Finding Jobs, Securing Interviews and Creating Opportunities

You’re looking for a job, but with so many applicants and not enough jobs to go around you need some help. You may have heard the old saying “the early bird gets the worm,” well what about this one: The wise applicant is always on time! In fact, it’s more like being early than late because that first impression can be all-important.

To become an architect of your own destiny (pun intended), Stephen Drew, Jack Moran and Will Ridgway will show us how we might increase our chances by creating opportunities where there are none; find unadvertised openings from industry professionals themselves in Architecture; secure interviews before someone else does – or even better yet snags up those coveted positions right out from under them.



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Transcription (Raw Text)

Jack Moran  0:00 

All right, I think we’re live.

Stephen Drew  0:03 


Will Ridgway  0:03 


Jack Moran  0:04 

everyone. Hopefully everyone’s doing well. Thank you for joining us. Now, today is going to be an interesting topic, because we’re going to be dissecting how to go about creating more opportunities, finding on advertised job openings, and securing more interviews. Now, Steven, first things first, this you know, this whole process of the job thing, would you say that this is probably the most challenging bit or, you know, the, the one that probably needs most attention, because, especially at a time like this, you know, people are really going to have to find more ways to separate themselves. Yeah,

Stephen Drew  0:40 

good question. So the first two that we done, we talked about how to get your CV, in the right position, and your portfolio. And so if you think of them as two Polish articles now that you’ve perfected, the next bend, really, is how to get that out there. How do you take off that? How do you how do you go and look in the wide world and reach out to employers so that they can see your portfolio, see your CV and invite you for interviews, because with all the greatest things, that CV by itself, you need to you need to make employees aware of who you are, what you’re about, and go out there, and show them who you are. And employers are not necessarily going to come straight to you, especially right now, for instance, where we don’t have any of your exhibitions, and we’re all in a kind of a situation such as COVID, that actually you almost need to double the efforts reach out to these employers to, to make them aware of who you are, and all the skills that you that you have. So that’s my thoughts.

Jack Moran  1:50 

Yeah. So why don’t we Why don’t we get into it, and actually, you know, dissect the whole process. So let’s say your graduate, you’ve been watching our, you know, our wonderful panels, you’ve got an idea of how to produce an excellent CV and eye watering, you know, portfolio that’s going to make any employee jump at it. But in terms of the process, let’s begin at the beginning. Okay, so you’re looking for a job.

Will Ridgway  2:09 

Now, job boards,

Jack Moran  2:11 

this is the first one I’m going to go to you guys for what are we talking about job boards? And you know, what are the benefits? What are the negatives, you know, what they’re good for, what they’re not good for? So what are your thoughts to start with, on the job boards,

Stephen Drew  2:23 

so for me, in the job boards, the job board is going to be, it’s the thing that people look to straight away. Okay, it’s very easy. For instance, in architecture load of visiting jobs and look for one or two, part one part two graduate positions, there’s going to be less than the thing is, though, everyone is the first thing people think of when they are looking for a job is to go for a job board. So my issue is that jobs that are posted on job boards are gonna have, they’re going to be highly competitive, because what you’re doing is you’re going against a lot of people, because it’s very, very easy to find, therefore, that chances of you actually securing the interview are going to be lower. And then also, if you do get an interview, you’re probably going to be up against 510, maybe even 15 to 20 people. So if you boil it down, like a funnel effect, right, you’ve got your application, there’s loads of them. So the chances of you getting to the next step have been picked a lower, then you’ve got more people you’re competing against. So the probability of you getting this job is slower. Let’s say it’s a few percent. Whereas if you found an architectural practice, and which is listed on Google, and it was down the road from you, and you loaded up a website, and you found on there with the rectum, and you wrote a custom, simple message saying to the director that you are looking, here’s the CV and portfolio, that role, there might be a role in that there might be not okay. But if there is a role there, you’re the person who has found it, because it’s not advertised online. So currently, your chances one to one, but you know, there’s a role there, and he knows an opportunity. Or maybe they’ve got two or three CVS compared to 50. Right, so the chances are much, much higher. And also, because you’ve gone out of your way, and you send a personalised message and say, No, you even contact them, you will follow up afterwards and you ring, then basically, you’re making a fantastic impression you were standing out in the crowd, compared to one application on 200 applications on disease. But what do you think? Well, both job boards and speaking

Will Ridgway  4:38 

in person, I think the job boards itself is the easiest, but least effective way of landing yourself a job the whole idea of applying for jobs in the first place is so that you get the job. And to do that you’ve got to put the odds in your favour and by using websites like career structure or disease, you know, it’s easy to apply, which again, makes it very popular to do so. And so therefore, you’re always up against so many people, as Steve was saying. So it’s always best like you feel free to apply them. But you should, rather than waiting. And being not necessarily lazy, but you’re being passive, you’re passively searching by waiting for them to come back to you, it’s best to be a bit proactive, and the best way to do that is by going directly to websites, whether or not as in like, architecture studios, whether or not they’re advertising for a role, and if and like that is by sending a personalised message you stand out might be to other people who have the same idea, but a one in three chance is much better than a one in 100 200 chance. Yeah.

