7 tips to find a job in architecture
By BAM Team
Even once in a lifetime, we have found ourselves in the position to look for a job, and it is well known it could be a tedious and complex process. Sometimes this process can be clarifying, some others not that much, and when it takes too long, we are loaded with a bunch of doubts about what are we doing wrong.
In BAM, we want our readers to have the best job possibilities; therefore, we have put together this article to give you some recommendations that will allow you to make a better application for a job in any architecture studio, either locally or internationally.
Here are some of our tips when looking for a job in architecture:
When you’re looking for a job abroad this is one of the things you should consider first, and you have two choices regarding this matter:
a. To speak the local language.
b. To speak English. In this case, it is very important that you make sure that English is spoken in that country in the professional environment and that you have the necessary proficiency to speak in that context.
When looking for a job abroad, you must verify before applying that there wouldn’t be any migration troubles for you in that country. What we mean by this is that you need to check that your profile or your place of origin is eligible for a job or internship visa.
We recommend doing this before applying to save time and to be sure that every interview you get is a step closer to your next job.
Put together a good portfolio with 5 or 6 of your most significant projects and their most interesting drawings. It is not necessary to include all the projects you have ever worked on, but the very best of your work.
Normally, architecture studios ask for small files in terms of megabytes (maximum of 15 MB) and pages (maximum of 5). It is relevant that your portfolio adapts to the studio you are applying to; this means: No matter how experienced you are, if you are applying to work in an office that specializes in urban design, you should only include projects related to urban design; if you have another project to highlight, you could add it, but always being focused on the work that proves your value to the firm and that you have experience in the area they specialize in.
4.- CV (Curriculum Vitae)
There are three premises that all good CV must have:
a. Order. A clear structure that allows the person that is reading it to understand who you are.
b. Cleanliness. Minimalism will be appreciated by the person that is reading. Believe us!
c. Conciseness. As Mies van der Rohe would say… less is more. A maximum of two pages is enough; if you can fit it all on one page, all the better.
Some people recommend delivering it printed together with the portfolio because they assure that it is much more powerful this way and it does not get lost in a huge list of e-mails. If it is physically in the office, someone will see it, especially if it has a good cover page and powerful content.
5.- Recommendation Letters
Include recommendation letters from at least two relevant architects or professors who have taught you or with whom you have worked in the past. It would add some prestige to your profile and therefore you have more chances of being selected for an interview.
6.- Searching for positions
We can recommend you to look for a job position in two different ways:
a. The websites of the firms you are interested in to see the vacancies they offer and the requirements to apply for the job. Some firms ask for more specific things than others (specific portfolio; language tests: IELTS, TOEFL; etc.). It is better to check before sending a lot of documents and ending up not being considered because you do not meet those requirements.
b. Job hunting platforms such as Dezeen Jobs, Archinect, and Archtalent are some of the sites where you can get to know about the different positions offered by prestigious architecture offices around the world.
7.- Be patient
A good application to your dream job can last a few days or months, depending on the firm you are applying to, so it is very important that you stay patient and, above all, optimistic. Not having a quick answer doesn’t mean they are not considering you, it could mean they are struggling with more than one good profile to choose from, and that says a lot about your skills.