What Architecture Firms Look For In Job Applications

February 19, 2021
Posted in Job Seekers
February 19, 2021 ThePost

Are you looking to get your foot in the door of a leading architectural firm?

Many applications are headed into these firms so finding one that can launch you into your next career step is key but requires some action on your end to get noticed. 

Is there a way to stick out above the many applications being put forward for your dream architecture job? Well, there is. And it’s not only about sending an excellent architecture job application and portfolio; there is more to the business of applying for the job than the application alone.

This post looks at precisely what architecture firms hiring are looking for in job applications and how to make a stand-out impression. While there may be many reasons you aren’t successful with your architecture job application, there are a few common elements that should drive you towards getting an interview.

A Strong Resume

Most applicants won’t get a call if their applications are weak. You will need to have a resume and sample portfolio ready to send plus a cover letter. One piece to your resume is to make sure you fill in the gaps or tell your story of each of your experiences.

If you have just a list of where you worked with no detail, you could easily miss out over other applicants that provide further detail on what they did in that role or what projects they worked on during that time.

The cover letter is not always necessary depending on the role you are applying to. Always remember a cover letter can provide a quick snapshot of you, your experience, and why you are on your career search but can be overlooked at times so spending time making a warm connection or working with a recruiter could be more beneficial. 

When it comes to your sample portfolio, make sure to include work in your portfolio that is relevant to the position you are applying for, tailor it to display your work experience that relates to the sector or specific projects they are focused on. 

Tip: Have two portfolios. One is a sample portfolio that can be sent with your application to the architecture firms hiring. The second is the full portfolio that you will bring along to the interview for reference or review.

Make sure both portfolios speak to the work of the firm you are pursuing. If the role is more technical make sure you have all your technical drawings or CD sets displayed. 

Be Relevant

The primary focus of your experience must relate to the role you are applying for. Showcase your core abilities and how these apply to the role, and then include your unique skills and abilities. Although necessary to include, these should not take center stage. 

Tip: Point out all relevant architecture work experience before anything else.

Fitting In

Unfortunately, this is not really up to you. An architecture firm hiring will be looking to see if you and your education, work experience, skills, and qualifications align with the position available and the company culture. Make sure you convey why you want to work for the firm. 

Tip: Make it clear to the hiring manager why you think you will be a good fit at this particular firm. For example, how your experience at a small firm can benefit them at a larger firm. Include this in your cover letter or in your connection to the team.

Additionally do some research on the firm and employees you could be working alongside. You may notice you both attended the same school so you could display that connection to show how you align with current employees and is what the firm is looking for. 


Applying for a position in another city, state, or country can be a challenge when compared to local candidates depending on the firm’s needs and when they would like you to join the firm.

With the change to more virtual interviews the distance barrier can be reduced but it is not removed because you will still need to relocate to that area.

The key to relocation is being prepared and ready to go if you find the right opportunity. Companies tend to ask more relocation questions up front, like “Do you have a home you need to sell?” or “When would you be local to the area?”.

The key to answering these questions is having an outline planned you can share. Having a plan will make the firm feel more comfortable moving you forward in the process. 

Tip: Spend some time in the city that you would like to find work, and let the company you are applying to know you are in town and available for interviews. Do your relocation research to know how quickly you can be in your potential new destination.  

Perfect Grammar

Check and double-check. Having incorrect grammar and spelling in your architecture job application document will most certainly not count in your favor.

And although architecture is not typically literature orientated, you will need to articulate and explain the design process well. Not to mention, it is a very detail-oriented profession – so it’s important to show that you take note of all the details. 

Tip: Write and rewrite your application documents carefully, and don’t just use your computer’s spellcheck to help. Enlist friends and family to read your work, preferably someone in the field of architecture

Once you have gone through the architecture job application process and have not been successful, don’t be afraid to get in touch with the hiring manager and get some feedback. Find out why they didn’t choose you.

Perhaps there is one thing in your application that puts them off, or maybe you need to work on your interpersonal skills during an interview. This feedback could be constructive when applying for the next job. 

How We Can Help

Have you considered using an architecture and interior design recruitment firm to help you towards your dream career path? We have many architecture clients come to us to find the perfect person to join their firm, we help them track down top leads, and you could be one of them. Furthermore, our firm receives roles that are never advertised by the architecture or interior design firm itself.

We receive these opportunities through our exclusive partnership. Many applicants are looking to firms like us to kick off their career search or next step in their career to have a resource partner in their corner.

We work directly with leadership, hiring managers and decision makers so our warm introduction can set you apart from just sending your application in. 

Interior Talent has years’ of experience, since 2003, and are focused on building an extensive candidate network that is relationship-driven. For this reason, our clients and candidates trust the information we present to them.

Don’t just google, ‘Architecture firms near me hiring,’ instead turn to the authorities in the field. Contact us at Interior Talent, the leading talent recruitment firm in the Architecture and Interior Design Industry. Get in touch with us info@interiortalent.com or find out more on our website