Stephen Drew  5:48 

You know why as well, Jackie might like this, I read a study. And I think it was an average of only 20% of jobs, vacancies are advertised. And you have to remember as well, when if you’re a business and you’re advertising to pet or to put your posts on a job board usually cost money. So by going direct to an employer, that you’re you’re you’re you’re going straight to the source. And sometimes, and I think we touched upon it, when I was at one of our one of our zoom traps last week, sometimes you can send the CV into the inbox, and it could be on that in there on a Monday. And the director on a Tuesday could be speaking to the colleague and could go, they could be like, Jeff, I really need someone from my team. And what Jeff will do is go hang on, I think I’ve got a few people in my inbox from yesterday, why don’t you have a quick look at who’s there. And if you’d like anyone, get them in. And what you’re doing then is you’re going straight to the source and you’re getting in at the front, you’ve basically give yourself a massive opportunity, a massive window to get in there before everyone else. And I think in life early bird catches the worm. Because if you’re the front of the queue, and you make a positive impression, you come across Wow, personable the CV the portfolio read well, in the interview, you’re okay, what you’re doing this, you’re seizing the opportunity. And that’s what I really wanted to get across in this session is once you get the CV and portfolio to me, when I was a part one, I sent my CV because it was recession was 2009. So I sent my CV out to, I think it was 850 companies give or take. And from that I had about 1010 interviews, and I had a lot of rejection. And rejection is part of the process. It’s good for feedback, and it will happen. The thing is, is that if you get in rejection, you’re learning from it, you’re going towards the goal, that is good. And by creating more opportunity, you’ve had more chances you’ve seen practices you’ve learned from it. Whereas I worry, if you almost sit back and you wait for a job to board to post the job. The the the rejection rates are always going to be the same, right? Because architecture like anything else is competitive. But because you’re waiting so long for these adverts, you’re basically you might have one interview or two interviews, free interviews every month. And the first few were rejected and you hopefully get some feedback. But this process is going to take you on a few months. Whereas if you if you go online, and you basically find out, if you go for companies, you speak to people and you you find them, try it, and off the beaten track opportunities, you can get more interviews, hopefully get more comparison, learn more and improve your interview technique. And you can hopefully get a job quicker. Whereas if you’re waiting on one or two adverts to be posted, I fear that you’ve not taken control of the situation. And therefore there is no guarantee that there’s no you’re basically it could go on and on and on. Whereas the more you seize the moment, the more you go out there, the more you apply, the more you learn about the companies, the more you write to the directors and the more you follow up, and you call and you get feedback, you speak to them as a person, then the chances are increasing that you’re going to get a job quick. Yeah,

Will Ridgway  9:34 

yeah, I was thinking that, you know, when you’re on design looking for a job, there’s 500 other architects or so a similar background to you who are also applying to exactly the same roles as you are. So you’re always competing up against the same people all the time. And whilst Yes, you could be the best out of those 500 or so people. It’s much easier to you know better your odds by going and finding these jobs that aren’t advertised there. Because then some You’re not competing against those 500 people, you’re only competing against a few select people. Yeah, we’ve decided to follow suit as well. You just say some mistakes.

Stephen Drew  10:10 

Yeah, no, it’s more added to your point. And and the think out loud, there used to be the few lists of architecture practices on rebound. Were personally, if there’s no lifts, right now, it’s almost an advantage. So if I was currently job seeking, what I would do is I would start looking at companies near to where I live. And then I would slowly move out the search user as well. And then what I would go on Google, I literally type architectural practices, I would go look online at companies you familiar with anyone, that’s one of the wards. And I would start finding out finding out and looking at the news about all these companies, and then I would go on their website, click them on Google, look at the company, find the directors name, and write a little bit of a customer, you don’t need to change the cover letter huge amounts and go into detail, but maybe the first sentence or two, you customise and you do it to them, and then you talk about why you who you are, what you’re about where you’re at, and why you’re interested. So who, what, where, when, why. So they know who you are, you don’t need to write an essay on where to go with one company, you have to get the maximum you have to get the balance between efficiency on time, and being personalised you’d go there, Tom, I’m really interested in Tom Smith’s architecture practice, you were quite close to me, I am currently available. And that would be very interested to hear from you. They personalised a little a sentence or two at the top of why you’re interested. I’m down the road, I’ve looked at the website and I and and I really am interested in the work that you’ve done. And and the team, I would love to meet you or talk to you in an interview or something like that. And then you say I’m a part to Steven currently available immediately with a to one. I know Revit I got software, Baba, he’s a CV and portfolio together in a view. And then I would call them up into three days, I would put all this as an Excel sheet. And this is almost like your own version of you’re making your own job board, you’re making your own matrix you’re making your own approach to and making opportunities which were not there, you’re making something that is not on job boards, you’re basically building up your web of information, your knowledge of architectural practices, and you’re getting out there. And then also, when you speak to these companies, they might not have a job for you. But you know what, if you give them a call you really nice to go, it would be great to have a little bit of feedback. And so what you’re doing and all this is you’ll get you’re creating more opportunities, hopefully more interviews, and more chances for feedback. compared to if you’re waiting for a job board, the chances are the reason why we get involved as recruitment consultants is that sometimes when the jobs posted, the company will get inundated with CDs, which are relevant. Candidates which are not right for the role are not actually physically able to work in London, therefore, they get overwhelmed. And so what you’re doing, if you go on to the source, and you’re you’re approaching someone on their website, and you send a nice email, and it goes straight to the director, they’re mass easy, isn’t it, it’s really to the point, they see your CV and portfolio, it’s come into the inboxes for the attention of the rector. Brilliant.

Will Ridgway  13:42 

I think as well, like, on some websites, a lot of companies architecture practices, they don’t look, they don’t always keep the website up to date. So for example, there might be there might be an advertisement for part one, part two, but it might be an out of date one or there might not be anything there. But they are actually looking for part one, part two, I think as well, like some websites were beaten, saying, I’ll not carry recruiting at the moment, because I because of this reason, I always think it’s still worth applying for but not applying but still worth making contacts to see if there’s anything there because I’ve worked with a couple of students before who have advertised for a particular role on the website, you know, and, but they’re actually not looking for that actually looking for something else. It’s just the fact they’re not got around to updating their website because, you know, these practices, they’re very busy, they’ve got projects that do, they might not have a dedicated person to update the website, particularly if it’s a smaller studio. So it’s always worth going out being proactive. And just seeing you know, saying hi and see if there’s anything available for you to help out with and I think as well with Steve saying about, you start by distance, that’s the best thing particularly now in this current climate the moment because if you’re just down the road, then that immediately eliminates any fact that you have to don’t have to go on public. transport, for example, which is a huge advantage, and you can pop in the studio quite easily, which is quite good. Considering a lot of people, a lot of architects are working remotely at the moment. So be nice to have someone that can go into the studio, every now and then. So that’s why the distance search is probably the best way to start with. And then you know, you branch out into other avenues later on.

