Award-winning architect Norman Foster once said, “As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” This poetically articulates the mastery that the world’s best architects rely on to design the buildings and other structures that surround us.
If you’re looking to make your own mark in the industry and keep working your way up, you should take comfort in the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of architects will grow by 8 percent from 2018 to 2028.
But don’t let this positive projection make you complacent in your job search! Architecture is still one of the most competitive industries to progress in, particularly at more prestigious architecture firms.
What’s more, the truth of the matter is that many - if not most - architects aren’t engaged in the types of projects they dream about. Instead of designing the next Petronas Towers or The Shard, they’re working on uninspiring constructions that won’t be featured in ArchDaily anytime soon.
If this sounds eerily familiar, it’s time to get working on your resume. Once you have a strong architect resume to apply with, your chances of getting your dream job will increase tenfold. To help you put together one recruiters will rush to read, we’ve outlined the most important guidelines and expert tips to keep in mind.
In this architect resume guide, you’ll discover:
- What constitutes a great architect resume
- How to correctly showcase your educational background
- Which skills you need to highlight (including examples from real-life job ads)
- Expert tips for making your achievements shine
- A speedy way to make an incredible architect resume
1. Multiple Template Examples
2. How to Write an Architect Resume That Will Land You the Job
How to format it
Ensuring your resume features the optimal resume format is as crucial as perfecting the words within it. Just like you wouldn’t present a client with a messy mockup of your latest building - you also shouldn’t present recruiters with a resume that’s all over the place.
Without a doubt, a reverse chronological format is the best format for your architect resume. The reason we suggest using this format is because it highlights all of the work you’ve put in to get to where you are today. When a recruiter sees your resume, they’ll be able to immediately see all of the tremendous strides you’ve made in your career. This will, in turn, help them envision you making even more strides in the role they’re hiring for.
It’s also crucial to keep some resume layout rules in mind. We’ve shared the most fundamental ones for an architect resume below:
- Number of Pages: Your resume must only be one page.
- Fonts to Use: Any that can easily be read at first glance, such as Constantia and
- Fonts to Avoid: Any that may be misinterpreted due to how intricate they are, such as Zaphino and French Script.
- Margins: 1 inch on all sides.
- Line Spacing: 1 or 1.15.
- Header size: 14-16 point size.
- Text size: 11-12 point size
What makes a great architect resume?
While many candidates settle on creating a resume that’s ‘good enough,’ you need to set a higher standard for your own one if you want to snag your dream job.
If you’re wondering what makes a great architect resume, it boils down to two defining features: being well-formatted and well-written. In other words, the best resumes boast both looks and substance. By following our formatting recommendations above, and the expert tips we’ve shared throughout this guide, you’ll be able to create a resume that truly impresses.
That being said, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “What makes a great architect resume?” After all, every recruiter’s interpretation of a “great” resume is different. No two jobs nor recruiters are the same, so you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot by applying with the same resume to multiple jobs.
So there is one more feature you need to keep in mind in order to make a great architect resume: customization. As we discuss more extensively further below, targeting your resume for each application by customizing the contents of it will ensure that you address the specific criteria a recruiter is after.
How to give recruiters what they’re looking for
Recruiters are looking for architects that have an ideal blend of educational qualifications, soft and hard skills, and professional experiences. You can give them what they’re looking for by highlighting relevant and eye-catching information about each of these attributes in your resume.
Remember, your resume is like a blueprint for why you’re the perfect candidate. So in order to convince them of this fact, you’ll need to ensure your resume provides a proper outline as well as evidence of your suitability for the role at hand.
How to prepare for a job interview as an architect
No matter how many times you’ve done them, job interviews are always a very intimidating experience. As you may know from experience, the more prepared you are, the better your chances will be for passing it.
Careful preparation will allow you to both calm your nerves and ensure you’re ready to answer even the most trickiest of interview questions. If you really want to ace your interview, consider the following 5 expert tips:
- Practice answering standard interview questions: Do yourself a favor and practice answering common architect interview questions in the weeks and days leading up to your interview. There are countless resources online that provide questions to practice with, such as this one from The Architect’s Guide.
- Re-familiarize yourself with the job ad: Chances are that quite a bit of time has passed since you applied and you received the good news about your interview. That’s why it’s vital to re-familiarize yourself with the job ad. It provides the biggest hints as to what the recruiter is looking for and will ask you about, so it’s bound to help you in your pre-interview preparations.
- Conduct a deep dive research into the company: In addition to asking you about your professional experiences, it’s almost a guarantee the interviewer will quiz you about their company. It’s therefore essential to research some key stats about the company. Some common questions they may ask could relate to when the company was established, who their clients are, what their most notable achievements are, what their company goals are, who is on the executive team, and so on.
- Practice nerve-calming techniques: Pre-interview jitters get the best of all of us. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple anxiety-reducing breathing techniques and meditations that you can practice that will help you refocus and give you the best chance of succeeding.
- Plan your trip in advance: Don’t leave working out your travel route to the last minute. Plan how you’ll get to the interview and factor in the chance of delays and other complications. While you should only head into the reception area 10 to 15 minutes earlier than your scheduled appointment, aim to arrive at your destination at least 30 minutes before.
How to highlight your most important achievements
If there’s one thing your resume should do, it’s make your achievements shine like the Eiffel Tower at night. So what’s the best way to highlight your most important achievements on your resume? We’ve created a 3-step guide that we suggest you follow:
- Work out which achievements you should include in the first place: Don’t make the mistake of featuring your proudest achievements. You need to select achievements a recruiter would find eye-grabbing. To do this, scan the job ad for keywords that reveal what a recruiter is looking for from their ideal candidate. Create a list of these keywords.
- Match up your achievements with the keywords: Consult the list of keywords. Ask yourself, “Which ones relate to my work experiences in my current and previous roles?” Mark the keywords that apply to your achievements.
- Write out each achievement with the relevant keyword included: Now you can flesh out your achievements, based on each relevant keyword it relates to. It’s important to incorporate the keyword as naturally as possible into your achievement. That means that if it sounds like you jammed the keyword into your achievement, you’ll need to rewrite it until it flows.
You should aim to make your achievement sound as impressive as possible by not only stating what the achievement is, but also the positive effect it had on the given company.
For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “prepare design proposals,” your achievement should look something like this:
- Regularly prepare design proposals based on client’s goals, aesthetic, and budget, resulting in a 400% increase in client onboardings since I joined.
This achievement does everything our 3-step guide outlines. It effectively focuses the achievement around the keyword and naturally incorporates it in. Moreover, it sounds impressive, because the candidate states both: what the achievement is (“Regularly prepare design proposals based on client’s goals, aesthetic, and budget”) and how it had a positive impact on the company (“...a 400% increase in client onboardings since I joined”). These two features make for a winning achievement in our books!
Which soft and hard skills should you mention and how to do it correctly?
The skills you choose to highlight in your resume can make or break your application. If you don’t feature the skills a recruiter is prioritizing, your application will come to a crashing halt.
In order to pinpoint what these skills are, you need to take another look at the keywords the recruiter has included in the job ad. Focus on finding keywords related to the skills an architect will need to excel in the role.
You will quickly notice that architect skills can be split into two types: soft and hard skills.
1. Soft skills
Soft skills describe any interpersonal skills that rely on a candidate’s people skills, communication skills, or other non-tangible abilities.
Below are some examples of top soft skills architects need to have that we’ve taken from real-life job ads:
- Presentation skills
- Oral communication skills
- Written communication skills
- Ability to develop client relations
- Ability to be self directed
- Collaborative working skills
- Analytical thinking
- Attention to detail
2. Hard skills
Hard skills describe any technical skills candidates should have that are practical and measurable.
Below are some examples of top hard skills architects need to have that we’ve taken from real-life job ads:
- SketchUp proficiency
- ArchiCAD Essential proficiency
- Revit proficiency
- AutoCAD proficiency
- Architectural rendering
- Understanding of construction documentation
- Preparing design proposals
- Producing detailed drawings
- Negotiating with contractors
So how do you correctly include your hard and soft skills in your resume? Firstly, you should pick 6 to 8 of them to star in a special “Skills” section on your resume. Be sure to list them rather than write them out in sentence form. You should also mention the most relevant skills you offer throughout your achievements section. It’s also advisable to include a few in your resume objective or summary as well.
Pro tip: Try your best to use the same wording the recruiter has used for each keyword, as doing so will help your resume get past Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This is a recruitment tool that analyzes if your resume should get the tick of approval, based on whether it includes certain keywords. That being said, your resume should also make sense to humans, so it’s best to modify the wording, if it doesn’t make sense to keep it as-is.
How to list your education correctly
Architects are some of the most highly educated professionals around. As the Bureau of Statistics states, the typical first step you must take to become an architect is to graduate from a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture. You can then choose to go on to a master’s degree, which can take anywhere from 1 to 5 years to complete.
In order to list your education correctly on your resume, you must create an “Education” section.
You should ensure you avoid sharing too many details about your studies or writing in complete sentences, like this candidate did:
- I have a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas and am currently completing my Master of Design Studies at the same university. I am completing my Master’s degree so I can one day secure a leadership position in an architecture firm.
Instead, provide a list of your degree/s in reverse-chronological order (i.e. starting at your current or most recent degree). Only include key details such as:
- The degree name
- The name of the educational institution
- The years you were/are studying
Let’s now rewrite the above candidate’s education using this format:
- 2020 - Present Master of Design Studies, University of Arkansas
- 2014 - 2019 Bachelor of Architecture, University of Arkansas
See how much cleaner and sharper that formatting looks? If the candidate still wants to mention their leadership aspirations, they can mention them in their resume objective instead.
