Where To Apply For Architecture Jobs Online
A recent article on Archinect.com discussed how there are now "tons of architecture openings" but firms are having trouble filling these positions.
“It’s officially time to embrace the reality of 2015: full-time positions in architecture are plentiful.”
So where are all of these positions? Well fortunately (or unfortunately?) most are online.
To help you with your architecture job search, I've created a mega-pack of free resources that includes architecture resumes, cover letters, and an extensive collection of application documents. Click for a free download:
So where should I look for an architecture job online?
While there are dozens of ways to get your foot in the door at an architecture office, for this post I am going to specifically discuss applying through online job posts and the pros and cons of this approach.
There is a common belief this is like sending your resume into a black hole, however I have got the majority of my jobs through applying online, including both my current position and previously at a “starchitects” office.
There are hundreds of job sites, but here are a few I have used in the past with varying levels of success:
The firm’s own website
If you have a specific office in mind this is usually the best place to start.
The HOK career’s page for example:
The issue is it really depends on the size and structure of the HR department on whether they maintain their careers page and keep their job postings up to date. Normally the larger the firm the more reliable this can be. They will always have a contact email to submit your application/resume, whether they have openings listed or not.
Usually mid size firms will include an HR contact email, for example, Morphosis:
This can be better than trying to use the online forms of the larger firms. The forms can be a pain if they often only allow plain text (for their keyword search) which takes your nicely formatted resume and makes it look like a jumbled mess.
This is a good reason to have two resumes, one formatted as HTML and one as plain text. Here is a good article on the use of plain text resumes.
The Archinect employment page is one of the best resources online for job postings. Many of the worlds top firms post jobs here and since it is exclusively for architects there is no need to filter out software and data architects.
AIA Job Board
Divided by chapter, San Francisco for example:
This is a great location for architecture specific job postings because many of the generic online job sites flood the keyword searches with tech jobs like “software architect” and “software architecture” so it is nice to not have to filter out the design jobs.
The U.S. Government
The biggest black hole of all:
Luckily you can narrow the search by job category and occupational series:
Job Category: Engineering And Architect Occupational Series: Architecture
Several years ago I had a lot of success with a government architecture application. The process is extremely slow but I did make it to the final round, however I ultimately decided the job wasn’t for me.
One nice thing is because the jobs are federal the salary range is posted at the top for all to see, giving you an idea if it is worth your while. A lot of architects would never consider a government job as an option, but don’t rule it out, there are some interesting opportunities.
The job I mentioned above was designing embassies around the world with an expected travel percentage of 80%. Kind of a cool option if you want to add a few stamps to your passport. Being a veteran is very helpful when applying to the government jobs, there is an automatic increase the application point system they use.
Here are a couple of the most popular architecture specific recruiting sites:
I have used recruiters to get positions in the past and personally it was a great experience. As a potential candidate the service of an architecture recruiter is free. The way they get paid is the firm that is looking to hire pays them a fee once they fill the position, usually a percentage of your base salary.
The situation is beneficial for both sides, you get a job out of the deal and the recruiter earns a commission. Small to mid size firms will use recruiters in place of having a full time HR department. Typically they cater to candidates with at least several years of experience.
The most important thing to remember with a recruiter is they are looking to fill the position, they want to check as many boxes as possible before they present you to the potential employer.
Also, recruiters are not career coaches, meaning if you are looking to make a career switch they will be of little help. They have a detailed description of the role they need to fill and are looking for the closest match.
Keeping that in mind I usually will apply for a post if I feel I am within about 75% of the requirements. If they are looking for someone with 10 years of experience and you have 7 years, go ahead and apply assuming you meet most of the other requirements.
The mega job sites
Here are the most common non architecture specific job sites, which I am sure you are all aware of.
Personally I have had very little success getting an interview, much less a job out of these sites. I typically just use them for research or sign up for the email updates. Glassdoor is the obvious one for company reviews and salary information. Although take the reviews with a grain of salt, they tend to skew to the negative side, the internet is the complainer's best friend after all.
Sometimes the job posts will link back to the original poster, you want to try and get to the source. One trick is to copy the job description into Google, sometimes this can land you on the architecture firm's website where the job originated.
I hope these architecture job links and my feedback is useful for your current or future job search. The job market for the architecture profession hasn’t been this good in almost ten years, so make hay while the sun shines!