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.
What is the Twin City job market like? The short answer is it is a very good time to consider a new position! Here’s why…
The U.S. economy added 134,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate improved to 3.7% from August’s 3.9%.
Employment in the professional and business services subsector, which includes architecture and engineering firms, increased by 70,000 jobs, a 100 percent increase from last month. This subsector accounted for 38 percent of all service-providing sector jobs added in September.
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
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 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%.
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.
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.
Autodesk Revit continues to be the predominant platform in the AEC industry for project design and documentation. With most architecture and building engineering firms having already implemented Revit, or in the process of implementing Revit, having Revit proficiency is one of the most desirable skills for job seekers to possess.
Speed and accuracy are the two traits employers most often request from production and technical staff. The following Revit keyboard shortcuts are for Revit Architecture and can help enhance the end user's speed, and thereby increase their odds at performing at a high level.
Revit Keyboard Shortcuts
With the retirement of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE®) 4.0 around the corner, thousands of licensure candidates have already switched to the latest version, ARE 5.0—and many are finding success with the new exam.
Since the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) launched ARE 5.0 in 2016, candidates have had the option to take ARE 4.0, ARE 5.0, or a combination of both versions to complete the examination requirement. But time is running out for candidates looking to complete the exam in ARE 4.0, which is why NCARB is encouraging test takers to plan their transition strategy or switch to ARE 5.0 now.
Exam Candidates Prefer ARE 5.0’s Content and Interface
ARE 4.0, which retires June 30, 2018, features seven divisions organized around different content areas. In comparison, ARE 5.0 features six divisions organized around the phases of a typical architecture project. These divisions also align with the Architectural Experience Program’s™ (AXP™) practice areas, an improvement test takers find both refreshing and beneficial.
“The ARE 5.0 tests align very closely with the various phases of project development,” said Austen Conrad, Assoc. AIA, who passed all six divisions in just three months. “As long as candidates have had a chance to work in every phase of a project, they should feel comfortable taking the exams.”