The new year brings new opportunities, and for many of you that means job hunting. Rather than just applying online with thousands of others, here are some tips to get your application to the top of the pile and noticed by the right person.
Research First, Apply Second
It may seem like an obvious first step but we can’t stress enough how valuable it is to research the company you’re interested in. Learning as much as possible before you apply or interview will show you did your homework and have a vested interest in their work. Mention what specifically caught your attention and how your skills can relate to a current project or initiative. Showing this kind of effort may even land you a job before it’s posted, according to Forbes.
Another option is to reach out to someone who currently works at the company to get insights on the company culture and ask advice on getting your resume to the right person. Be sure to thank anyone who takes the time to talk to you or pass along your application, and if you don’t get in the door right away, remember to stay in touch. They may think of you first when another opening becomes available.
Network and Build Relationships
You’ve heard it many times before, but it’s worth repeating: networking is one of the most powerful job-hunting tools. Organizations like to hire employees through someone they know, so networking is a great way to get on the short list or find out about an opening before it’s posted online. That being said, networking doesn’t just mean using people for their contacts—it’s about building relationships, asking for advice, and making an effort.
Don’t just network, socialize. Attend a lecture or event hosted by a firm you’d like to work for, or accompany a mentor to a meeting or site visit. Join a professional organization like the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), American Institute of Architects (AIA), or National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). These are all great opportunities to meet people face-to-face.
Although meeting people in person is preferred, we can’t deny that we live in a digital world. Online networking has become just as common as face-to-face, and one of the most invaluable tools for networking is leveraging LinkedIn. You can use it to research the companies you’re interested, find connections to these organizations, and even reach out to hiring managers personally.
Finally, remember to ask for help. This is the time to ask your colleagues, mentors, and professors for help creating a stand-out portfolio, connecting you to people and organizations, and revising your resume. The university you attended can also be a valuable resource, as most have a career center that may be able to aid your job hunt.
Outsmart the Search
Finding job openings online can be a huge time commitment, so make sure you’re looking in the right places. A great place to start is Architecture Crossing, which curates job postings across the web.
You can also check out architecture staffing firms like AEC Resources, which place everyone from recent grads to senior architects in firms across the country. When we spoke with Sam Teut, a recruiter from AEC Resources, who has over 15 years of experience in the architecture industry, he told us some common mistakes to watch out for when applying for an architecture job. The most common is not emphasizing your technical proficiency. For example, many architecture roles require you to be well versed in production skills, so highlighting which architecture programs you’re a wiz at can make a big difference.
Another oversight is not including a variety of work samples in your portfolio. Teut advises to include everything from construction documents, drawings, photos, and plans, elevations and details, or as many as you’ve been exposed to. Including a wider variety of work will help employers see your professional diversity.
Whether you’re applying to your first role in the industry or a senior position, remember to focus on finding the next step in your career. You may need more experience to land that dream job, so look at each role for its potential to help you grow.
When you are looking for a staffing agency in Minneapolis that focuses on architectural staffing, engineering staffing and construction staffing, look no further than AEC Resources. Our professional job recruiters can connect you with architects looking for work. We provide contract staffing and temp staffing or recruitment for interior design jobs and architectural designer jobs.