With the recent difficult times for the construction industry, finding work in architecture has certainly become a lot harder. More than ever you need to stand out from the crowd to succeed.
RIBA Appointments has come up with the following ideas to help you in your
job search and offer some practical advice for job seekers in this difficult
period. Some of the following may appear quite obvious but will hopefully prove
useful as a check-list in case there is anything you may have missed.
1. Improve your CV
Your CV and cover letter are the first impression you make on a potential
employer and it is vital to make this a positive impression. A few tips are below or
view our sample CV:
- Make sure that your contact details are correct and up to date.
- Keep file sizes ideally below 2Mb. Large emails can get blocked
and therefore not seen.
- Keep it concise.
- Check spelling. This sounds simple but CVs with errors do make you stand out for all the wrong reasons.
- Include sample images of work - not a whole portfolio. The CV should give
a snapshot of your career and experience. Your portfolio can then be presented
at the interview stage.
- Start with your most recent experience first and work backwards.
- Include CAD skills and the amount of time you have worked on each system.
- If possible send your CV as a single pdf document. Word documents can lose
their formatting and look messy when sent via email.
- Avoid writing text over images as this can be very hard to read.
- Avoid writing text at angles.
- DON'T WRITE THE WHOLE CV IN CAPITALS!
- Limit the number of ways you choose to highlight titles
AND keep IT
consistent throughout the CV.
- If you are emailing CVs, keep the background white so practices can print
without using all their ink!
2. Ask for the right salary
Previously architectural practices were often in urgent need of new
staff and in many cases paying quite high salaries to attract the top architects.
As the economic market has changed it is worth checking that the salary you
are looking for is in line with the current market expectations. View
3. Be the first to see jobs
Our site is updated regularly so it is definitely worth signing up for email alerts to avoid missing out on the latest jobs.
up for job alerts. You can also follow us on
4. Responding to adverts
Our website contains adverts from practices across the UK and abroad.
When applying to adverts we recommend that you tailor your application to the
specific requirements of that job description. This can be as simple as a reference
in your covering note or changing the emphasis of the CV but it will show that
you have the taken time to consider the responsibilities of the vacancy and
addressed your application to that specific role. Search jobs
5. Apply directly
Contact firms in your local area to see if they have any positions available. In times like this, offering your skills on a contract basis
may often be more appealing to a practice than taking on permanent staff. Search practices
6. Be up to date on CAD
The majority of roles we recruit for nowadays require CAD skills and
having limited CAD experience can put you at a disadvantage. View
Research says that the vast majority of people find work through word
of mouth. Therefore ask friends if their practice is looking for someone at
your level; speak to tutors at university, go to architectural events and lectures.
You never know who you might meet! Find
out what’s on at the RIBA
8. Be up to date on CPD
If there are any areas you feel your knowledge is weak in or if you
would like to redirect your career development you can take courses via the
RIBA Online CPD.
9. Research sectors
Although a number of architects have been made redundant some sectors are holding
up better than others. To know which areas to target, view the RIBA
Future Trends Survey.
10. Prepare for interviews
- When you are asked to interview ensure your portfolio is well
presented with images in a tidy folder.
- Present all your images in one size and avoid bringing out separate
sheets which will get out of order.
- Ideally keep the style and fonts etc consistent across your
portfolio, CV and cover letter.
- Confirm where the office is and don't be late! Google
- Find out who will be interviewing you and do research on places like LinkedIn.
- Research the projects completed by the practice.
- Research the latest news about the practice by looking at their website, Twitter
and Facebook pages etc.
- If you intend to take a computer presentation of your work, check that
they will have the facility in the interview for you to display this.
- Dress to impress! Look smart and professional.
11. Consider relocating
Even though some parts of the country will lose jobs, others will also
be gaining work and it is worth considering relocating to follow demand. Moving
to another part of the UK could bring lower living costs and less competition.
12. Be Flexible
- Consider working on contract.
- Look at other construction related roles. For example working as Project
managers or Client advisors.
Find out what employers look for
See the results of our skills survey which highlights the different expectations of
employers and architectural graduates.
14. Found a position?
Once you find a position you may also like to look at:
Further links on redundancy and finding jobs can be seen below:
Should you consider starting your own practice instead, this may be useful:
If you have any questions on the above please give us a call on 020 7496 8370