Stephen Drew  15:22 

I think that if you send a nice, clear, not too long, not too short email with a receiving portfolio, no one will ever tell you You shouldn’t have done that he will always be welcome. The worst case scenario is they don’t reply. Okay? Then what you typically find is sometimes they will say, or they don’t have a role right now, but thank you very much. And then I remember I was looking back and only a handful of companies, but what they did do is they weren’t, we don’t have a role. But I really liked the CV and portfolio. And that was a really nice confidence boost. That really meant a lot to me at the time. Because taking that information on board, it almost fueled your fire to keep going. And, you know, I remember I was betrayed back then, as you can imagine that but it was a scary idea to to call. And it did make a big difference. Because you almost be you almost feel like oh my gosh, I can’t recall. And as long as you not too long on the phone, as long as you’re friendly, and to the point, it will always be welcomed. I think they always say if the if they’re too busy or, but if you quick enough, and you’re efficient, you’re almost helping them because you’re basically make if you’ve got this skill set to where and you can help out, then an employer is always gonna welcome that CV and portfolio. And I think that way is direct. Yeah.

Jack Moran  17:00 

Interesting point there. Just to add on the you know, when you’re talking about calling people up as well and and oppression employees directly, I suppose it works for both that and the jobs board. A lot of these employers correct me if I’m wrong, but they will sometimes might even use a piece of software to look through your CV, you know, if they’ve got if they put a job online. And like you said, they’ve got a huge flux of influx of applications, they might use a system where they can sort of look up, you know, certain terms within someone’s CV or portfolio, if they’re looking for a specific software skill, like Revit, for example. So do you think people will benefit by using goes back to CV a bit about, you know, thinking about that sort of perspective from their end? Do you think it’s important for them to include these key technical terms, so that if employers are just you know, searching their CV or portfolio using the software, you know, it’s a bit more relevant to what they’re looking for.

Stephen Drew  17:52 

I generally find that the small to medium or even large architectural practice will not use that software. But what they will do is that they will get sent loads of emails, and you need to make it really, really good point you’re on about jack because like to commit to a big company where they can use algorithms to find stuff in this a typical architecture practice, want a job board? Well, the job board will suggest stuff, but the most effective ways to go direct to an employer and say, I am Stephen Drew or I am wil Ridgeway, I am jack Moran. And then in the email tile, part one architectural assistant, available immediately, CV and portfolio attached. If you say that, then you’re doing what you’re talking about. And you’re basically saying to them, so that they can pick up straightaway in the title of the email the agenda, and that is really important. So you are right when you want about key words, we, I don’t think they were using systems. So what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to tap into our two to grab their attention. So key things would be for me, thinking out loud, your name, of course. And then also in your CV and portfolio files, add them in your name on them. But then you want key buzzwords, which are relevant on the title. So part one article assistant, available immediately with a two one and Revit or one year industry experience, you know and then and then the in the email, it’s going to be one or two paragraphs, not too long. But also not too short. You want to get just enough of the key information so that someone who’s busy can pick it up without waffling on too much. No one needs to know about your dream concepts and of the way you want to take out section 20 for the years, they’re not gonna pick that up from the covering letter. They want they want to understand who you are, what you’re about Part Two or part one that you’re available immediately you’re based in London, that you use quarter to one in design. you’re passionate about architecture, and you’d like to town about your interests in an interview, please find the patch CV and portfolio enticing. Getting people interested. You What you don’t want is a big two page thing in an email way, which where everyone just switches off. When What do you think? Well,

Will Ridgway  20:22 

yeah, I would automatic switch off is a big link fee, like paragraphs upon paragraphs of words. Because, you know, I’m very busy. And so it’s important to quickly be able to get straight to the point know exactly what the point of email is, quickly, quickly digest that information, and then make a decision very quickly whether or not I want to either continue reading or, you know, or, you know, pick up the phone and give them a call. So it’s got to be straight to the point, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t go too much further than a few lines on the email just to be straight to the point. And then because what I tend to do is I’ll, you know, I’ll quickly have a quick look through the CV and portfolio, and then make a decision there very quickly. So, yeah, I’ve not really got much more to add to that. But yeah, just make it make it easy, make it easy for them. But the key words, in the subject headings subjective does that make sense as in like sentences, just like the key words, part one architecture assistant down the road from the studio or something like that, whatever you think, would make you a someone that will stand out in front of other people like your one year of industry experience on particular software that you know, the studio uses. So, or even if you’ve worked in, if it’s in the sector, maybe this particular studio focuses on the transport sector, you can be like, one year of transport experience, because you’ve worked previously, another studio is done very similar or a competitor. So I think that would be the best way to basically sell yourself sold about making yourself sign.

Stephen Drew  21:59 

Yeah. And so I think that’s useful. The other thing I’d like to touch on is that the best person to help yourself right now is, you know, especially if you’re at a graduate level, in particular, because recruitment consultants are used to when they’ve got a particular task, and they are looking for something in particular, so it might be that they are looking for a BIM coordinator. So if you’re a part one architecture system graduate, the best thing to do is to go to the employers directory. And this the same thing with LinkedIn, LinkedIn is a tool. But just because you’re on there, it doesn’t mean an opportunity is going to come your way. And a recruitment consultant might help a little bit, they might be busy on a particular task. So the best thing that you can do in your current situation, is to take your CV, your portfolio, and this kind of attitude that we’re on about of finding stuff, and approaching people in a pleasing capacity to create opportunities for you, that is going to, in my opinion, maximise the highest outcome. But yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s kind of my forte, and then we got one or two questions that have come in as well, jack,

Will Ridgway  23:08 

can I can I quickly just add to what Steve was saying, just stay on that same general topic. So with, with if I was to go on a job search, don’t worry, Steve, not. But if I was gonna jump set, I would focus, I focus largely on being proactive, I have something passive in the background. So I have my CV uploaded to a job site, I’ll have my LinkedIn profile up to date, in case anyone were to contact me, but I shouldn’t be relying upon those factors, I should be going out there and making those opportunities. So it’s a right to apply for a couple of jobs on LinkedIn. But at the same time, those jobs are limited. Whereas was there of course, a limited number of practices you can apply to, there are still hundreds and hundreds, you can’t do so and it’s unlikely for anyone really to get through every single practice in the UK. So essentially, you create yourself a list and you just go through and create opportunities by going out and going straight to these practices directly rather than necessarily waiting for them to come to you. So the focus should be on being proactive, but have something passive in the background. So that if anything does come to you great, you know, it makes it easy for you. Yeah.

Jack Moran  24:20 

And that that point of LinkedIn, I think we’re going to dive into a bit further by just after these questions. The first one comes in from McGee who’s saying that if you’ve sent over your profile to a company or practice and they’re saying they don’t have any roles at the time, do you think it’s still worth calling them up and asking for feedback? If I could just you know put my two cents here? I definitely think is because one you know, if you do call someone often say you know, I really appreciate you getting back to me and just send me those no rolls, just out of curiosity or to help me in my search. Is there anything you think I could have done better? Is there anything you know? That was a bit weak on my profile, that don’t always expect to reply, you know, because they might be swamped at work and won’t always do it. But what they will see is a mature attitude towards your job search and an indicator that you want to take it seriously. So even if you’re not going to get anything from that conversation, your attitude might reflect. And Steven will tell you as well, you know, if you’re applying for a bunch of places, don’t be surprised it’s in a couple months down the line, as you know, things hopefully start to pick back up, that you actually start getting flooded with calls. The graph that you’re putting in now might not, you know, reflect until a month or two later. But what do you think, Stephen?

Will Ridgway  25:35 

Your your I think it’s perfect.

Stephen Drew  25:37 

I mean, I couldn’t have said it better myself. So I think you were bang on there, mate. So that would be, I think, I think that’s the thing, that they might return to it later. And it comes across really well. So I don’t think I can answer in better. That’s perfect. It’s Yeah, it’s just going out there and doing it and doing it and learning and learning and improving and improving, which is going to get there. And I think it goes to the other thing I was gonna mention with what we was talking about earlier, I think that the LinkedIn is almost complimentary, or like the link is LinkedIn, you should think of it as a backup, if you psychologically think that you that a job opportunities, not probably not probably not going to come from it, then I think that’s a healthier mind frame to have. And if something comes from it, it’s a bonus. Whereas statistically, I think the best thing to do is to go out there. I mean, if you do know someone as well, in the industry, that can be an advantage if you can get a reference from them. Or perhaps maybe they can get you an interview. I never had that luxury. So I had to go out there and volume. But obviously, if you know someone that’s a first protocol, that can be a powerful tool, and because there’s nothing like a reference from someone they know.

Will Ridgway  26:51 

Yes, yeah, I agree. And also, I think, particularly as well, if you’ve got your other friends, who are also part ones, maybe they’ve just got themselves a job somewhere. And they even know that the press is hiring, or just even refer you over there, that’s going to help you massively because, you know, it’s all about burden’s connections. And that’s one of the good things that I would say LinkedIn is good at in terms of building connections, but it’s something that’s going to be a bit more important down the line in the future of your career, when you have that when you’re a bit more known when you’ve got more, we’ve worked on more projects, you’ve worked at more studios, whereas at the beginning of your research, so Part one is unlikely that anyone really is going to call you up and you’ve got to make a name for yourself at the beginning rather than necessarily wait around. Yeah.

Jack Moran  27:38 

Excellent. And just following on with the questions, we had that question coming from Roshni suggesting if we do a cover letters and attachment, or you know, just typing up in the emails, we have covered a little bit of this topic in our previous workshops, what I can do is I make another status, just reminding people of where they can find those videos, because they are really helpful for anyone who is, you know, still making any adjustments to their CV or portfolio. regards to the question, though, I think the sort of general consensus from Stephen as well was that in the body of an email, a short sent very short summary of you know, what, what type of architecture or what it is you’re looking for, what skills you have, what software you have, you got to realise that you don’t want to make it too bulky. Otherwise, your normals to read a huge email, get to the stuff that they require. I think the big thing Stephen we picked up on is, you know, when our job openings opens, it’s because of a requirement isn’t a need. It’s a need ticular set of skills. So, you know, if they’re looking through these applications, and they’ve done a six page cover letter, that’s just gonna be really pedantic for them, and they’re probably just going to move on. However, if you put an email, bam, bam, bam, here, here’s my name. Here’s part one. I’ve worked on this before. I’ve got this experience in Revit, for example, please find attached my CV and portfolio. Yeah, I think that’s sort of the best way to sort of tackler.

