A few essays ago, we highlighted an acronym for your search – A.R.C.H.I.T.E.C.T.

At the end of the essay, we shared the following quote from Richard N. Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?


The answer, in a nutshell, is:

Thru your research

and then thru your contacts.

–  Richard N. Bolles

As you can see, Bolles shares that the key to any successful career / job search is Reseach and Contacts / Connections.  As a refresher, below are the descriptions from the acronym essay.

Research: Research is critical to the job search process.  What positions within an architecture firm can best utilize your skills and knowledge? What employers have such positions? Do not limit your job search to the architecture profession; the best employment opportunities for you may be with an interior design firm, a construction firm, or an engineering firm; again, be creative in your search.

Connections: Connections are crucial for a successful job search.  Regardless of the career field, over 60% of all openings are obtained through networking. As a novice job-searcher, you should be adding five to ten names to your network monthly.

If you read any book on job searching, you will quickly learn that the most effective method to learn of employment opportunities in NETWORKING, but most people, especially students do not know what networking is?  Simply put, it is informing others around you of your intent in gaining experience and asking if they may know of any leads for you.

Now, we will focus on typical sources for career / job leads.

Connections: Again, use everyone you know as a potential lead; this includes your family, friends, classmates, recent graduates, and faculty.  Let each of them know you are searching for a career position so they can work on your behalf in letting you know of career opportunities.  Even provide them with your resume so they know who you are and what you are seeking.  Be sure to follow-up with them.

Firms: Most jobseekers only look in the “want ads” i.e., the firms that are hiring, but research all firms as many firms will hire individuals even when advertising a position.

AIA Firm Directory – Perhaps, the best source for firms but not these are AIA member owned firms; also, many components or local chapters of the AIA have firm listings on their website.

AIA Chicago: Find an Architect

Architizer Firm Directory

Archinect Firm List

Thus, you can see, there are multiple ways to research firms; once, you determine what firms might be best for you, contact them directly with your materials (resume, portfolio, and cover letter) to express your interest.

Job Boards: Aside from firm listings, a good source of leads are the many job boards.  Some are directly for architecture-related positions, but you could also use full-service boards like Indeed or

AIA Career Center

Many AIA local chapters direct you to the AIA Career Center, but some chapters in larger cities have their own board.

AIA Chicago

Architizer Find Architecture Jobs

Archinect Jobs

Architecture Program: While not all programs have a dedicated staff, someone on staff may be able to provide you with a list of both firms that are recruiting students and position listings.  For example, who were the firms that attended the recent Career Fair.  Also, if you are attending a program in a different location than where you wish to secure a position contact the architecture program in the area for possible leads.

University Career Center: Certainly, one of your best resources is the University Career Center; granted, they cater to all majors, but they will have contacts.

Alumni Center: Another resource for leads is the alumni center office at your university.  They may have lists of alumni to contact.

LinkedIN: You may already have an account on LinkedIN knowing that it is a great resource, but are you truly using the social media.  Have you searched individual who work for the firm you are pursuing or who are an alum of your architecture program?


Truly, the potential leads for your career / job are endless; but it does take time and energy to make it happen.

From your friends at, we wish you the best; do contact us if you need assistance.

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