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Whether you’re just starting your journey as a Part I Architectural Assistant or you're navigating the challenges of a senior role like an Associate Architect, your CV is more than just a document – it's the story of your professional journey. As someone who's worked closely with architects across all levels for over a decade, I’m here to share some insider tips to help you craft a CV that stands out, converts to interviews and truly represents you.


Personal Profile

 

Let's start with your personal profile. This is your chance to shine, no matter where you are in your career. For rising stars, it's about showcasing that fresh, innovative approach you bring along with your technical skills. For the more seasoned pros, this is where your depth of experience, leadership qualities, and major achievements come to the fore. Remember, this is your personal brand statement, so make it count!


This section should include your job title, level of experience, and sectors and project stages you’ve excelled in. Highlight specialisms like retrofit or sustainability. Showcase key strengths such as technical proficiency in Revit and exceptional soft skills like communication and problem-solving. Convey your motivations and values clearly, setting the tone for your CV. 


Example:

Senior Architect with over 10 years of experience in residential and commercial sectors, specialising in sustainable design and urban retrofit projects. Proficient in Revit and BIM, with strong communication and problem-solving skills. Driven by innovative sustainable practices and a passion for eco-friendly urban development

Experience

 

Experience is the heart of your CV. For those just stepping into the field, focus on any hands-on project experience you’ve gained, whether it’s through internships, academic projects, or volunteer work. Mid-level architects, highlight the projects you’ve contributed to significantly, mentioning specific roles and responsibilities. For the seasoned pro's, it’s all about leadership, complex projects you’ve steered, and your strategic impact. The key? Be specific, be proud, and use those numbers where you can to quantify your achievements.


Articulate your professional journey starting with your most recent experience. Include your job title, employer, location and dates. Follow by succinctly outlining your role, project details, and the measurable outcomes of your actions using bullet points for clarity. Highlight your contributions with specifics like sustainability goals, efficiency improvements, or planning success rates. For recent and relevant roles, provide comprehensive details, for earlier and less relevant experiences, provide a very brief summary. This approach not only outlines your responsibilities but also showcases the tangible value you’ve added to each project or company, making this section both compelling and insightful.


Example 1:

Senior Architect, ABC Architecture, London (2018-Present)
  • Led the design and delivery of diverse architectural projects, including a £3M community centre upgrade, a sustainable £2M primary school extension, and a £4M retrofit of a residential building for better energy performance. Portfolio highlights innovative solutions and project impact.

  • Played a key role in two significant public engagement initiatives aimed at revitalising local neighbourhoods, including a £2M public square redevelopment. Facilitated workshops and meetings, incorporating community feedback into the design process and securing council approval.

  • Assisted in the preparation and submission of 8 competitive tender bids for local government and private sector projects, with a 60% success rate. Supported proposal development by emphasising sustainable and cost-effective design principles, in line with UK standards.

  • Adopted lean project management techniques under senior supervision, contributing to a 10% improvement in project delivery efficiency and a reduction in overhead costs, enhancing client satisfaction and operational agility.

  • Supported compliance efforts with UK Building Regulations, RIBA Plan of Work stages, and BREEAM sustainability assessments. Contributed to the practice's preparation for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications, demonstrating a commitment to quality and environmental excellence.


Example 2:

Project Architect, XYZ Design Studio, Bristol (2015-2018)
  • Directed the design and execution of a £1.5M mixed-use development project, incorporating sustainable building practices and innovative use of space, contributing to the revitalisation of a key urban area.

  • Orchestrated collaboration between architects, civil engineers, and environmental consultants to ensure the project's alignment with environmental standards and urban planning guidelines, achieving high efficiency and community integration.

  • Instrumental in securing a Bristol Urban Design Award for excellence in sustainable development, reflecting the practice's commitment to innovative and community-focused architecture.

  • Implemented BIM (Building Information Modelling) technology to streamline the design process, significantly improving project coordination, reducing errors, and enhancing overall design quality.

  • Actively participated in client meetings and presentations, effectively communicating design concepts and progress, resulting in high client satisfaction and repeat work.


Software Skills

 

In our digital age, your software skills are your toolbox. Whether it’s Revit, AutoCAD, or SketchUp, make sure to clearly list these skills with your proficiency level. These are the details that will catch an employer’s eye! If you use graphics to demonstrate your skills, make sure your level of proficiency is clear. Avoid listing every software you can think of, only list software relevant to the position you're applying for and that you are confident in using.


Example:

Technical Skills
Advanced (3+ years)
  • Revit (BIM Level 2)

  • AutoCAD

  • Enscape

  • Adobe Creative Suite

  • NBS Specifications

Intermediate (1 year or less)
  • Vectorworks

  • ArchiCAD


Personal Details

 

Keep the personal details straightforward – name, contact information, and any pertinent details like location, work eligibility, ARB registration no. if relevant. This simple but essential information should be up-to-date and easily accessible!


Education & Qualifications

 

Your educational qualifications are the foundation you've built upon. List them clearly and in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. Emphasise any distinctions or special achievements to highlight your academic prowess. Experienced architects should prioritise qualifications most relevant to their current expertise, showcasing advanced degrees or significant certifications. Separately delineate degree qualifications from additional certifications, like Revit training, to clearly demonstrate both your formal education and continued professional development.


Example:

Master of Architecture (Distinction), University of the Arts, London (2012-2014). Awarded the Dean's Prize for Best Final Project.
Bachelor of Science in Architecture, University of Bath (2008-2011), First-Class Honours.

Bonus Sections

 

Here’s where you can really differentiate yourself. Awards, publications, or even unique hobbies that demonstrate your skills or commitment to architecture can add a lot of personality and depth to your CV.


Awards: Recipient of the 2020 RIBA Award for Sustainable Design.
Publications: Co-author of 'Urban Retrofitting for Sustainability' (2021).
Teaching: Part-time lecturer on sustainable design principles at the University of Manchester.
Hobbies & Interests: Regularly write and publish articles on sustainable architecture trends, showcasing my passion for eco-friendly design and engaging with a wider community of architects and enthusiasts.

Formatting & Layout

 

A clean, professional, and easy-to-read CV is non-negotiable, regardless of your career stage. Aim for a maximum of two pages, use a clear layout, legible font with clear headings and remember, white space is your friend. It's not just about what you say, but how you present it.


If you're a recent graduate, start your CV with your personal profile and education followed by any relevant experience you've had. For professionals with two or more years of in-practice experience, prioritise your work history, showcasing your practical experience, skills and achievements, before detailing your educational background.


Concluding Thoughts

 

Creating a CV that captures your unique journey in architecture is a vital step in advancing your career. Whether you're just starting out or have years of sketches and plans behind you, your CV is your personal blueprint. If you ever need a bit of guidance or a second pair of eyes, don't hesitate to reach out. Let's craft a CV that opens doors and tells your story in the best possible way.


Found these tips helpful? Share this blog with fellow architects and let's help each other climb those career ladders. For more personalised advice, I’m just a message away. Together, we’ll ensure your CV not only reflects where you’ve been but also where you're headed in the world of architecture.


Best wishes,


F

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