Stand out from the crowd
Published: 20 Jan 2016
Securing jobs in architecture is as competitive as it’s ever been. You need to stand out from the crowd and we can help you!
Our specialist recruitment consultants recommend the following ideas to help you in your job search while offering practical advice for job seekers.
1. Review 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.
- 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 them 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 salary guide
3. Be the first to see jobs
Our site is updated regularly so it is worth signing up for email alerts to avoid missing out on the latest jobs.
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. 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 taken the time to consider the responsibilities of the vacancy and addressed your application to that specific role. Searching for jobs.
5. Be up to date on CAD systems
The majority of roles we recruit for require CAD skills and having limited CAD experience can put you at a disadvantage.
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
7. Be up to date on CPD and Learning
If there are any areas you feel your knowledge is weak or if you would like to redirect your career development you can take courses via the RIBA Online CPD or use RIBA Journal's Learning.
8. Research sectors
Read the RIBA Future Trends Survey for the information on sectors performance and insight.
9. Prepare for interviews
- When you are invited to an 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!
- Find out who will be interviewing you and do research on 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
10. Consider relocating
Consider relocating to follow demand. Moving to another part of the UK could bring lower living costs, less competition and increased opportunities to develop your career within different practices while building your experience on a range of different project.
11. Be flexible
- Consider working on a contract
- Look at other construction related roles. For example working as project managers or client advisors.
12. Found a position?
Once you find a position you may also like to look at:
Further links on finding jobs can be seen below:
Should you consider starting your own practice instead, these books may be useful: