TOOLS – RESUMES – COVER LETTERS / INTERVIEWING / PORTFOLIOS
For the past few weeks, we have continued the process of A.R.C.H.I.T.E.C.T. – the process of gaining experience as a student or soon-to-be architectural graduate. Below is the PROCESS
Tools – Resumes – Cover Letters / Interviews / Portfolios – 050920
TOOLS: CAREER SEARCH
Just like any task, you need TOOLS; for your career search, you need a resume, an ability to write cover letters, an ability to interview, and a portfolio. These ALL are critical to the job search.
They are important tools for communicating yourself to potential employers. Are your tools in top form? If not, practice your interviewing skills, rework your resume, or be in touch with someone to critique your portfolio.
Resume: As in any discipline, a resume is essential when conducting a search for experience. Keep your resume simple and straightforward. Provide information from your background and experiences that demonstrates your abilities. Do not be afraid to include skills learned from studio or other classroom projects under a section entitled “Course Projects.” If you have not worked formally in an architectural office, promote your drawing, modeling or building, and design skills learned in studio.
You may add graphics to your resume. With the ease of scanning drawings and using graphic publishing software, placing an image on your resume can be powerful; however, exercise caution, as the image may make reading the resume difficult. Rather than including graphics on your resume, you could create a one-page portfolio, sometimes referred to as a “viewsheet.”
Cover Letters: Cover letters are your introduction to the prospective employer; they are as critical and often treated as an afterthought compared to resumes. Most cover letters consist of three paragraphs: The first introduces you and explains the purpose of the letter; the second sells your skill set and makes the case that you are a match for the employer, and the third provides the terms of follow-up. Be sure to address the letter to an individual, not “Dear Sir/Madam.” If you do not know the name of an individual, take the time to research the firm and determine the name.
Interviewing: Good interviewing skills can make the difference between receiving an offer and not. Prepare for an interview by researching the firm. Think what questions might be asked of you and what questions you might ask of the interviewer. Ideally, practice prior to your interview with a roommate, colleague, or friend.
Portfolio: Given architecture is visual discipline, your portfolio is most important. The portfolio is a direct link between the employer and your skills. For this reason, you should provide images that demonstrate all of your architectural skills—drafting, model building, drawing, design, and so on. As well, provide drawings from the beginning of one project’s design process to the end. In other words, do not include only finished end-of-project drawings. The sequential drawings allow the employer to see your thought process as it relates to a design problem.
Remember, these tools are the key to a successful career search. As much as this might be your first search, you will need to continue to use these TOOLS throughout your career.
Best in your SEARCH.