A resume featuring what design firms are really looking for

It’s no secret that getting your foot in the door at a top design firm can be daunting.

With so many other architects applying, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd and make an impression. But understanding what these firms are looking for in candidates can help you make sure your resume and portfolio will grab their attention.

Let’s take a look at some of the common questions from candidates and shed some insight into what top design firms are looking for.

What Resume Qualities are Design Firms Looking For?

When it comes to resumes, design firms want to see that you have a solid work history, relevant experience, and technical knowledge of architecture software such as AutoCAD or Revit.

They also want to know that you have good communication skills and understand project management principles. Furthermore, they want to know if you have any special industry certifications or awards that could be beneficial to the firm (such as LEED certification).

What Portfolio Qualities are Design Firms Looking For?

Your portfolio should demonstrate your technical ability as well as your creative problem-solving skills.

Your portfolio should include projects that showcase a variety of skills such as CAD drafting, 3D modeling, rendering software proficiency, BIM expertise, etc. Most importantly, your portfolio should demonstrate how you approach projects differently than other architects in order to make a lasting impression on the employer.

What Is the Most Common Reason for Rejection?

The most common reason for rejection is simply not having enough experience or not having the right kind of experience for the job.

A portfolio filled with generic designs isn’t likely to make it past a hiring manager’s desk; instead, show them real examples of projects you’ve worked on where you had to use creative solutions to solve challenging problems.

Additionally, it’s important to tailor your resume and portfolio to each job application so that employers can see how you meet their specific requirements. Furthermore, employers often reject applicants who don’t demonstrate an understanding of current trends in architecture or who lack technical proficiency in industry standard software applications like AutoCAD and Revit.


Ultimately, when applying for jobs at top design firms, it is important to remember that they are looking for candidates with a unique combination of technical skill and creative problem-solving ability—someone who stands out from the crowd with their own unique style and approach to architecture projects.

Having a solid work history with relevant experience, great communication skills, technical knowledge of software applications like AutoCAD and Revit—and even better if you have any special certifications or awards—will help get your foot in the door at the top design firms more easily.

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