Stephen Drew  28:55 

I agree. And this semester is really interesting. You brought up about the systems and algorithms because I think the big, big, big, big companies of the world, they use them systems, the Polo keywords, right. Whereas what’s interesting, is that a small architecture practice, they do not. So it’s almost like, you can’t rely on them picking up Revit on page three, when you haven’t mentioned it in the covering letter, and you haven’t mentioned at the start. And that’s, I think the key thing with this is that what we’re on about is that the opportunity isn’t going to come to you, you have to go out there and get in, then you have to make sure it’s clear and concise, that they understand who you are and what you’re offering. So hopefully you will have polish the CV and the portfolio. Like we talked about a covering letter, you can add that as well. But think about the email as the quick point. They need to understand what you’re at or who you are, where you’re at. And then from there, they need to know Then look, your CV portfolio invite you in for an interview. And the title of the email is really important, and the files of the emails really important. And they are the things that are going to be important. The thing is, though, it’s you, who is going to be the person that creates the opportunity and goes out and gets the CV and portfolio there. So you got to think of it as like a funnel or something. If you don’t go out and create that opportunity, no matter how good the CV and portfolio is not, not as many people are going to see it, the more people you get, you’ve made communication with you showcase your nice CV and portfolio, statistically, the more likely, you’re going to find jobs. So we’re going to say like you send it to say, now you send it to 500 companies, and 50 of them are jobs, you might find from the other 450, that there’s 100 jobs and advertise. So instead of just going for the 50, there advertise, you’ve created 150 opportunities. And then from that, from them opportunities, you might get interview requests from 10 to 20. Right companies, we will probably from 10 to 20 companies, it varies, you could sometimes and all as you can say one CV, and you can go to one company, and you get one interview, and you get one offer. Perfect, right? That only happens every now and then it didn’t happen for me. And then recession, I can tell you was 800 companies to 12 to 15, interviews, something like that, and a lot of nose. And some of the interview requests came from after I took a job. So I remember, I think I had six or seven interviews come in at one point all in one little area. And they had like four now it was and I was getting a bit nervous. And in the end, they go on offer I had to psychologically build up towards, there’s a chance I might have to keep going out there and go again. But what I will tell you though, is that the interviews that I went to, which didn’t go so well, and I got rejected definitely definitely helped me with regards to EPR. I remember I was really nervous for one interview, the second interview, and the third interview. So the first three and but by the fourth, fifth and sixth, I got karma and there was something weird that happened in EPR, where

I didn’t overthink it. And I was in the moment, you know, and this setback, cheesy m&m thing, but it’s like in the moment. And there is something about that. And I think where that comes from is doing things in time, because we were even talking about it before this. And it’s like the first one of these that I did on my oh my gosh, I gotta go online, it’s really nerve racking. And I’m like now, you over time you develop more trust in yourself that you are going to say the right things you’ve researched, you’ve, you’ve thought about it in your heads, you’ve hit the key points, and you practice key things because what we’re talking about is what we do all day every day for a living. But then you trust yourself to go into the moment like this is live. And we’re going to say the right things, this is going to come from an honest place, it’s going to come from a place of experience with a level of confidence, which isn’t arrogance, that is human, you know. And and I think that’s the kind of thing that in an interview that comes across, but to bring it we were going to do another one of these interviews, or what I’m trying to get through is with this is that to get that out of an interview, you need to do interviews. And the way you do interviews, is you create opportunities by going out there and getting interviews. And the best way to get interviews right now is to really get confident in your CV and portfolio. And then get that message and get it out there and look where people aren’t looking. And also don’t always search a website, you can be a company which doesn’t have the best website and they might be a lovely company to work for super friendly. The hours are good, and you get great experience. If you’re going to be someone that judges a book by its cover, and I don’t like that saying, but it is a bit true. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And you should Oh gosh, should we go? You should think outside of the box. But in this one, I want you to go like this. Imagine the box is the job boards. And if you limit yourself to just the job board, you only get worse in the job boards. The best opportunities are ones that you find is your connections. And if you haven’t got connections, this is the fact we start making connections. It’s like I say it’s like me in recruitment. It’s the same in architecture. I didn’t know anyone. I put myself out there and when I started this job, you don’t know anyone and one of those is that you have to To go out of your comfort zone, meet people and learn, and that comes with doing it. So the best thing is almost I feel like there was like, there was like a quote, I think it was Ricky Jason, he was saying that, basically, in essence, he kept putting stuff off. And that you can basically do anything you want, you just have to do it today. And it’s a bit like this with the CV and the portfolio, you have to apply and get yourself out there and give yourself the benefit. And it’s like that other thing of like, they And isn’t it where you’re like, Oh, my gosh, if I What if I asked her out, and she says, Now, it’s like, hey, you’re not going on a date, right? Now you need to you need to ask.

Jack Moran  35:44 

That’s true. That’s, that’s a really good analogy. Because they the whole idea of fear of rejection, with you know, people who apply for loads of jobs, but they’re not getting anywhere, is that going to knock their confidence which might bleed over into an interview, you know, someone’s had their conference where they show that they’re not very strong, confident person in an interview. So dating as well, if you if you get rejected X amount of times, you’re not going to probably want to go because you’re gonna think there’s something wrong with you, and see what you were talking about before about, you know, the rejection, the Whoa, what it actually does for you, I feel like, in order for you to really become a strong person interviews or, you know, really well presented person, you always have to go through that, that that rejection process first, because that’s when you’re in your most, you know, analytical like, state, you’re learning about yourself, aren’t you? And if you’re actually taking in what employers are saying to you about why you didn’t get an interview there, or what you could have done better, or that thing is, you know, really give you a boost down the line? Absolutely.

