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 five critical components of a winning CV and how to optimise each one: header, summary, employment history, skills, and education
- The best format for an architect CV
- How to pass the electronic ATS test
With its growing collection of 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:
- Summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- Employment history
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.
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 10 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.
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.
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.
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.
Passionate and imaginative Architect with 7+ years of experience planning, developing and implementing exceptional architectural designs. Designed 15+ multi-million dollar jobs, within budgets 20% below competitor costs on average. Surpassing expectations for superior-quality details turns satisfied clients into delighted ones who generate referrals.
Employment history sample
In the employment history section of your architect CV, 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.
Use bullet points to specify what you achieved at each of these companies. Be specific, using facts and figures wherever possible (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, ahead of an "experience" section.
Below you'll find the employment history section from our architect CV sample.
Senior Architect at Howard Beach Architecture, Cardiff
July 2018 - Present
- Principal architect at a firm catering to high-end residential and commercial construction clients, collaborating closely with all of the design consultants, permit authorities, subcontractors and trade supervisors involved at different project stages.
- Have designed, developed, executed, and overseen 14 projects with budgets between $1.5 and 6 million, generating 18 client referrals.
- Consistently complete projects on or before the contract’s stipulated date, and 12% below budget on average.
- Team leader for the Walker’s Way mixed-use redevelopment project, awarded the RIBA London Award 2021 and RIBA London Sustainability Award 2021.
- Develop and lead mentoring and professional development activities for colleagues, and provide advice on the firm’s marketing initiatives.
Junior Architect at SkyLine Architects, Manchester
November 2015 - May 2018
- Collaborated closely with principal architects and other project leaders.
- Coordinated project details with all engineering disciplines and external consultants.
- Participated in the conceptualisation of design projects.
- Developed proficiency in creating visualisations with 3D modeling programs.
- Oversaw technical detailing and document production.
- Developed, prepared and coordinated documentation and presentations.
- Prepared code and zoning reviews.
CV skills example
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).
- Architectural Design
- Agile Project Management
- Google Sketchup
- Leadership Skills
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.
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
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.
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.
- An architect CV should reflect the job candidate’s mastery of the importance of proper structure and attractive design.
- 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.
- Be sure your CV contains an attractive header and a well-written summary, employment, education and skills sections.
- Optimise your CV for ATS software by mentioning the specific qualifications the employer is seeking.
- Find inspiration for your layout and design by checking out our adaptable architect CV sample.