5 Tips to Improve Your Job Package

Next month we are organizing an event to help demystify putting together the best job package possible. We sat down with Rob Holzbach, the Director of Staff Operations and an Associate Principal at Hickok Cole, to talk about recommendations, tips, and tricks as a preview of what to expect.

1. Make the work samples stand out

Often as an entry level hire you will be asked to do a lot of production work. Your work sample highlights your ability to create high quality renderings and drawings and the graphics of this are important. You want this to highlight your software skills and demonstrate your eye for design. This can help to make up for a lack of relevant job experience. Rather than including full sheets from a CD set, integrate details into the graphics of your work sample. You want these pages to be easy to navigate and eye catching.

2. Make the hiring person’s job as easy as possible

These people are busy so it’s important to make information easy to find. Your resume should highlight any relevant job experience or internships. That information should be visible at first glance.

3. Utilize your network

This can be difficult as a recent graduate, but it’s pivotal to being able to get your foot in the door. Thanks to websites like Linked In, this has become much easier. Reach out to professors who might have connections and utilize your alumni network. Attend EAC events!

4. Double check for spelling errors

Seriously. You’re often reviewing these things so many times it becomes difficult to see them. Have a friend proof read it for you. More egregious than spelling errors are misspelling of a firm or a person’s name. The more you can connect with the person reading your application, the better.

5. Over done is just as bad as under done

You want to make sure everything is concise and clean. Graphically interesting is good, but illegible and busy is bad. Remember that you will not have control over how your job package will be printed when it’s delivered electronically. Things that are oddly shaped (larger or smaller than 8.5″x 11″) often become difficult to file or review and will end up getting printed on regular paper anyhow. An interesting portfolio should be saved for the interview.

Rob will be going into more detail and showing examples of good and bad practices at the workshop. That will be followed by a series of small group crits by local practitioners. This is a great way to get a jump start on your job search and make some connections to work on point number 3! Make sure to register for the full event here.


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