Architecture and Design

Career paths in architecture include graduate professional programs toward becoming a licensed architect, teaching architecture and/or architectural history, and involvement in many fields of design, from environmental work, urban design, and landscape architecture, to interior and furnishings design. A studio art major and courses in art and architectural history are recommended. Because architecture requires a comprehensive understanding of culture, it is important to have a background in municipal organization, literature, writing and presenting ideas, aesthetics, logical and ethical problem solving, collaborative work and research, and environmental sustainability, as well as in mathematics and physics.

Relevant College Pages:

Specialized Websites to Search for Opportunities

architecture:design

In addition to Handshake and other general career sites listed on the main page, here are specific resources that post job and internship opportunities in the visual and digital arts.

Resumes and Cover Letters

Architecture

An architecture resume will typically look similar to a standard resume used in other career areas and look very similar to a nonprofit resume.  The resume should focus on relevant skills –  especially technical skills – and experiences that correlate to an architecture internship.  Take special note of the job/internship description and tailor your resume to highlight your own experience and background that connects to what is sought for the role.

Headings: You may have enough related experience that you can create a heading “Related (or Relevant) Experience” which can organize all of the related experiences (e.g. internships, leadership, co-curricular, volunteering, classroom projects, etc.) that are directly related to the position to which you are applying.  For other work experience, consider using “Additional Work Experience”.

Skills: When applying to a specific position, consider what skills are needed.  This information should be indicated on the job description.  The position may require clerical, technical, or creative skills – be sure to indicate this clearly on your resume.  Technical Skills: Computer-aided Design software (e.g. AutoCAD, Revit)

For tips on writing a standard resume, see our Resume How-To Guide.

Design Resume

Writing a design resume will be similar to an artist resume and requires slightly different content, organization, and formatting than the standard resume. Depending on the particular job and field of interest, design resumes will highlight a number of skills and include some sections that are not present in a standard resume or academic CV.   Typically, it is helpful to include a link to your portfolio, often near your contact information.

You may wish to avoid using a word processor to create your resume – consider using InDesign or Illustrator as this will allow for a more design-centric approach and showcase yours kills at the same time.  When integrating a design approach into your resume, do not sacrifice too much content in your design – the resume still needs to convey your experience to the reader.  Integrating colors into your resume can enhance the design – just don’t go overboard!

Sample Design Resume

This resume sample is intended to provide a basic idea of what an arts resume can look like. Your resume may – a typically will – look different. Further, other roles within or adjacent to the visual arts may have unique modifications as well. One of the best ways to figure out how your resume should look is to explore the resumes of other professionals who are working in similar ways to what you intend to do. Many visual artists have webpages with their resumes included. An internet search is an excellent tool to discover resume version in the professional world.

Cover Letters

Cover letter are often  an important part of landing an interview, especially in smaller organizations where the hiring manager is more likely to take the time to read the letter.  The cover letter is intended to introduce you to the organization, express your interest in the position, and match your skills and experiences to the role.  A well-written cover letter shows employers that you have taken the time to craft a personal response to their specific job opportunity and that you are serious about the position.. Generally a cover letter has three parts: the opening, the middle, and the closing.

For tips on writing a cover letter, see our Cover Letter How-To Guide.

Portfolios

Opportunities for design (and sometime architecture) typically require that you have a portfolio to showcase your work in order to help an employer or client understand your creative approach.  It’s most common to present your portfolio in a digital format online but it is still recommended to have a physical portfolio as well, particularly if you are meeting with an employer or client in-person.  Portfolios should express your unique personality and style.

A portfolio is needed any time there is a creative element to the opportunity you are applying for.  If you are a creator of content, whatever the form, you can probably benefit from a portfolio.  It is an especially critical tool for a creative person who is interested in pursuing freelance work.

Developing and Evaluating your Creative and Design Skills

While the Piper Center is many things, we are not experts in creative talents!  Pursuing a career in design fields, often means developing your creative talents.  For students exploring careers in the architecture and design, it is critical that you talk with relevant faculty – your teachers – about your career goals and discuss how your artistic talents are evolving towards those goals.  Faculty are critical to teaching, strengthening, and evaluating the artistic and creative skills needed to succeed as a practicing artist.  Together, faculty and the Piper Center work together to support your career journey.

Students interested in Architecture and Design, should connect with the Chair of the Art Department for academic advising.

Faculty can help you answer the questions:

  • What is it like – and what does it take – to be a architect or design professional?
  • How do my talents and strengths connect to the world of architecture and design?
  • What type of design career is the best fit for me?
  • How will a career in architecture and design fit into my broader vocation and career goals?

Professional Associations and Industry Publications - Architecture and Design

Professional organizations are a fantastic way to explore careers, gain insight into specific industries, and keep up-to-date on relevant news.  Engaging with professional associations and participating in events can help you connect with relevant creative professionals and build your credibility in your area of interest.  Consider using professional associations to develop and enhance your career journey:

  • Search for information related to entering the specific career field.
  • Many associations have job and internship databases.
  • Access current information and news related to your industry.
  • Follow the association on LinkedIn to receive relevant content in your feed and demonstrate your credibility in the professional community.
  • Join as a student member – often for free or at a greatly reduced rate – and indicate your membership on your resume to demonstrate credibility with potential employers.
  • Learn about and participate in networking or industry events to meet and engage with arts professionals.

Select the arts area for a full list of relevant professional associations in the arts.  Looking for a specific association that isn’t listed?  The Professional Association Finder is a great resource for national and international organization related to career industries.