Architects and Interior Designer have the great advantage and the great curse of providing a professional portfolio as part of their overall personal brand.  But what should be in a portfolio?  What are leaders looking for?

When building a portfolio for your next job application, what should you try to focus on? What do architecture firms and clients look for when they see your work? Here are some of the most significant factors to keep in mind when building your portfolio.

Let’s dive in.


Quality, without a doubt, is something that important for every firm. However, if none of the designs connect to what the firm is about, quality may not be enough to engage your audience. So, if you want to impress your interviewers, be sure to put in your best works out that resonate with the firm.

If the firm focuses on urban design, then try showcasing your urban works to show that you can fit right in. If you don’t have the same work as the firm is doing, think bigger.  A large, complex project background can be beneficial to any firm.  Of course, you should show your best designs regardless of whether it’s in line with their styles. But having one or two projects similar to their work can give them the added confidence to hire you. 

Attention to Detail

No matter how large and grandiose your designs are, it won’t matter much if it lacks correct detail. More flashy designs and themes are great to look at from afar, but little details that combine form and function can be the difference makers. On the other hand, if you have a missing or incorrect detail, you can hurt your chances of impressing. Ideally, you’ll want to showcase your ability to think big and plan small.

This detail-oriented approach is just as crucial for preparing to meet with prospective employers. Have you understood what makes them different and how your design style can support their vision? Details matter.

Creative Flare

Creativity is a heavily sought-after trait. Most architects are familiar with the fundamentals, but it takes a truly creative mind to design a building or structure that stands out among the rest. In an age where themes and designs are constantly evolving, many architecture firms will look to be ahead of the pack, and creative architects are among the best ways to do so.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should showcase entirely experimental designs in your portfolio. There exists a fine line between creative design and practicality, and you’ll want to be on that line with your work. When in doubt, though, don’t be afraid to showcase some of your more ambitious works – it’ll give the firms an inside look into your mind and way of thinking.

By focusing on relevancy, little details, and showcasing creativity, you can put together a portfolio that architecture firms want to see. Are you looking for top talent in architecture or interior design?


Contact us to discuss how we can bring top leadership talent to your firm. David Brown International is s a global leader in executive recruiting and placement of top tier talent in Architecture, Design, and Technology. Our mission is to create a lasting legacy of success, growth, and profitability for our clients, candidates, and employees.

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