Great Books For Each Step In The Architecture Job Application Process

There are a lot of books out there when it comes to career advice.

The books listed below are what I have found to be the most informative and deliver the best results for the architecture job application process.

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:

I have divided the architecture job application process into six major categories:

1. Job Search

2. Cover Letters

3. Resume Writing

4. Portfolio Creation

5. Job Interview

6. Negotiation

For each of the categories I have listed one book that I recommend. While these books are not all specifically written for architect's (maybe I will do that someday) they provide an excellent foundation for your applications. 

Instead of listening to me rant about how great this reading material is I decided to do something a little different. For each book I include a couple of excerpts from reader reviews that best summarize the material.  

1. Job Search

The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today's Aspiring Young Professional

By James M. Citrin
"This book is so valuable. The insight and advice offered are beautifully displayed for the prospective worker. Panic among college students is common and personally I held the constant fear that I was wasting my time and would not find a job I love. This book helps ease the anxiety and perfectly in line with my personal belief that more knowledge will give you confidence, this book explains what the job market is all about and gives the reader all the information they need to be prepared for the world."
"As a soon-to-be college graduate, I found this book to be a great resource in helping me think about and prepare for my post-graduation plans. This well researched book includes personal anecdotes from a range of individuals at different stages in their careers, information about what employers are looking for, and concrete advice on how to land an internship and/or launch a career."

2. Cover Letters

Cover Letters for Creative People

By Rachel Kaufman
"This book has been a real help in trying to create good cover letters for creative jobs.
It gives excellent information about how to properly structure your cover letters while also giving great examples of cover letters from those that got them the job to those that simply got them praise for their writing."
"This book has helped me so much!
If you are a person who works in any type of creative field, this is definitely a good book to have on the shelf." 


3. Resume Writing

Resumes That Stand Out!: Tips for College Students and Recent Grads for Writing a Superior Resume and Securing an Interview

By L. Xavier Cano
"This is the book every college student and recent grad wishes they could get their hands on! It is an all-inclusive, easy-to-read manual for creating an IMPRESSIVE resume. When I was in college, the most helpful thing I found in making my resume was surfing the web for examples of resumes. Resumes that Stand Out is packed FULL of examples of great resumes."
"This book was essential in restructuring and updating my resume. The approach taken and context in which the book is written made it easy to navigate through. As a young professional I find that the value this book brings is not only immediate but long term, as I foresee my resume changing as I progress in my career. This book is definitely a good buy and I would recommend to anyone, especially those individuals who have never had proper resume writing training."

4. Portfolio Creation

Portfolio Design (Fourth Edition)

By Harold Linton
"This book is a great resource for architecture students creating a professional portfolio.
Lots of tips and examples and pictures."
"For architecture students, this book tells you how to layout your portfolio, giving you plenty of examples from other colleagues of other architecture schools from across the US.
This is by far the best book to refer to when designing an architecture portfolio and portfolio website, as it is specifically geared towards architects." 

5. Job Interview

What I Wish EVERY Job Candidate Knew: 15 Minutes to a Better Interview

By Russell Tuckerton
"I cannot stress enough how much this book helped me.
After landing another interview, I bought this book, read it, and applied it.
That night, my husband and I did a mock interview using the suggestions Tuckerton gave.
I walked into the interview feeling confidant. I followed Tuckerton's advice and gave clear and concise answers. And guess what....I LANDED THE JOB!!"
"If you are struggling like me to achieve your dream job, pick this book up and take notes!"

6. Negotiation

Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond

By Deepak Malhotra, Max Bazerman
"This book is absolutely great! It's not boring book about how to negotiate it has plenty of good examples, how to use techniques shown in book. Absolutely recommend to everyone , even you're not really in a business where negotiation plays a big role."
"Apart from amazing point of view of what hiring managers are looking from, this book provides great examples of good and bad answers. Easy and fast read."
"Really great book!
They give tangible and helpful suggestions that anyone can use in any negotiation situation.
Even though the research is sophisticated, the book is easy to read and understand."

Of course I also have to shamelessly plug my own books here... for further reading on applications, interview preparation and questions see The Complete Package below:

Hopefully you find the above reading material helpful for your architecture job search. 

Thanks for reading, see also my posts on:

Want a Great Architecture Job? Don't Send a Resume

25 Things To Consider When Choosing An Architecture Job Offer

Good luck!

Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C

Have a suggestion for a future blog post or a great book I didn't mention in the list? Please let me know in the comments below.

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