Most architects need to have their resume at hand no matter what they specialize in and what type of company they work at.
Unless you run a business with complex lead generation and sales processes, you will have to use your resume occasionally.
It’s a good idea to keep your resume, or a CV saved as a draft and available for modifications somewhere close because, ideally, you need to tweak your resume for each occasion.
Your resume is not the same as your portfolio, but the two work together. Both should be structured and available at any point.
You can store the documents in the PlanMan document module and use them whenever you prospect a client.
Ideally, you need a personal website that you have complete control of – that will allow you to have a “mothership” with your portfolio, resume, media appearances, and perhaps even a blog.
The tricky part is that many architects go wrong in creating their resumes. So let’s review some best practices of architectural resumes – and mistakes to avoid putting yours together.
Picture or no picture?
This is a polarizing issue that has sparked discussions for years.
Generally, it’s OK to have a nice clean shot of your face on your architectural CV, as long as it does not draw too much attention.
Please watch out for over-the-top, flirtatious or inappropriate pictures!
Marital status and kids
Unless this is essential for the concept of your creative resume, don’t, and even if you design something creative family- and personal life-related, rethink your choice.
You never know how people react to these things and what they find appropriate – so don’t narrow down your likeability.
Renowned architects can get away with things that younger names can’t.
Focus your resume on the value you bring to your clients and factual proof of that value.
Don’t just assume people know you (even if some do!).
Reverse chronological order
This order is the de-facto standard of all resumes worldwide every year, thousands of professionals challenge themselves to invent something better, but nothing beats the good old.
All kinds of circles, diagrams, and topographic plans instead of a timeline – this may look fresh as a template, but it reduces the readability of your resume.
Link your resume to the rest of your brand
If you distribute your resume in PDF format, add clickable links to your portfolio, homepage, media appearances, etc.
If the resume is printed, you can add a QR code with a portfolio or website URL.
Have a purpose and stick to it
Spamming your CV around to everyone and anyone is the most ineffective strategy, no matter if you are an architect or any other professional.
Resumes must be targeted, tailored, and reflect the position you are applying for.
Keep that in mind, and be selective with what you include in your resume. Only focus on things that matter for the position you are applying for, and don’t waste time on anything else.
Have a clean resume
Most recruiters and firm owners are looking for a “clean” impression in a resume.
“Clean” means legible, structured, has enough space, tasteful typography, and serves a specific goal. Here are a couple of examples of clean architectural resumes.
Creative architectural resumes?
This is where you need to be very careful.
Creative resumes can go viral on social media but won’t necessarily get you the project you need. In addition, clever tricks may seem intimidating to the client and can make your resume less readable.
Most of the seasoned architects we’ve worked with developing PlanMan view ultra-creative and original resumes as a beginner cue.
Most of the progress bars and diagrams are not doing it anymore, and why would you even include a skill that’s a 7/10 according to your self-evaluation anyway?
True professionals focus on clarity and relevance. So, again, showcase your value to the projects you’ve been part of.
Don’t get us wrong – you need to showcase your creative side too. Just make sure it’s tasteful and does not disrupt clarity.
Here are a couple of creative architectural resumes that we think to remain highly professional and appealing.
A minimalist resume is a bold move, but you have to go all in. A minimalist resume makes sense if it reflects your work. Unless you produce minimalist or brutalist designs exclusively, having a minimalist resume may be a bit out of touch.
Don’t riddle the potential reader of your resume. It’s in your interest to stand out and send your message.
Don’t copy or steal
No matter how tempting it may be and how obscure the original author is, don’t steal anyone’s resume snippets. Ideas are infinite, so come up with something that reflects you and your work.