How to write a resume objective or summary and examples of both
A resume objective or resume summary should eloquently communicate to a recruiter in 2 to 4 sentences why they should see you as a serious contender for the job. Both of these sections have the potential to significantly transform a recruiter’s impression of you.
But it’s only necessary to include one of them in your resume. If you’re an entry-level candidate, a resume objective will best serve your needs, whereas experience architects should opt for a resume summary. Keep reading to discover how to expertly craft each one to perfection:
As an entry-level candidate, it can feel like your lack of experience will always be a constant barrier standing in your way. Rest assured that this won’t be the case for long if you can write a convincing resume objective.
In order to do so, you’ll need to ensure that you don’t make some common writing pitfalls like the following candidate did:
- Aspiring architect who’s currently studying architecture in college. I’ve only completed one internship, but I’m looking to gain some proper paid work experience at Woods & Johns Architecture Studio.
This candidate’s resume objective is undesirable for a number of reasons. First of all, they haven't provided any insightful details about themselves. This would make it difficult for a recruiter to form a connection with them.
What’s more, they emphasize their inexperience and the fact that they’re after a paid position. These points are both unnecessary to explicitly mention because not only is it already understood that entry-level candidates lack professional experience, but it’s also extremely taboo to bring up the topic of salary in your resume. One final mistake the candidate makes is that they’ve focused on their own needs instead of those of Woods & Johns Architecture Studio.
Let’s now look at an example of a well-written resume objective:
- Aspiring architect who’s currently studying a Bachelor of Architecture at California Polytechnic State University (3.6 GPA). After completing a 6-month internship at Prism Architectures where I received a glowing letter of recommendation from the managing director (attached), I am now seeking to apply my enthusiasm for architecture as well as my superior sketching skills to Woods & Johns Architecture Studio.
This candidate’s resume objective is 100 times better than that of the previous candidate. They’ve provided a detailed, but not overly-wordy overview of themselves and why they’re an excellent candidate for the position.
Moreover, they’ve expertly addressed the qualities the recruiter is looking for in their ideal candidate by highlighting their education, internship experience, relevant hard and soft skills, and enthusiasm. As if that wasn’t already impressive enough, they seamlessly conveyed what an asset they would be if they were hired by Woods & Johns Architecture Studio by mentioning the letter of recommendation they received.
Once you’ve been working for a couple of years as an architect you should switch to using a resume summary. The reason being that a resume summary will help you keep progressing in your career by making it clear to a recruiter how you’ll smoothly transition into the position they’re hiring for.
Given how important a resume summary is, you should work on it so it doesn’t read as poorly as this candidate’s summary does:
- Experienced architect currently working at a good architecture firm wants a full-time position at Mirage Architects. I aim to learn everything I can from all of the talented architects there so I can one day head my very own architecture firm.
As far as the recruiter is concerned, this candidate’s resume objective is completely forgettable as it would just blend in with those of most other candidates. That’s because they failed to provide any specific and relevant details that are unique and eye-catching.
Another mistake the candidate made is that they framed the opportunity to work at Mirage Architects as just another step towards their ultimate goal - heading up their own architecture firm. While it’s fine to mention career goals, they should always be connected to the company you’re applying for.
Now that you know what to avoid, let’s see what a fantastic resume summary looks like:
- Architect with 5 years of experience currently working in one of the country’s top architecture firms is seeking a full-time position at Mirage Architects. I aim to use my
out of the box thinking and problem solving strategies as well as my award-winning 3D design skills to attract new high-profile clients to the company.
If you can put as much effort into writing your resume summary as this candidate did, you can expect to receive a lot of job offers. The reason this candidate’s resume summary would strike a chord with the recruiter is because it really sells their suitability for the job. They convey that they can offer exactly what the recruiter is after: strong work experience, useful hard and soft skills, and drive.
The candidate has even mentioned that they won awards for their work, which would certainly spark a recruiter’s interest in them. Last but not least, the candidate makes it clear how they aim to use their skills and experiences to make a positive contribution to Mirage Architects. There isn’t any more that a recruiter could ask for in a resume summary!
How to target your resume for each application
If there’s one task every recruiter for architects has on their resume checklist - it’s to ascertain whether a candidate has targeted their resume for the application. Recruiters don’t want to just hire highly-skilled architects who would be happy to work anywhere - they want to hire highly-skilled architects who are determined to work at their company.
The easiest way to show your eagerness to work in a particular role as well as your suitability to excel in it is to target your resume for each application. Yes, that means that you can no longer send the same resume to every architecture firm!
