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Architect CV Example & Writing Guide

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Architect CV Example & Writing Guide
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Whether you’re skilled at designing homes, commercial buildings, industrial structures or all of the above, as an architect, you understand the importance of a sound framework and elegant design. These same skills will serve you well in creating an outstanding architect CV.

This writing guide, along with the architect CV examples provided, will tell you what you need to know to construct your application, including:

  • What does an architect do?
  • How to write an architect CV
  • The 5 critical components of a winning CV
  • The best format for an architect CV
  • How to pass the electronic ATS test
Expert tip

With occupation-specific  CV examples  and writing guides, Resume.io is a leading provider of job-search resources for candidates in all fields and at all levels of their career.

What does an architect do?

An architect is a building designer who dreams up, sketches out and ultimately creates detailed blueprints, floor plans and renderings for structures of all kinds, showing engineers and builders what to build.

Architects work closely with clients to understand their needs and wants and to reflect those wishes in their designs as much as possible, given the space and terrain available. Once a design is approved, architects are often closely involved in monitoring the construction, advising builders on how to follow the plans and devising solutions to any unanticipated problems.

How to write an architect CV

A winning CV is usually one page only, though two pages is sometimes considered appropriate if you have a lot of experience to report. It must contain these five elements:

  • Header
  • Summary/profile
  • Employment history
  • Education
  • Skills

The header is the space at the top of your CV that contains your name, address, phone, email and perhaps a photo. It may also contain a link to your online portfolio or some other website that showcases your work.

An architect CV should showcase the job candidate’s attention to detail, passion for sound structure and talent for attractive design. It’s critical that an architect CV be free of any writing mistakes, as nobody is looking to hire an architect who is sloppy or prone to errors. 

An architect CV should be an adaptable document that can be tailored to the needs of each potential employer. You may be skilled at both residential and commercial design, but if you’re applying for a job with a company that specialises in one or the other, you should play up your expertise in that specialty.

Expert tip

For more writing tips and advice, check out our related project manager resume sample and engineering resume example.

Best format for an architect CV

The reverse chronological format is by far the most common CV structure. This format focuses on an employment history section where the most recent job comes first and the candidate works backward through the past ten years of experience. This is usually the best choice for anyone with a traditional career path in which they’ve moved from one employer to another, each time landing a more senior post. Putting the most recent (or current) job first will usually showcase a candidate’s most impressive work experience in the top spot.

The functional resume format groups past employment by job type rather than by date. For example, an architect CV might include one section for residential projects, another for commercial and a third for industrial. The functional format is often useful for freelancers, contractors and self-employed professionals who don’t have a steady history of working for other employers.

Expert tip

Passing the ATS test

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are software programs that larger employers use to process and filter resumes. Employers input keywords that describe the qualifications they are looking for – often using the same words they might put in a job posting. Then as CVs roll in, they are fed into the ATS system to see how closely the CV matches the job requirements.

If your CV contains few or none of the keywords the employer is looking for, your CV may be automatically rejected with no human review. This is why it’s extremely important to study job listings closely, match their language as much as possible and tailor your CV to each potential employer.

Architect CV summary example

The summary, also known as a profile, personal statement or job objective, consists of a few lines of text under the header that identifies the type of job you’re seeking and lays out the primary reasons you would make a good hire. 

Typically, this section will emphasise your work experience, especially if it’s extensive. As an architect, you may want to specify the types of projects you have been involved in designing. 

The CV summary may also briefly mention your education and/or certifications in your field. And it may also describe the personal qualities that make you excel at your job (like “passionate about striking, original design” or “excelling in multi-storey structures.” See the summary from our architect CV sample below.

Adaptable CV summary example

Passionate and skilled architect with 5+ years of experience planning, developing and implementing exceptional architectural designs. Committed to high quality details and achieving client satisfaction every step of the way.

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CV employment history sample

In the employment history section, list all relevant work history for the past 10 years or so, listing the places you’ve worked, where they are located, the years you worked there and your role at the company. 

