CV Example Architecture
As an architect, you’ll use your technical and creative skills to design new buildings or alterations to existing structures as well as advise on the conservation and restoration of existing properties. You could work on individual buildings or on large redevelopment projects and your role could extend to the surrounding landscape and spaces.
In the same way as a project manager, you’ll work with clients to make sure that designs meet their requirements, while taking business needs, budget and safety concerns into consideration.
Given the huge responsibility on an architects’ shoulders, it’s understandable that competition is stiff for roles. We’re here to help you stand out from the crowd with our writing tips and example architecture CV.
Personal statement or profile
In architecture, a High-Level Design (HLD) is an overview of an entire system, product, or platform, identifying the main components to be developed so that developers and architects can understand how the product is intended to work.
In the same way, your personal statement or profile gives recruiters and hiring managers a high-level overview of your work experience, skills and achievements.
Include details about types of buildings you’ve worked on, any awards you may have received for your work, technical skills, level of experience, etc.
I am a detail-oriented architect with 10+ years of experience and a track record of delivering designs that meet budget and project criteria. I have completed over 50 residential and industrial designs for a combined 45,000m². Due to my work on an office renovation, the construction was awarded the RIBA Stephen Lawrence Award.
This is one of the most important sections of your CV as your work experience or lack thereof will be what makes recruiters decide to put you through or not to the next stage of the hiring process.
When listing your work experience, it’s important to include details such as:
- The types of buildings you worked on
- The budgets you worked with
- The software you used
- The ideas you contributed
- The problems you solved
If you lack practical experience, then it’s a good idea to include volunteering activities or internships.
Jul 2015 - Present Senior Architect, ADBC Group, Norwich
- Led on the design and execution of communal and green spaces for five major housing estates, with a budget of £50 million.
- Created 3D models for housing, using ArchiCAD.
- Negotiated contracts with new and existing suppliers to save £1 million on the project.
July 2012 - Jun 2015 Architect, Architech, London
- Successfully reorganised the spatial layout of an office renovation, valued at £5 million.
- Budgeted demolition costs by strategically rearranging the space and taking advantage of the existing walls of a renovation project.
- Effectively constructed different SketchUp 3D models for different projects.
Sep 2010 - June 2012 Junior Architect (Part 2), ArchiProjets, Ipswich
- Worked on commercial buildings valued at £1 million.
- Created 2D drawings of floor plans, sections using AutoCAD.
- Performed research for senior architect on specifications, materials and building codes.
- Coordinated floor layouts with engineers and contractors.
While you can share your successes and/or your best projects in the ‘Work Experience’ section of your CV, recruiters will also want to see a portfolio to get a sense of your creative and graphic design abilities. Your portfolio could include freehand pencil sketches, paintings, 3D prototypes, photographs, computer-generated drawings and descriptions of projects. It’s best not to include too many pieces but a select few which are part of projects you’ve worked on. Include a link of your portfolio in the contact details section of your CV and reference it in your cover letter as well, so that recruiters don’t miss it.
The standard route into architecture includes a degree recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) (Part 1), a year of practical experience, a further 2 years' full-time university course like BArch, Diploma or MArch (Part 2), a year of practical experience and a final qualifying exam (Part 3).
Architecture apprenticeships can be another way to qualify: Level 6 Architectural Assistant, including a Part 1 qualification and Level 7 Architect, including Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications.
It’s important to list your most recent qualifications first so that recruiters can quickly understand your level of experience:
Aug 2012 RIBA Part 3 Course, London
- Assessment of applied knowledge and skill in relation to professional conduct and competence to practice as an architect.
Sept 2008 - July 2010 Diploma in Architecture (RIBA-accredited, Part 2), London Metropolitan University
- Modules included: Design Project Development, Design Project Resolution and Integrated Design Audit
Sep 2004 - July 2007 Bachelor of Arts, Architecture (Part 1), London Metropolitan University
- Modules included: Critical & Contextual Studies, Design Project, Design Skills and Technology.
As an architect, you’ll need great design skills and a flair for aesthetics and graphics. While you can show this through your portfolio, recruiters will want to see evidence of this on your CV.
For example, an important skill is a strong grasp of numerical principles, as geometry, algebra, and trigonometry all play a crucial role in architectural design.
By creating a skills section that includes a mix of technical and soft skills, recruiters can quickly see whether you meet the requirements of the role:
- Software skills: Auto CAD, Civil 3D & Rhino 6.
- Leadership: Deputised for the lead architect for 3 months, maintaining strict control over the construction process.
- Engineering: High level of knowledge of specialist, environmentally-friendly materials, used in carbon footprint reduction.
- Budget control: Worked with project management teams to create cost estimates and optimise designs.
- Time management: Delivered 90%+ of projects within original timeframes and communicated delays clearly when unforeseen circumstances occurred.
Internships or paid placements can be a good way to gauge whether a career is right for you and what tasks you would be carrying out on a daily basis.
In the UK, you will need to spend up to 12 months gaining paid experience once you have completed a relevant undergraduate degree (Stage 1) and another year of paid training after completing an advanced degree (Stage 2):
Jul 2007 - June 2008 Architectural Assistant (Part 1), Ethical Designs, Sheffield
- Worked on construction drawings, for a variety of houses, including plans, sections, elevations and details for new build projects and extensions applying the UK building regulations.
While it’s not strictly necessary to be a member of a professional organisation to work as an architect, joining one can provide networking opportunities and tools and resources as well as demonstrate commitment and dedication to the profession.
In the UK, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is the leading professional body for architects. Depending on the type of membership, you will usually need to meet one or more of the following criteria:
- RIBA Parts 1, 2 and 3 (or equivalent**)
- A qualification in architecture which is covered by the EU Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC)
- access to the profession of architect in the EU country in which the qualification was gained
- a minimum of two years of professional practical experience
Jul 2010 - present Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Format and layout
In the same way that you would plan out a construction in a particular order, your CV needs to be laid out logically, so that recruiters and hiring managers can quickly assess what skills and experience you have.
As architecture is a regulated profession, the best format for your CV is a chronological or a reverse-chronological one. This means organising your most recent and relevant experience is placed first and the least recent, such as your qualifications, towards the bottom.
Layout and design
Despite the creativity element of this profession, it’s advisable to let your portfolio illustrate this aspect of your work and your personality rather than your CV.
With minimalism shaping modern architecture, less is also more when it comes to your CV. This means a minimal design with plenty of white space.
Opt for a discreet and modern sans-serif font like Helvetica or Arial for example, with a font size of 11 or 12 for the content of the headings and 14 or more for the titles. You can also make these stand out with the bold and underline functions.
If you want to give your CV a splash of colour, stick to neutral and dark tones such as brown, deep red or black and gray and let your portfolio do the talking.
Hopefully, you now have everything you need to create your own architecture CV.