You need to get into the habit of modifying your resume each time you apply for a new job. This will ensure your resume addresses the specific criteria that each unique firm is looking for. As we previously discussed, it all comes down to naturally incorporating the keywords the recruiter has used in a job ad throughout relevant sections of your resume.
The strategy of using keywords from a job ad to select the most relevant skills and achievements to feature in your resume is the most effective way you can target your resume for each application. If you follow this strategy, you’ll be able to make it crystal clear to the recruiter that you represent everything they’ve been searching for.
How to make your resume stand out
You’ll be happy to learn that making your resume stand out isn’t nearly as complex as the design configurations for the Burj Khalifa. All it requires you to do is go the extra mile to catch a recruiter’s eye. If you want to learn how to do this, follow our top recommendations below:
- Skip gaudy resume templates: It can be tempting to use a flashy resume template with different colors, funky fonts, and eye-catching patterns to get a recruiter’s attention. After all, you want to show off your eye for design, right? Keep in mind that if your resume has too many design features, it will both distract the recruiter and cause the ATS difficulties when rendering your resume. Your best bet is to stick to using a simple but professional-looking resume template.
- Include a link to your portfolio: Your architect portfolio showcases your very best work. So it makes sense to link to it in your resume. Doing so will give recruiters the opportunity to see your skills, design approach, and talent with their very own eyes. You can add a link to your professional website, profile on your current company’s page, and/or your Behance portfolio in the “Contact Information” section of your resume. And what should you do if you don’t yet have an online portfolio? We suggest you get working on it!
- Look for opportunities to upskill: It may mean it’s time for you to upskill if you’re gunning for a particular job, but fall short of what the recruiter is looking for. After all, the only way to gain the skills you lack is to start developing them. Consider asking for extra training in your current workplace, enrolling in an online course, or getting your masters. Remember, the more skills you have at your disposal, the more you’ll be able to match recruiters’ expectations.
3. How to Make a Professional Resume in Just Minutes Using Resumebuild.com’s Resume Builder Tool
We know that you can accurately sketch a building you just saw with your eyes closed. But how do you think you’d fare following our resume guide above?
We’ve tried to explain all of the tips, tricks, and steps for making a stunning architect resume as clearly as possible. But at the end of the day, making a resume by yourself is a laborious task. Moreover, even if you try your best to follow our guide to a tee, your resume may still fall flat.
That’s why we want to share an alternative method that’s guaranteed to help you achieve far better results. Introducing Resumebuild.com’s resume builder tool. We designed this online resume builder to help job seekers like yourself to speedily create an attractive architect resume that recruiters will be desperate to read.
Forget about wasting time remembering all of our expert tips or worrying that you’ve broken this or that rule. Our resume builder is designed to guide you through all the steps you need to take to craft an ideal resume.
You’ll find it a breeze to input the information needed to complete each resume section. If you’re stuck for ideas about what to include or how to word certain sections, our pre-written examples will help you out. Ready to begin right away? Get started at Resumebuild.com.
- In charge of project coordination, client relations, drafting, research and presentation.
- Prepare scale drawings.
- Prepare information regarding design, structure specifications, materials, color, equipment, estimated costs, or construction time.
- Conduct periodic on-site observation of work during construction to monitor compliance with plans.
- Administer construction contracts.
- Provide technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs to industrial and managerial personnel.
- Operate computer-aided drafting (CAD) equipment or conventional drafting station to produce designs, working drawings, charts, forms and records.
- Direct activities of workers engaged in preparing drawings and specification documents.
- Represent clients in obtaining bids or awarding construction contracts.
- Prepare operating and maintenance manuals, studies, or reports.
- Draw rough and detailed scale plans for foundations, buildings and structures, based on preliminary concepts, sketches, engineering calculations, specification sheets and other data.
- Plan the layout of the
- Seek new work opportunities through marketing, writing proposals, or giving presentations.project.
- Consult with clients to determine functional or spatial requirements of structures.project.
- Obtain and assemble data to complete architectural designs, visiting job sites to compile measurements as necessary.
- Crafted detailed drawings that met customer requirements for structures using reinforced steel, concrete, masonry and wood materials.
- Created, printed and modified drawings in AutoCAD and ArchiCAD
- Developed exceptional attendance record with special attention to punctuality and preparation to work upon arrival.
- Devoted special emphasis to punctuality and worked to maintain outstanding attendance record, consistently arriving to work ready to start immediately.
- Creating building designs and highly detailed drawings both by hand and by using specialist computer-aided design (CAD) applications
- Working closely with a team of other professionals such as building service engineers, construction managers, quantity surveyors and architectural technologists
- Writing and presenting reports, proposals, applications and contracts
- Adapting plans according to circumstances and resolving any problems that may arise during construction
- Playing a part in project and team management
- Travelling regularly to building sites, proposed locations and client meetings
- Compile project specifications