Stephen Drew  36:41 

I think it’s humbling. I mean, let me tell you, though, the first time when you get rejected, it doesn’t mean it feels good, right? And this is nail on the head right now. Because when I didn’t get a job interview, at first, you’re like, what have I done? You go for that, that’s very natural, I’m what you would have happened. So you say you realise it’s for a few factors. It can be competitive, and then you almost gear yourself up, you build a bit of a thick skin, because life while grey is competitive. And also tough. We know that we’re in COVID right now, right? So what are you going to do as you develop a thick skin. But to do that, you are going to be a bit vulnerable sometimes and and you are going to get rejection. And it’s not going to be nice. I remember when I and it’s not quite the job search. But in architecture, when you’re part one, if you’re going to go after you do, you’re out, you’ve got to apply to be a part to different unis. And so I study that Western stuff. And I didn’t get into Westminster for part two. And they’re really, and they actually knee and it was the best thing ever, because I went to Manchester. And it was exactly the same, I had to go up to Manchester and I have to go interview it. And in my head while I was like, Oh, this is the last one I want to go to, I’ve got to do it. But then I just went into m&m mode, and you go into the moment. And then I think the moment I started speaking from the heart and stuff, I could just tell the report was there. And it was the same thing of the EPR interview. But I remember when I didn’t get into Westminster, I had that I went for them stages I was in bed, I was like, I don’t want to get out. I’m not appreciated, I’m not good enough. And you kind of do that for a little bit. And then you really got to pick yourself up. So that’s the, that’s the thing of that is completely natural. My advice would be though, is that I can’t remember how long I stayed in bed, you know, in that rejection period. But let me tell you, you go through it, embrace it, and then move on. And this is like, imagine if I felt sorry for myself. And then I didn’t apply to Manchester. Or imagine the first few rejections that I gone, then I stopped, I wouldn’t have worked in EPR, which is actually now a top 100 company. I was really, really good experience. And it was hilarious how I met some smaller activist practices. And the one I went for was prestigious. But then at the same time, I got to be honest, some of the companies that I met, even though they didn’t often, there was one or two really small companies. And I really appreciated the difference. And now was interesting as well to see the difference between what you can get out of a small company and a larger company. And in the end, I quite liked the larger company. The thing is, though, I know so many people who go to smaller companies, and they learn so much, they have such great experience and it was enriching to go to and if I didn’t go to them interviews, I wouldn’t have had it and even though I got rejected by a few, it was the good experience.

Will Ridgway  39:47  

I think one of the best ways to get over that rejection period is by when you start to get interviews, you start to think well great, I’ve got four interviews lined up like it is I’m gonna get a job and yes, you know There’s a potential you can get the job and one those interviews. But what’s important is to not stop applying. So even though you’ve got those four interviews lined up to still keep applying for jobs until, until basically you’ve accepted a job, because the last thing you want to do is go for those four interviews. And you don’t get either any of them. And then suddenly, you’re back to square one, again, all that hard work that you’ve been putting in for the last two weeks, apply to these jobs, you’ve stopped because you’ve got these interviews, you’ve, you’ve rest on your laurels a little bit. So it’s important just to keep keep pushing. And when you also bring in these companies up, you know, being polite, not every phone call is going to go as smoothly as you picture in your head, you know, you might, you will make mistakes over the phone, if the first few goes, but it’s, you know, that’s human. And it’s important just to keep, you know, ringing, keep ringing up. And don’t let any, you know, if you get a bad experience every call, because someone’s really busy, you know, Don’t take it to heart, you know, people have other things we focused on at the moment, and usually just, you know, to, you know, move on to the next next one. And basically, just basically, you’re like, You’re like a machine, just gonna keep going, keep going until basically you get a job. But I think yeah, I think also one of the other ways, it’s touching a little bit back on earlier, one of the best ways to find new roles other than necessarily new roles with studios, not necessarily focusing on your location, but more on reading and keeping up to date with architecture news. I think that’s a really good one, because not only does that increase your knowledge of the industry in general, which makes it better makes for a better conversation in an interview. It also reveals certain studios, who’s won what projects, what projects have been planning, granted, for example, and those are types of studios, you should ring up and say, you know, well done. I’m a part one. Do you have any room for me to help out on this particular project that you just saw?

Stephen Drew  41:52 

Really good idea.

Will Ridgway  41:53 

Thank you for? Yeah. So yeah, I would, I would focus on not just distance, but keeping up to date with architecture in general, because, again, even the interviews as well, you weren’t as every interview, I mean, I think the first interview that I ever went to, when I was looking for a job, I wasn’t particularly keen on the company, but I thought, well, I’ve not been to an interview yet, the worst, the worst thing that could happen is me not get the job. But the same time, I’m not really fussed, I’m doing it from the experience, so that I in the next interview, if I do get a company that I really like, then I have a better chance of ace in that interview. And, as a bonus, as well, a lot of interviews, kind of guarantee interviews a little bit at the moment, I’m going to try and stay away from it. But you know, even if you have a really good interview, it’s all about just having that rapport with that person, not every interview is going to go exactly how you wanted to, to. And it all depends on the personality of the other individual, really. So you know, take, take all the feedback. And basically improve yourself for next time. And just keep going and don’t necessarily let any rejections go to heart and just keep moving forwards.

Stephen Drew  43:02 

I love I love that. And I think you what your idea there, we’re talking about a current event, what a beautiful way to write that into an email. I am so so have a part two assistant, I saw your practice because I understand that you’ve you’ve now your scheme has probably gone through planning, which is fantastic. I’m available immediately. And I can use Revit and I would love to be part of this project or maybe there’s another project in the office that you you see me on uses my CV portfolio my contact details, what a great way and and this is the kind of theme of it because there’s some obstacles right now to the COVID it will always change like a life lesson. And this is similar thing with networking and the power of meeting people. For instance, well remember we were at Sam’s office and we are now trapped remember I had a nice chat with him and he was out an ego and looking for a job and he made such a good PR he made such a good impression that I actually missed it have a message and he found the job but I think so the so he really went straight you know, stratospheric fine is though remember well he was out hustling in this really friendly way look really professional and he was there and he was the balance between he was hungry for the opportunity and but he was also present engaging but he was present he was there he was ready to go and make such a great yeah sorry I got one delivery one second but

Unknown Speaker  44:38 

he’s knocking on the door.

Jack Moran  44:39 

Well, that point that you brought up about you know, like if you know they want a project or if you know that I think that’s really really good wish expand on that there were like as well because you know even if you get rejected from say like you You do what you say and you know that x company is just one project so you say okay, well she’s not a project is my portfolio. And then they come back to and say, Oh, yeah, fill the role, or we just have too much capacity. I think that in itself will separate someone massively from the crowd, because not only are they displaying, you know, required skills for the job, but they’re actually showing them how serious they’re looking into the market.

