In a competitive job market, you will need to employ some specific strategies to help you stand out from the crowd. I've put together my top tips for Architecture and Interior Design professionals:
1. Be active but selective
Do not panic and apply for every job you see. Maintaining your value as a candidate is important. Apply for the positions that best match your skills and experience. Applying for jobs that you aren’t suited for will only lead to disappointment.
2. Tailor your applications
Pick out key elements of your CV and portfolio that match the description of each job you apply for. This will make it easy for hiring managers to know you have the right skills for the job and promote all the great things that you have done. If a practice wants someone with high-end residential experience, make it obvious you have this experience.
3. Spend time perfecting your CV
A poorly written CV with spelling mistakes and bad grammar will not get you anywhere. Write a clear and concise personal statement, avoiding jargon words. This is your opportunity to sell, rather than tell. Read our guide on making your CV stand out from the crowd here.
4. LinkedIn is your shop window
If you aren’t on LinkedIn, set up your free account. This is a great place to expand your network, find new opportunities and receive recommendations. A lot of employers will seek your Linkedin profile to ensure your career history matches up, so keep it up to date. Keep your activity on here professional. If you are going to ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘comment’ on anything, think before you do. Find out more in our LinkedIn Profile Guide here.
5. Perfect your portfolio
This can make the difference between getting an interview and not. Choose your best and most recent creative pieces and ensure it is your own work. Try to limit photography where possible. Clarifying your software experience helps the hiring manager know what you are capable of and how flexible your skills are. Remember this is a sample of your work so make sure your portfolio is no bigger than 7MB. You can read our full Portfolio Guide here.
6. Invest in yourself
Think strategically about which skills will make you more employable in the short and long term. If you’ve thought about going on a training course to update your skill set, do it now. Revit and AutoCAD are always highly sought after.
7. Contract work is where it's at
If you haven’t considered a contract role before, now is the time to start. Many candidates we speak to highlight that contract work has opened them up to different experiences and interesting work projects. It can make you more employable with your new found skills.
8. Be flexible
Job hunting is unfortunately not like a Hollywood movie. The probability of finding the perfect job, in the perfect location that pays you well is slim. Something will probably have to give. The more flexible you can be, the greater your chance of success.
9. Job hunting can be a full-time job
Consider working with a specialist agency. How many hours have you already spent scrolling through job boards, LinkedIn and practice websites looking for a new job - recruiters will save you time. They will also have exclusive access to some of the best jobs on the market. A good recruiter will market you to their clients beyond what is in your CV as they will develop a relationship with you and understand what you want.
10. Think outside the box
In a creative industry, hiring managers are impressed by candidates who can think outside of the box in the search for their next job. We’ve seen people who have taken office support roles to get their foot in the door and that has led to full-time design jobs. Others have attended online events and webinars and followed up directly with panel members about their thoughts on topics that have turned into job opportunities. Some job seekers create successful design blogs that get noticed by the right people. Using your own unique approach to job hunting could make you stand out from the crowd.