even week with interviews even if an apparent opening is not there they may lead you to other openings you did not even know about. When I was searching remotely I tried to get 4-5 interviews per day. Use your time wisely.

Mar 29, 14 11:17 am

Hi all,

Why not consider the middle east?

Am not an architect, but i am in an architectural firm.  we are currently hiring and are in the lookout for good candidates.

Send me a PM if you are interested.

May 5, 14 3:42 am

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