Unknown Speaker  45:19 

Yeah, is

Jack Moran  45:20 

that market thing, isn’t it, I really don’t know what your thoughts are. But for me, it really, you know,

Will Ridgway  45:24 

shows that they’re engaged with architecture. And I think that’s important, because I think a lot of people, you know, for most architects, they do it, because they’re passionate about architecture in general, you know, they enjoy doing it. But there’s a distinct difference between being passionate about it. And then also engaging with the industry, because I think the more you engage in the industry, the better your understanding overall, becomes particularly as well, I think a lot of I’ve heard from a lot of part one or Part Two people who’ve been at university and not had any work experience is very different going from, you know, from university, and then getting that professional experience that the two environments are very different. And so it’s important to be engaged with architecture, because then it improves your It looks like you know, what you’re talking about a lot of the time, and it can obviously increase the chances of you making good impression, and like Steve was saying about this person, we were speaking to at one of the events, you know, it makes you stand out, if that person has sent the CV through with never, he would, they would never stood out as much as they had done at that particular event. So it’s, you know, it’s, it’s important to be, you know, not only active online by approaching studios virtually, but then going to once things start to be open again, going to these events, going to the rebirth events, any social, any social events related to architecture, whether it could be employers, and it doesn’t even matter if there aren’t any employees there. If you’ve got other architects, they you’re socialising with them, you’re finding out about their company, and you could potentially get referred over because they could be like, Well, I know my company’s hiring job is putting a good word for you. And then that’s why, you know, you’re able to get a job that way, or at least an interview that way. So it’s about covering all aspects and not just focusing on one area. Because, you know, you’re limited your chances, it’s better to be proactive, and cover as much ground as possible. why it’s called face value, isn’t it? Like, it’s

Jack Moran  47:22 

never, you never hear like the term phone via or anything by going out there. And actually getting face to face with these people is probably the best way to sort of stick in their head, rather than just, you know, sending an occasional email or calling them up.

Stephen Drew  47:36 

We’re all human. And it’s like, now remember, we were I remember, well, I jokingly giggle with you before because I was like, there’s a chance Amazon’s gonna come do and I think the thing is, as long as we’re professional, we’re all human, right? And the thing is, it’s almost like even on the phone, if you if you say who you are, what you’re about and just go. Look, I’m really excited, a little bit nervous. But you know what, I love this talk to you about my CV and portfolio. It’s okay to be human. As long as we’re professional about it and embrace in life and embracing all this stuff and ringing someone up and ask him a question. And it goes back to your point of like, maybe at the end of it, you go to know what, and understand there’s no job here right now. And, but I respect your practice. And you and I know you’re busy. But it would mean the world to me if I can get just two minutes, your feedback on the phone now, if you were mean. And so you put in you put them in your shoes, when I realise you’re part one, what do you think the best thing I can do is right now, do you think this evening portfolios, okay, or? Or is there any feedback you’d say for the next application? And if you do that, I guarantee by being a human being as well, you’re going to get a little bit of insight. And it’s because there’s, there’s a fine balance between you’re still retaining professionalism. But it’s okay to ask for hours. You just got to, you just got to go to you got to micromanage your experts, you got to do it in the way that you ask for a little bit of how can you make it quick and easy for them. You can’t expect for someone to write an essay. You can’t expect for them to write back that is unfortunately unpractical, but what you can do is you and they’ve probably not going to reply in an email. And this is the big thing. It’s like if you send an email, I’d love to get massive feedback, then then chances are that’s too much work. It reminds me when I did an essay, my dissertation, I asked the company, give me loads of information. And they were they were on board with me come in there and ask them questions. But then I remember I got lazy, and I wrote to them loads of questions in the email. And they never replied well, and it’s the same thing of if you ring up and you’re human, and you make it really quick and easy for them by respecting them, respecting their opinion. Just go cloud one minute of your time right now to say what’s your quick thoughts on what you would keep or change in the CV because That one minute would mean the world to me. Absolutely. I think if you do that, and you pause, and you be brave, and you let them speak, then you probably get an answer.

Will Ridgway  50:11 

Yeah, you’re not, you’ll never get feedback, really, via email, unless it’s just a simple, no, we’re not looking anymore, you’ll never get constructive feedback unless it’s over the phone, because they’re talking to you. Now, they might as well give you a quick 32nd feedback. And so that’s the best way to do it. Also, one other thing that we’ve not really talked about yet that I do want to just bring up as well, is that as a part one, or someone with very little professional experience, the best place for you to approach our employers as opposed to recruiting agencies, because recruiting agencies Germany, are focused on people with prior pre professional experience, because they’ve been tasked to find specific, a specific set of skills, which is quite often difficult to find in someone, like as a part one, so it’s always best to focus your time and effort directly to employers, because, yeah, yeah. Do anything have anything to add to that, Steve? So no, you’re

