On the subject of sketching and getting a job, here part of an ad that appeared recently for a firm looking to hire an architect (taken from DailyDose). Note the “test”, that involves sketching and precedent. It’s never too early to start developing those skills.
“We are looking for talented and passionate architects who are excited about making buildings and working outside their comfort zone towards innovation in architecture. Hard work and dedication, combined with inspiration and drawing ability, is one thing that all staff members share. You must have truly excellent written and oral communication skills.
Cover Letter with Salary History:
Send us a brief, signed cover letter specific to our company that states why it makes sense to hire you. Graphic presentation is key. This is your first impression and demonstrates your ability as a designer. Use care in selecting the paper, the font, and the organization of text on the page.
People who have stayed at a firm for 4-5 years are very attractive. We are looking for great experience and commitment. Limit your resume to one page only.
Your Work Samples:
Show us only your best stuff and the work you are most passionate about. You should showcase your abilities – whether it is a sketch, a floor plan, a construction detail, wall section, spec section, watercolor, etc. So long as it is your work, we are interested in seeing it. Please do not show renderings made by others. Submitting renderings other than your own will lead to automatic rejection.
After making it through the first resume review process, we give selected promising candidates a graphic test in our office. The goals of this 20 minute test are:
- Drawing ability using a pencil. This is a tool that architects use to communicate. In our office we are always drawing and sketching freehand.
- Passion for architecture and analytical ability. There is a portion of the test in which you have to draw a plan and a section or elevation of any piece of architecture. Amazingly, either history is no longer taught or the relevance of our architectural past is not integrated into design curricula since most people fail this portion catastrophically.
- Basic design ability. This is a classic “Architecture 101” test to measure spatial design ability.
You will be asked to present highlights of your work and a detail or two. Move quickly and ask questions. Let the person conducting the interview hold the portfolio and turn at their own pace. You must demonstrate your ability to edit and to be concise. Do not be late: Make sure that you are on time and are dressed as if you were meeting with a valued client.