Also, use bullet points to specify what you achieved at each of these companies. Be specific, using facts and figures wherever possible (like the number of homes you designed, budgets you oversaw, percentage growth you achieved or the like). 

If your work history is thin, you can supplement it with any internships or other on-the-job experience you have. If you have no experience in architecture – perhaps you’re still in school and seeking your first internship – then consider putting your education section first.

See the employment history section from our architect CV sample below.

Adaptable CV employment history example

Architect, Howard Beach Architecture, Cardiff
July 2018 - February 2021

  • Worked in high-end residential construction, providing optimal architectural design work for clients.
  • Collaborated with design consultants, subcontractors and clients to ensure that projects ran smoothly.
  • Served as an integral part of a design team to carry projects from freehand schematic design presentations to construction.
  • Developed spreadsheets and project timelines and communicated all necessary details to colleagues and clients.
  • Demonstrated professionalism and a commitment to excellence at all times.
  • Participated in business development activities and advised regarding marketing pursuits.
  • Maintained strong relationships with clients and consultants.

 

Junior Architect, Sky Line Architects, Manchester
November 2015 - May 2018

  • Coordinated with all engineering disciplines and external consultants.
  • Handled technical detailing and document production.
  • Participated in the conceptualization of design projects.
  • Developed, prepared and coordinated presentation and documentation materials.
  • Prepared code and zoning reviews.
  • Worked collaboratively with principal architects and other project leaders.
  • Followed established standards for project production.
  • Proficiently created visualizations with 3D modeling programs.
  • Communicated regularly to management and the project team with project updates.
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CV skills section example

Every CV should contain a section listing the skills and attributes that qualify the applicant for the job. Usually, these are divided into “hard” and “soft” skills. 

Hard skills are technical competencies required to do a given job, typically learned through specialised training or on-the-job experience (like drafting skills or knowledge of software commonly used in architecture). 

Soft skills are more innate personal talents like communication, leadership skills and attention to detail. Below is the skills section from our architect CV sample:

Adaptable CV skills section example
  • Architectural Design
  • Agile Project Management
  • Google Sketchup
  • AutoCAD
  • Leadership Skills
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Architect CV education example

Most architects in the UK complete a five-year architecture degree in a program accredited by the Architects Registration Board. Most programs involve time off to gain hands-on experience in an internship or some other way of working under the guidance of a fully licensed architect. 

In the education section of your CV, list your most advanced classwork first, using reverse chronological order. If you’re still enrolled in a university or school of architecture but haven’t graduated yet, list it anyway and record your expected graduation date. List any undergraduate degrees you hold, as well as any certifications or licensing. 

You can also mention where you attended secondary school, though this is usually not considered necessary if you have a postsecondary degree. See the education CV sample below.

adaptable CV education example

Master of Architecture (MArch), Manchester School of Architecture
August 2011 - May 2015
 

Structural and Architectural Engineering BEng (Hons), University of Bath
September 2008 - May 2011

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Architect CV layout and design

Your CV should look as good as it reads, so you need to be aware of certain design principles. 

Use a professional font that is easy to read, and make the font size a minimum of 10 points and a maximum of 12. Do not resort to using tiny text in order to make your CV fit on one page. Use the same typeface throughout, and be consistent in your use of type styles.

Strive for a balanced look on your CV – for example, you don’t want a lot of text at the top of the page and nothing on the bottom. Nor do you want a bunch of text on the left with gaping spaces on the right. Also, you should usually include 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, left and right.

Expert tip

Incorporating an appropriate amount of white space in your CV gives the eye and the brain a break and results in a more visually pleasing result. A professionally-designed CV template can make this easy to achieve.

Key takeaways

  1. An architect CV should reflect the job candidate’s mastery of the importance of proper structure and attractive design.
  2. Typos, bad grammar or other writing errors are unacceptable in an architect CV, so proofread closely. If writing is not your forte, find an editor.
  3. Be sure your CV contains an attractive header and a well-written summary, employment, education and skills sections.
  4. Optimise your CV for ATS software by mentioning the specific qualifications the employer is seeking.
  5. Find inspiration for your layout and design by checking out our adaptable architect CV sample.
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