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Architects & Creative Professionals : Is It Time To Rethink Your Resume?


Over the past few months I've been thinking a lot about resumes. Actually, I haven't just been thinking. I've been writing a guide to attempt to get architects and other creative professionals to rethink the way they make resumes.

The guide is formatted as 22 quick tips to get you to rethink your resume in your own creative way.

Check out Rethink Your Resume

rethink your resume


The timing of this post could not be more perfect! It's time to refresh/update my portfolio and resumé as I look for freelance work; I will definitely keep this article in mind as I do the re-design!
Posted @ Monday, May 18, 2009 1:40 PM by Brett Valenstein
I really like your comments make a lot of sense. I have my own business and as you say it also apply for your own business. Thanks,  
By the way I do color and material consulting for another studios. Are you interested in getting together or have a phone conversation?. I will love to collaborate with people like you. Thanks
Posted @ Monday, May 18, 2009 2:45 PM by Laura de la Torre
Great info here and I would like to add a couple of thoughts: 
Please, please, please spend just a bit of time getting actual contact names and spelling correct. I recently received a resume with three errors between the address block and the second sentence. We all make mistakes but do you think I bothered going on?  
Also, for younger applicants don't shortchange the value of your 'boring' construction documents. From a business side of things I think "Given enough time I could create a ribbon-bound-exotic-wood portfolio box too...can you draw a wall section? Can you hit a deadline?" Beautiful presentation is a fantastic thing...but be thoughtful of how it might be received.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:25 AM by Shane Martin
The tips given are very interesting. This is what thinking out of the box means.  
I am very impressed and will surely apply some, if not all, of the suggestions given.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:37 PM by Bijayini Dash
Love the post, I wish more professionals treated their resumes and portfolios as design projects. I have had some great experiences with my own hand-built booklets - nice to see some discussion on the subject.  
I've linked to your blog in land8lounge in the portfolio design group.  
Posted @ Monday, May 25, 2009 8:20 PM by Jennifer de Graaf
Thank you for the post. I am a creative that has had an array of opportunities in the entertainment industry, and I was looking for new ways to bring my resume to life.  
Your "thinking outside the box" approach. Has given me hope that there are more employers seeking someone who "thinks out side the box" as well. Currently, I'm on a venture to apply my wonderful experience to the world of web design and web content, you have given me a lot of creative ideas. 
Love your website it is clean and to the point.
Posted @ Saturday, May 30, 2009 12:07 AM by Cheryl Collins
Hello. I am a graphic designer who worked in the architecture industry for 6 years (branding/marketing arena for OWP/P Architects in Chicago). I recently started my own graphic design business and have my first architectural design pitch next week. I have been thinking about how to present something new and this article is a great start!  
Posted @ Monday, June 01, 2009 10:00 AM by Lisa Gainor
Insightful tips into the changing world of the resume.  
As a architectural photographer, I have no resume, and am always creating marketing materials, images and presentations for every level of new business communication, no matter how small. 
It must be the Art Center in me that realizes that white paper with text has nothing to do with my business model. 
Another idea for getting attention is what photographers call a "pigeon". That is to say, sending something out that is so special that it has a much larger chance of coming back. The term came from a promotion from a New York photographer that actually used homing pigeons as a promotion, sure enough, they came back, and he got tons of calls. It's the creativity and in some way, the entertainment value that makes someone stand out and get noticed. 
Hope this helps. Russ 
Russ Widstrand Photographer
Posted @ Monday, June 01, 2009 6:41 PM by Russ Widstrand
Thanks for the comments so far. Some great ideas in these comments. Keep them coming! 
"Rethink Your Resume" has been viewed about 800 times since it was posted two weeks ago. Hopefully it helps some of you out there in this tough job market.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 02, 2009 8:27 PM by Derek Leavitt
the tips were really helpful. It provided some different ideas to my resume. thanks!
Posted @ Saturday, June 06, 2009 3:07 AM by Michelle
We work with a lot of candidates across multiple verticals and we are always looking for ways to get them to see the job search differently and find ways of putting more of themselves into their search. Your advice is an awesome revisitation of the resume that can benefit any job seeker.
Posted @ Monday, June 15, 2009 11:05 AM by Pedro Silva
I just wanted to thank you so much for the resume article. Already it has helped me greatly in feeling not all is lost. No one in the many seminars and courses in my last years of college has given any valuable and usable information as far as resumes and career building goes. In fact the information from a professional course I took for architects in my final thesis year seems invalid now. No wonder I have not secured as many interview as I would have like to by now. Thanks for all the advice and I send you my resume when I revise it to get your opinion. Again thanks!
Posted @ Tuesday, June 16, 2009 1:25 PM by Stephanie Woods
Really good post on resumes. We're not hiring right now and I'm just amazed by the flood of resumes we get, sometimes 15-20 in a week. They come via email, mail and phone calls even people dropping in. Honestly I wish that I could hire, if nothing else to reward the best efforts.  
What I tell my friends who are out of work is that the other secret is consistency. If there is a position that you really want it helps to continue to contact people. If the employer is getting the frequency of resumes that I am then you need to persist in order to get name recognition. If nothing else, to keep your resume on the top of the pile.  
Good luck to everyone reading this, it will get better.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:29 AM by Sean O'Hara
Great advice. Consistency and persistence are key. Calling in general will help put you above the competition that has only communicated via email or through a resume. 
Posted @ Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:08 PM by Derek Leavitt
I just read your post and i love it, i'm making my resume now and you gave me plenty ideas!! 
Greetings fron Colombia! 
Posted @ Sunday, August 09, 2009 12:36 PM by Victoria
Thanks for the useful info. Reading tips to keep my resume formal and conventional have been slowly killing my soul.
Posted @ Monday, October 19, 2009 4:56 PM by KELLy
It would be interesting to hear what you think about how craigslist postings have altered things. Firm is anonymous and everything has to fit in a small email / attachment.
Posted @ Thursday, November 12, 2009 3:13 PM by Bill Marquand
I'm not a fan of of that job posting style. I've never understood why a firm would want to remain anonymous in a job posting. Are they hiding something? Likewise, if I was looking, I would feel strange about applying for a job at an "anonymous" firm. 
Limiting what applicants can submit also seems like a disservice. Wouldn't the employer want to know as much as possible about the applicants? Especially in a creative/portfolio driven field like architecture. 
I've never experienced the anonymous job posting on either end, but I'd be curious to see what job posters and hunters out there think. 
Posted @ Thursday, November 12, 2009 4:00 PM by Derek Leavitt
Thank you to the Principal at Modative for posting such a fantastic blog! 
As a current college student who will be graduating soon, I find it very helpful to know what creative professionals might look for.  
In fact, I think that this advice makes possible the combination of a resume and a portfolio within the same document. The "small, beautiful, and interesting" concept definitely applies to portfolio-making, so including the best images of one's work in their resume seems like an excellent way of hitting two birds with one stone--so to speak.  
Thanks again!
Posted @ Wednesday, December 16, 2009 11:05 PM by Elder Arreortua
How perfect to stumble upon this at New Year's...  
I have followed several of these ideas (successfully!) over the years and you just gave me some new inspiration heading to the new year as well. 
Thank you so much for this compilation of thoughts!  
And Happy New Year!
Posted @ Monday, December 28, 2009 2:19 PM by Jennifer Koskinen
I love your website and your content, I keep going from article to article and then checking to see if I am still on your site. A wealth of information that I have yet to scratch the surface of...this article really hit home as I currently have my own business and have kept busy by word of mouth but am moving back to Southern California this summer and looking for a way to make an entrance other than my site...will send you my final product! Thanks.
Posted @ Monday, January 18, 2010 11:21 AM by Carolyn Tracy
Thank you so much for this wonderful blog! I have just graduated from Architecture school and have been struggling to find a creative way to apply for work. I am also an artist and need to express myself, not just my professional and educational background. Your tips have been very helpful and I am working on a creative resume as a result!
Posted @ Wednesday, April 14, 2010 5:26 PM by Tasneem
i am a fresh graduate architect, i am planning to apply for job and fortunately i found your link and your tips , its really awesome. it is exactly what i am thinking to showcase my self but i was afraid to step up like with this way of presentation but now i am preparing my resume according to your advice. its really helpful to me and its no more different than what we use to make out booklet for our studio projects.
Posted @ Monday, August 16, 2010 8:18 PM by sachin shrestha
I thought this article was very helpful and very creative. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I am also an architect in the market for a job, and I will definitely incorporate some of these ideas.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 29, 2010 5:43 PM by Elizabeth
Hi. I just read the whole article and its so helpful. Im about to get graduate so i was looking for a "how to make a resume" kind of article but this has completly changed my mind. A resume is like a presentation card, it should not be boring or regular. Thank you and best wishes from Venezuela.
Posted @ Saturday, November 13, 2010 5:38 PM by Patricia Abreu
Perfect and to the point. 
Great Ideas. 
I feel a cold wave all around me after i read the article. coooool...
Posted @ Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:32 AM by manoj
first two sentences (goal) should be one. Use a comma.
Posted @ Saturday, December 04, 2010 7:51 AM by christopher Carroll
Any advise for an architect with almost 20 years of experience including planning and landscape architecture? As a result of graduating in the late '80s, I had the benefit of learning to hand draft and render, and have a very good hand. I also had to become computer literate to move into the twentieth century. I'm an extremely well rounded individual.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 18, 2011 6:45 PM by Beth
Great article but I have a question about the content....when putting samples of your work in with the short, easy to read statements about your philosophy are you putting in strictly renderings and photos of models that catch the eye or do you want to present yourself as a well rounded designer by showing the less flashy realities of the profession through plans, sections and elevations?
Posted @ Friday, October 28, 2011 12:06 PM by Barry G
Thanks so much for this article, I found it really useful, even as an architect with 10+ years experience and a number of moves under my belt. 
Last year I was made redundant and struggled to get interviews. I found this and after reading it I looked around at graphic design resources, found an inspiring layout, gave my CV a total makeover and added space for a personalised element for each employer. It's now bold and individual, but still looks focused on my strengths in relation to the employer's stated needs. 
My hit rate for getting interviews has gone up massively and a couple of HR/PAs have commented on how much my CV stood out from the crowd, which is great as it means they get through to the decision makers.
Posted @ Thursday, January 12, 2012 8:54 AM by b.reid
The creative out of the box resume can work with some firms and at the same time it will not fly with others. Particularly if you are dealing with a large firm with an HR department they are likely to dislike anything that veers away from a traditional resume format. As a matter of fact, I have seen ads for designers discouraging applicants to send graphic ladden resumes and to stick with the traditional formats.
Posted @ Thursday, March 22, 2012 1:41 AM by pbrd
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