ringier home icon

What do employers want to see in an architect's resume?

I stumbled on this post on Quora today and thought to share. I have carefully selected the best 3 answers that I believe will help you craft a winning resume or build the kind of portfolio that gets you the job.

Answer One:

Tammy Chambless Tammy Chambless, Principal with GFF Architects
We want to see what you are able to produce, if we hire you.  We want to see a range of skills.  Show us some of your presentation abilities.  Show us some of your design abilities, and show us a knowledge of construction documents and detailing.  We know that if you have little to no experience in the field, most of your work is going to be based on the projects you’ve done in school.  That’s okay.  Just show us what you have.   If you have experience, we’re very interested in seeing the quality of your work.  If you have 5+ years experience, don’t show us work from school, show us actual work product.
Also, just a few more tips:
Spell check your written info.  It’s not a good sign if there are misspellings on your resume or typos in your portfolio.
Don’t show us everything you’ve ever done.  It’s better to show us 4 or 5 really good projects, than to show us 20 with only 4 or 5 that are good.
Rehearse what you will say about each project.  Pick out one or two things to focus on.  You don’t have to over explain things.  We’re really just getting a general impression of you and your work.  Make it a good impression.
It’s okay to send an electronic portfolio, but keep it simple.  Don’t make us watch a 30 minute video, just include images, unless you have an animation of a fly through that is 3 minutes or less.   However, when you come for an interview, have a hard copy that is well printed on quality paper to show off your work to it’s best advantage.   11×17 is a good size, and letter size is a minimum size to use.  Don’t make your portfolio some fancy bound book.  They are hard to keep open to the right page, and sometimes don’t lay flat.  Just a loose leave binder is fine.   We’re not going to give you a job because you have the flashiest portfolio binding, we’re looking at quality of the contents.
Best of luck in your job search!
Answer Two:
Michael "MD3" Donovan III Michael “MD3” Donovan III, California state licensed Architect practicing since 1998.
Tammy Chambless’ portfolio answer is very spot on and appreciated.
What I would add to her answer, and what I used to get asked was to supply, were samples of the “Design Process” of my projects.  My portfolio would contain lots of nice presentation quality drawings but I would get asked to show how I got to those finished designs and where did my original design inspiration or methodology of the design process take place over time.  Thus I would start including basic design sketches and partially completed ideas done in freehand to compliment my shinny finished renderings.
I would also suggest that you only present the best elements of your work versus all of the drawings of a complete project.  For example, if you designed a crazy cool cross-section in your project but the other elements of your design are basic or simple such as your floor plans and elevations, you should not be forced to show all of these elements of your project that don’t make you stand out.
I am also a big fan of labeling all drawings as I want to better understand what exactly am I looking at and why?  I was always taught that your design portfolio should be able to be handed over to a professional for review without any verbal explanation required.  That being said, I don’t want to read any long amount of text explaining what inspired you to create this design work.  I don’t really care.  I just want to know quickly what level of creativity, completeness, attention to detail, problem solving, etc. that you will be bringing to me as your employer or client.
Answer Three:
Octavian Ungureanu  Octavian Ungureanu, Architect
Yes we want to see skills and relevant skills. We usually look for a person able to:
– 3D model and renderings
– client presentation of conceptual design
– draw plans, sections, facades etc at a technical level
– detail
So if you will keep your CV and your portfolio on this idea it will be great! And as an employer I would like to see into the portfolio one or more of the above skills.
If you just finnished the school it will also be easy to use parts of school projects to show how great you developed your skills.
Think that we, the employers, we look for a new person to provide a certain type of work. If you show by your CV and portfolio that you understand what my concerns are you are on top of the short list!
Image credit: Inhomealarmsystems.tk
Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell