Questions about producing an Architectural/ Design Portfolio and Resume

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Ed- You sound like an utterly fascinating person. Walter Gropius... boy what a time to be starting out in this great profession. Each era has it needs and strengths... you must of hit a gold mind as a young an impressionable Architect. I feel with the "Green Architecture" movement I might be starting out in a fascinating time as well...
More and more firms are using sketch-up... A year ago I went back to Virginia Tech Architectural Graduate studio and all the students deck are laptop with sketch-up running... I wanted to tell then break free and go for the chip board and bum-wade!!! I stated way back in 96' in graduate school using the a macrocreations Painter software and have been sketching in the computer for years... but nothing beats my sketchbook when a passionate project comes along.
I believe I'm detailed oriented due to the fact I started with an Interior Design Degree and design for the inside out...
Thanks you fro all your helpful advice, Artist

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Artist wrote:

My opinion is a website would be a waste of time. When I've been in the hiring position, the critical thing is the resume. That is where the decisoion to interview or not is made.
First keep it simple, short and relevant. Most people do not have time to read a novel, nor do they care if you worked as a cashier at Burger King. Your resume will quickly indicate your communication skills.
In general, provide a one page resume, a short cover letter that personallises your submission, and a project list. If you samples of work that are ALL youur own, you might include a few select 8-1/2 x 11 as well.

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After reading lots of the responses in the NG, I've decided they're all bunk. We're in a hiring mode, so I know what I'm looking for:
1) Accredited Professional Degree
2) Desire to be the owner of their own firm at some point.
3) Preferred: Real office experience.
4) Proficiency in some CAD program, prefer Revit or AutoCAD ADT (or whatever they're calling it these days). If they don't do these programs, then a willingness to shut the hell up about how whatever program they know is better than Revit or ADT.
5) An ability to think, try.
6) References that can honestly answer as to what type of employee they are: work ethic, sense of humor, etc.
I really don't care about most portfolio stuff. They're not being hired to design--that's what we get to do because we own the firm. I do care if they CAN get around FTP, HTML, and some basic web stuff because we use it quite a bit.
Mostly we look for somebody with true ambition. We expect them to be here a few years, then move on. We're looking for people like us when we were employees--we provided good value to our employers.
Here's our current "Employee Manual":
1. Dress Code: Nice T-Shirt (no concert shirts, or odd, large graphics) and nice jeans OK. Dressing up nicer is also OK. This isn't a manual labor job (usually), so don't dress like you're at one. How you look in front of our clients is representative of the firm. No baseball hats at work, at client's or when you're representing the company.
2. Promptness: Be on time. If you've scheduled yourself on the "official" calendar, be here ready to go when you've said you're going to be here. If you're going to be late, call. An occasional 5 minutes late is OK. A regular 5-10 minutes late is not OK. Late with clients is never OK.
3. Effort: We expect you to put in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. This means you need to work hard when you work hard. But, we also recognize the needed break. Take one when you need one. You're old enough to know how much, when, how long. We're not your parents...don't make us act like them, either.
4. Internet: The internet is a great tool for getting your job done. It's the FIRST place you should look before asking a question. Learn to find out the answer on your own. We also understand that you might use it for personal business. Fine. See #3 if you have any questions. And, in case you have to ask, no pornography, no gambling. Period. Never. It's easy enough to avoid it. No second chances.
5. The Reason You Work Here: is to make us money. Really. Your labor is used to leverage our profits. It's a win-win game. You exchange your time, thinking and effort for money from us. If you make more money for us, we'll share some of it with you. This is true of everyone that employs you. They need to make money from your efforts. You're not here so we can give you money (if we could afford to give you money, we wouldn't anyway. That kind of charity hurts you in the long run). If you can't be productive, we can't afford to pay you. If we can't afford to pay you, there's no reason for you to be here, is there?
6. Don't Be Jealous of the Boss: He's earned whatever it is that he's doing. Years of school. Years of working for bosses that aren't nearly as nice as we are. Ten's of thousands of dollars in schooling, testing, licensing. The risk of hiring you. All of these have earned the boss whatever it is that the boss is doing at the moment. This doesn't give you license to do the same. You've not earned it...yet.
7. Own Your Problems: We expect you to complete the tasks assigned to you. We will not provide step by step instructions. We expect you to discover the issues and problems, and solve them. The old addage, "don't bring me problems, bring me solutions," applies. We would like you take that to the next step. You do not need our permission to implement solutions for the problems you discover while accomplishing a task. Please use good judgement and if you are concerned about the impact of your solution, ask.
8. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: This means that you pay attention to what is going on. If you know a client is coming by, maybe dress up a bit nicer. If you're going to see a client, dress up a bit nicer. If you see something that needs to be done, do it. Quietly observe what is going on around you. Be ever learning even when it's not a formal learning experience.
9. Your employment is always "at-will": We have no obligation to give you a job. You have no obligation to keep working here if you don't like it or if you get a better job. Of course, it's polite to give some notice (in either direction). If we think things aren't going well, we'll talk. If you don't think things are going well, then come and talk. We want to make sure you have the tools necessary to do your job (including enough information). But we also want you to see #3-7 above. Think of it this way, you're always on a 1-month probation. If things aren't going well, we'll usually give you a month to turn it around. We might even give you 2 months. But don't expect it. And, if we've given you a month, take advantage of our charity and generosity.
10. Talk to Us: If there are issues, we need to know about them. Come and talk to us. We can't help if there isn't any communication. We expect things to be brought to our attention as soon as you can. We expect an honest discussion. If we're doing (or have done something) that's a problem, you need to tell us. We can't read minds, therefore, you need to vocalize any issues in such a way that we can understand.
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3D Peruna wrote:

Why don't you throw some of that constructio Michigan's way......we are dying over here :-)

Do you mind if I steal this......it is excellent.
Paul F.
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3D Peruna wrote:

Excellent. Printing it out for the son going into different field entirely. Like the addition of #2 in the looking for category, cause people gotta dream, kinda don't like #9 on at-will, which relates to the "I get to design" concept. There are firms where only the kiddies design and everyone else plays backup for Bozo, but it would be nice to conceive of a firm in which collaboration allows a lot of ideas and competence form all in a great collaborative effort.
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++ wrote:

#9 - It's not really about "who gets to design." It's about the idea that they're job is based on 1) we need them and 2) they provide the service we're paying them for. If, for whatever reason, we don't need them anymore, we're going to let them go. We can't afford to pay people to be here because "they need a job." They get to earn a job. Great if it's here, great if it's someplace else, too.
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