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Tips for Applying to an Architecture Position

You found your dream job with the architecture firm you’ve always heard good things about. You applied for the position, but never heard back!

It can be frustrating to apply for an architecture position and get rejected, or never even receive a response from the firm. Rather than simply clicking the “Apply” button and crossing your fingers, here are a few tips to get your resume noticed by architecture firms.

Do Your Research

This may sound obvious, but make sure you know some basics about the firm you are applying for. Information like the size of the firm and their typical project types will aid you in the application process. Some people won’t do this essential step, and their generic applications will propel yours to the top of the list.

Thoroughly read the job description. Although many job descriptions are generic and read similarly, there will be some clues to help you identify the key skills the employer is seeking. Make note of the specific skills the employer is seeking.

Revise Your Resume

After you’ve learned more about the company and understand the unique skills they’re seeking, update your resume to highlight your strengths as a candidate. Submitting a resume tailored for a specific job will move you to the top of the list.

If you have some of the unique skills the company is seeking, highlight it on your resume. If you have experience with the types of projects they work on, make that experience stand out. A firm that focuses on healthcare projects may not care about your residential experience, so in cases like this, state your qualifications in general terms that can apply to all project types.

Apply Through Your Network

Once your resume is updated with specific skills and project information relevant to the hiring firm- you are ready to submit it!

If you have a friend or former colleague working at the hiring firm, ask them to forward your resume to the right person and put in a good word for you. This is a very effective way of getting attention on your resume along with a fantastic referral. Architecture firms love to hire employees through someone they know and trust. Many firms have a referral bonus, so your friend may get paid! You get the job, they get a referral bonus- it’s a win-win!

AEC Resources can also connect you with the area’s most sought after architecture firms. We work with most firms in the Twin Cities and can make the application process easy. As a bonus, we also assist with resume writing, so you are assured to have a stellar resume that will lead to an interview.

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Job Market Update

The U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a "Monthly Jobs Report" following the beginning of each month. This report describes the previous month's employment statistics, based on data such as the number of jobs that were added to the economy, the unemployment rate, and other factors.

The US economy saw an increase of 223,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, the lowest its been in eighteen years- since April 2000. This is according to the May report.

Wages have risen slightly, although the increase has been relatively modest. Per Business Insider, average hourly earnings rose .3% from the previous month and 2.7% from the previous year. Companies are also having to pay more to retain talent. 

Labor Updates for the Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Industry

The BLS showed an increase of 25,000 jobs within the construction industry. A recent Architect Magazine article indicated that the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry as a whole spiked. 

• Architectural and engineering services increased by 800 jobs
• Heavy and civil engineering increased by 5,000 jobs
• Specialty trade contractors increased by 20,500 jobs

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AIA: Billings Increase for Eighth Consecutive Month

The AIA's monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) came in at a score of 52.8 in May, marking the eighth consecutive month of gains. The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity in the U.S., and reflects a nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending nationally, regionally, and by project type. A score above 50, as seen this month, represents an increase in billings from the previous month, while a score below 50 represents a contraction.

May's score is 0.8 points higher than April's reading of 52.0, indicating that business continues to trend upward despite labor shortages and cost inflation of building materials. New project inquiries—which AIA economists consider to be the most reliable indicator of future billings—increased 2.6 points in May to a score of 59.3, indicating that billing will likely continue to rise in June.

“Architecture firms continue to have plenty of work as they enter the busiest part of the design and construction season,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, in a press release. “This is especially true for firms serving the institutional building sector, which reported their strongest growth in billings in several years.”

In May, design contracts received a score of 53.3—a 3.2-point increase from April's score of 50.1. Design contracts continue to measure above the 50-point threshold—as they have every month in the last year—a sign that momentum is strong, despite small month-to-month fluctuations.

The scores for regional billings—which, unlike the national score, are calculated as a three-month moving average—increased in three of four regions during May. The West (51.9) saw a decrease of 3.2 points while the Northeast reported a score of 50.6, a 0.3-point increase from last month's score. Demand for design services increased in the South (55.0) and the Midwest (50.2) regions during May, with scores 3.2 and 0.6 points higher, respectively, than a month prior.

The mixed-use sector was the sole category of the four building sectors to experience decreased demand for design services in May, with a 2.7-point dip to a score of 47.9, but all the other sectors posted a score above 50, indicating growth. Demand for design services in the institutional sector (54.3), commercial/industrial sector (53.6), and multifamily residential sector (52.1) increased in May, reporting a 2.3-, 0.9-, and 1.4-point growth in billings, respectively. (Results of sectors are also calculated as a three-month moving average.)

Source: Architect Magazine

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AEC Industry Job Market Update

The U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a "Monthly Jobs Report" soon after the beginning of each month. Each report describes the previous month's employment situation, based on data such as the number of jobs that were added to the economy and the unemployment rate. According to the March Jobs Report, the US economy saw an increase of 103,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%.

Growth wasn't as substantial in March (103k) as it was in February (313k), however the outlook is still positive. This was the 90th consecutive month of growth. According to the New York Times, "February's job growth was probably inflated by a surge in hiring in construction and the retail sector that reflected unseasonably warm weather in much of the country. Both sectors slumped in March as winter storms blew through the eastern United States."

Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Industry

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is the leading economic indicator of construction activity, as it "reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and nonresidential construction spending." A score of 50 is neutral, above 50 is positive and below 50 is negative. The March ABI of 51 shows an increase in demand for design services. According to the report, billings remain strong at firms with multifamily residential and commercial / industrial sectors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a decrease of 15,000 jobs within the construction industry. Architect Magazine indicated that the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry as a whole saw a decline. For example:

• Architectural and engineering services declined by 3,600 jobs
• Heavy and civil engineering construction decreased by 3,600 jobs

The Dodge Momentum Index tracks and measures the initial reporting of non-residential building projects. With the increase in non-residential construction projects, the Dodge Data & Analytics' Momentum Index increased 6.1% in March to 155. Commercial building saw a decrease of 9.6% and the institutional building an increase of 1.6%.

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The AEC Industry Job Market Update

The United States. Department of Labor- Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a Monthly Jobs Report after the beginning of each month. Each report describes the previous month's employment statistics, based on data including the number of jobs that were added to the economy and the unemployment rate.

Per the February Jobs Report, the US economy saw an increase of 313,000 jobs this past month and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% for the 5th consecutive month. 

Overall, February's report was viewed in a positive light. 

  • Job creation greatly surpassed expectations
  • Job growth has been consistently strong in recent months 
  • The labor force participation rate is back up to 63%
  • Average hourly earnings rose 2.6% year-over-year

The Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Industry  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed an increase of 61,000 jobs within the construction industry. The construction industry had the strongest month of job growth since 2007, which was responsible for 1/5 of the new job creation.

According to Architect Magazine, the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry as a whole is trending upward. 

  • Architectural and engineering services added 5,600 jobs  
  • Nonresidential building construction jobs increased by 8,900
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction increased by 7,500 jobs
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