Stephen Drew  51:08 

you’re, you’re correct. So a typical role. So at McDonald company where we work on the recruitment team, they will be teams in office. And let’s say, it’s a healthcare team. And we will be tasked with finding someone who has worked on projects, which have care hospitals, and use a certain software. And because that’s really hard to find, and the requirements to fit the team and Nish, that’s where we’re involved. Whereas a graduate, they are the entry level, and the graduate, you’re basically learning from the ground up, you have an awful lot of value to add. However, you could fit on a healthcare team as you could fit on the residential team as you could fit on a commercial team. And you could learn technical stages, or you could learn front end. So there is no real quick, I not needed to get involved. And that’s the thing. So right now, I’d rather pass on the words of wisdom. And when you get further in your career, and you’re looking for particular things, you’re looking for a step up, or are you you’re looking for an architectural practice, which is going to give you a good quality work life balance, or maybe you want to move cities, or maybe you want to ask me the right place for your career, then we can do that. At that point, then the short term, though, you have to approach companies directly and get that first entrance into the industry yourself. And I lucked out, and that’s why we’re doing these to give you guys the maximum amount of value and the amount of resources that I can to get you on that first part, your journey. And you know, we can always keep in touch with with us all now. But that’s the best way to go. So at this at this juncture right now, it’s about looking at the vehicle, the two other ones that we’ve done and looking at all the resources and learning together, improving on CVS and portfolio sharing each other’s failures. And, and also being proud when someone gets a job. Because you know, jealousy doesn’t carry, it doesn’t need doesn’t do anyone well, so actually, together, by doing it all together, and pooling resources and learning, you’re increasing your chances of getting the job. And we are new, and we can do it together. So I think that’s the best way so and and actually, it’s stuff like the social what I like about the Arctic is socialism, really, really smart people in the community. And the thing is, is like anything else, I’m available, you’re available. The thing is, though, you have to get involved, you have to bring it and this the same kind of attitude that we’re talking now about employers, but the people in their careers, their architectural careers that bring it people who are present in the office, people who are engaged in on the architecture, social, they’re going to get more attention, they’re going to get more conversation and go further in their career. It’s the way of why so that’s my challenge is that create the architecture, social exactly your job hunt, the more engaged you are, the more on there, the more you’re talking a may make friends be there’s already one or two employers that want to be on there. And as well as that you’re going to soak up the resources go out there and feel pumped up and you can do it and you’ll get a good job out of it. So that’s kind of my thoughts. It’s like engage with the job process, engage with the socially engage with people who are looking with you. They’ll hide almost your job applications embrace it with each other. I remember I give my my best friend we were sharing this where we applied with each other and this is because there’s no point doing that because you know what they’re gonna hire the person who will fit the bell and and who is the right fit and if the more engaged and the more you out there, the more you show to you and guess what The ideal scenario is you see a few practices and then you get a choice of where you want to work. And that would be a great position to talk about. And we can talk about that down the line. But to me, I’d kind of like to leave on this high note that we’re out of going out there, and creating opportunity, and create an opportunity. If I participate in it’s talking with people on the social, it’s ringing practices up is being on LinkedIn, not waiting for the conversation to come to you, though it’s being on there. The best person that’s going to start it is you, you doing research, you get them on the phone, finding out what events are on finding out what companies are on planning,

projects, or going through planning, and speaking to people, friends and colleagues, and moving out there. Because what I would love is even even now we’re starting on the social, we’re seeing people posting talking about jobs opportunities and applying for it and giving feedback and letting them know when they’ve got a job and when they haven’t. And and they think that really is the takeaway. So you’ve got to take things, you’ve got to seize the moment, you’ve got to go for it. And so and you know what, I’m going to put it actually on the social at the end of it, I’m going to put a question where people are at with a job search. And I’m also going to say about, talk about any rejections and also talk about when when when someone’s got a job, because someone did message me yesterday that they got a job and And I remember thinking we should celebrate that. So let’s all do it together. Let’s all get involved. But remember, you you have to put yourself out there, with all the will in the world, you can have all the support that you are going to be the driving force, and you know what you can get that job, you just have to go out there and do it. So put yourself out there. get rejected, keep going, keep going, keep going, talk, get involved. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.

Jack Moran  56:58 

You know, that old expression that says good things come to those your way? I think it’s the opposite. When it comes to this topic, isn’t it like yeah, things will not come to you?

Will Ridgway  57:06 

Don’t wait.

Jack Moran  57:07 

Good things come today. Yeah, often go.

Stephen Drew  57:10 

Make your own luck. I think that’s a close to do you know what, there’s a quote in the book I read. And there was a famous tennis player. And they said, Wow, you’re very lucky. And he said something along the lines of You know what, the more I practice, the luckier I get. And it’s going to be the same like this. People go, Wow, you’re lucky to get a part one job. Well, guess what? You send your application there that hundreds of places, you went for interviews, and not everyone took you on board. Now you’ve got turned down. But you know what you’ve got there in the end. And then you can go down the pub, you may know Gaga, you’re lucky to get a job in COVID and eight, like it’s hard. It’s hard skill.

Will Ridgway  57:49 

Absolutely, everyone, everyone in everyone who’s working in architecture has been rejected in an interview from an application before but you know, they’ve still got a job because they continue to graft and, you know, and seize that moment, make that make their own luck. So it’s important just to keep keep, keep pushing with your search. No matter how much rejections you get, you get some, you know, constructive feedback, you might not get anything back. But it’s important just to keep going and keep persevering along the way, and then share your stories with everyone because you’ll probably find that everyone else is experiencing exactly the same as you. So you’re not you’re not on your own.

Stephen Drew  58:25 

I love it. And so okay, I want to hear back from how everyone searches going. And I think we’ll leave it on that note to be out there listening what well, so listen, what jack said to me. I’m going to I’m going to be available. I’m on LinkedIn, but more importantly message me on the social message me get in touch I want to hear how the job searches go and messages and let us know. And in the meantime, I’m going to open up my Amazon package and Jack’s gonna be stopped again by whoever’s nagging them in the background. We’re all gonna hop on with our real life as well and keep going. But I think that’s nice. We’ve been an hour so thank you everyone who’s in in the joined us. I really appreciate it. I was glad to hear your feedback and comments. Thank you jack for hosting us. Thank you for coming as well if I tell you to be sorry for half of it. It’s like a pitcher with the sound

Will Ridgway  59:17 

that’s because pixels don’t pick up me moving. Now don’t

Stephen Drew  59:21 

worry and thank you through Amazon for bringing my new chopping board and they can’t remember the other thing is but I will let you know thank you such things clothes hangers. So thank you guys

Will Ridgway  59:29 


Stephen Drew  59:31 

reliever that will. Thank you so much.

Will Ridgway  59:33 

You go. Thanks, guys.

Jack Moran  59:34 

Have a nice day.

Will Ridgway  59:36 

Thank you, everyone. Thanks


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