Your CV and cover letter.
With the construction sector being hit hard over the last couple of years, opportunities within architectural practices are in short supply. For that reason alone, making sure your CV and cover letter stand out has never been so important.
First and foremost, your CV needs to capture the attention of the reader; and then show, quickly, that you are the best person for the job. Your cover letter should give the recruiter a little bit more insight into who you are, both as a candidate and a person.
Many hiring managers value the CV higher than the covering letter; some think that the covering letter has more substance. Ideally, since you won’t know how a particular potential employer values either, your CV and covering letter should be as strong as one another.
But if you do feel that your CV is lacking, then treat your letter as a way to make up for it. A cover letter focusing on educating yourself further to gain more skills and experience can have a real impact
Design your CV
This is as an opportunity to show your design skills and make an immediate visual impact Include images – architecture is a visual industry and a word-only CV may not make the same impression.
A small intro at the start of your CV could make a big difference. Since some employers don’t read cover letters, this might be your only chance to communicate a little bit of personality. It may also determine whether the recruiter reads the rest of the CV.
Get the formatting right
Make it straightforward and concise; neat and easy to read.
Insert dates for everything
If there are spaces in your work history, explain them in your cover letter. Unexplained gaps might be construed as careless, perhaps even misleading.
Recruiters can often receive thousands of CVs and cover letters, and may therefore only glance quickly at most of them looking for keywords. A generic term such as ‘assisted’ will not be one of these. Use industry-specific terminology to say what you did and how you did it
Think about the order
Work history should be listed in reverse chronological order. But experience should be listed in order of relevance. Spare details on less significant facts; use your limited space wisely.
State your objectives and interests
Say where you want to be and why. Tell them a little about yourself. Be interesting.
Get a second opinion
It is always good to get a friend, relative or another professional to read over your CV and covering letter. A fresh pair of eyes might spot grammar, spelling mistakes and have suggestions you might not have thought about.