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How to get a job in Architecture without any previous experience?

We have been there! Just finishing your university experience and you are thinking about your next steps. What do you want to do and how will you get there? Where do you start? You only have so much experience in the major you choose, and maybe it is not exactly what you are looking to focus on at first. Architecture, as a profession, can be difficult for newcomers, but not impossible.

1. Review your CV/Resume and Portfolio. Does it look up to par?

While your Portfolio is your business card, your resume provides the firm you are applying to with a sense of who you are and where you have been. Keep it short, at around 1-2 pages, ideally 1 page. In terms of your Portfolio, make sure that you have created a personalized version for the specific firm you are applying to. You should always have around 4-5 different portfolios ready for your job search. We have actually discussed portfolios in the following blog of ours,

2. Make sure you are realistic and start with what makes the most sense

It is probably unlikely that you will be going to the big leagues right off the bat, so you should try to make the most of what you are given. That includes going to get coffees for the office or doing a quick errand for a principal. All of these acts of help and assistance tied to your positive attitude will lead you towards a more ideal and rewarding experience. Zaha Hadid was not given a whole firm right when she started working towards her level of excellence. Give yourself time and do not be too hard on yourself.

3. Break out of your comfort zone!

You will not be able to grow and improve if you are never challenging yourself and your ways of thinking and working. So it is an imperative that you push yourself towards challenges and being uncomfortable, not comfortable. Personal contact is sometimes hard to achieve in a way that is natural and comfortable. Yet it is usually the more effective way to get architecture jobs. Call them and send them emails and knock on every door possible! Your consistency in your energy and will to make things happen will be recognized and is usually commended.

4. Creativity and your imagination can open up more doors

Architects and designers are expected to solve problems through creative and new, effective ways and techniques. In order to make sure your mind and skills are sharp, you must always practice, but also open your mind to new ideas and technologies. Do not just stick with what has already been done, and try to push progress not only in yourself, but also your future possible firm.

5. Research! Research! Research!

Just as you research a firm for your portfolio and for your interview, you should constantly be trying to learn more and more about the firms you are truly trying to be part of. As well as the architects that you look up to and would like to have as your mentor. The more knowledge you have, the better questions you ask, and the more proactive you can be for the hiring firm. As I mentioned before, the more personal you can get with the decision makers at the firms you are targeting, the more your odds of getting hired increase. They may be looking for someone to fulfill the role of transitioning the firm from one computer software to another. So try to understand their weaknesses and what they are looking for in an ideal candidate.

6. Maximize your online presence

You must create a brand that is readily available for firms and decision makers to get to know you and what you are trying to achieve before actually meeting you in-person. Nowadays, more and more firms are using research tools that allow them to find your Social Media profiles, so it is better to get ahead of the curve and control the brand narrative. Always try to update your profiles, and keep it simple. Do not create a bunch of different profiles on different platforms. Focus primarily on your LinkedIn presence, and then look at the other social media platforms. Post your work and ideas, interesting articles on architecture or start discussions on topics that inspire you. Also… take down those embarrassing photos that are not very professional.

7. Improve your professional network

What does a top notch Portfolio matter if you can’t get the correct eyes on it? You must expand your professional network and stay active communicating with these professional contacts, so that when you might need a favor they will remember the positive actions you’ve done for them. The ideal situation is one where you can create a first impression via online and then a 2nd first impression in person.

8. Keep writing and be yourself!

One of the best ways to keep a log of all of the work you have done and will do, is through a personal blog or some kind of outlet for you to express yourself and show who you are to the world. Firms like to see that you can take initiative and are a strong communicator of your ideas. Remember! Architects have to explain their vision and paint the picture in a way that connects with the most amount of people. It also helps you to make sure you are getting into a position that is beneficial for you and ties into your envisioned career trajectory.

When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-USand improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.


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