HOW TO WRITE A CV / RESUME
For Architecture Student
By: Pranay Kumar Tode
This presentation is meant for educational purposes only.
Data is completely based on internet research.
Everyone has an opinion about CVs. Often, everyone has a DIFFERENT
opinion about CVs. So you need to know from the start, whatever you
choose to do when it comes to writing your CV, you can’t please everyone.
That’s just the way it is.
In this presentation I am going to list out some things that generally are
important when writing your CV, some basic ideas and guidelines. I would
however, recommend you to have a look at some other sites that offer CV
advice, so you can decide on a style and layout that is going to work for
you, and ultimately, show your personality.
Most important things to cover in your CV
Main areas you need to cover
• Introduction/Profile – Give a brief introduction to yourself, what
kind of person you are, and what kind of work you are looking for.
How you approach your work, and a few of your best work related
• Education – Outline your education history, achievements and
grades. I wouldn’t say its necessary to go back to GCSEs but its up
to you. Also, any achievements at university. I always think its best
to work in chronological order, starting with the most recent, the
same for experience.
• Experience – Outline your work experience with dates and details
(company name, location), duties, achievements, responsibilities. This
can be tough if you haven’t had much experience. A good one is any
student representative work you may have done, or any tasks where
you have had responsibility. Try to avoid gaps in your dates, as people
may wonder what you’ve been up to.
• Skills – As an architecture student I think its really important to list out
your skills in a separate area. (See examples below). This looks really
good for potential employers as they can see straight away all the
software you can use, and imagine you slotting straight into their office.
Don’t put in Microsoft Word/Excel, you are expected to be able to use
• Interests – This is a controversial one. I always think it’s nice to
include your interests…if they are interesting! If you are going to
write watching TV, going to the pub, then don’t bother. If you play
sports, captain a team, were in societies at university, or are a keen
musician it will give the potential employer a flavour of you as a
• Don’t be afraid to have different versions of your CV depending
on where you are sending it, or for what job you are applying for.
There is nothing wrong with tailoring your CV to each job
application, it takes a bit of time but can be well worth the effort. I
would suggest that if you are applying for a specific job,
particularly with a large company that has an HR department, to
send out a formal CV with an attached portfolio booklet. Whereas
if you are sending out a speculative application, send out one
document – your CV, which includes some images as a flavour of
Make sure it is crystal clear
• If your CV is difficult to read, poor print quality, a jumbled mess, it
will go straight in the bin. First impressions are made very quickly,
so you want the first impression of your CV to be that it is written by
someone who is organised and clear. Use a clear font, readable
font size, and don’t be afraid to use bullet points so that employers
can scan quickly through your CV to find the information they are
• Another tricky one that is debated often. To add images or not? We
were really pushed to add images to our CV at my university.
However, since then I have come across people that send out a
formal, plain CV with an attached portfolio booklet, which can be
quite effective. I particularly like it when they stick to a theme
between the two and have given themselves a unique branding.
(More on that in other posts). I guess its up to you to decide, see
below for examples.
• Make sure you state somewhere that references are available on
request. If you don’t have a vast employment history ask one of
your tutors if they wouldn’t mind being a reference for you.
• Make sure your CV is two pages, ie, two one sided A4 pages.
Anymore than two, your potential employer will get bored, less than
two, they may be concerned you don’t have much to offer. If you
need to you can pad out with images, but don’t make that too
Most important things to AVOID on your CV
This is so obvious but it happens all the time! You may have trouble with
spelling, that’s fine. Get someone to check it for you, and someone else
to double check it. Spelling mistakes on a CV give a very bad first
impression, and they are easily avoided. Make sure they don’t creep into
•Stupid email addresses
It may have been cool/funny at school to have a ‘crazy’ email address
like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It may
provide a laugh for the HR department, but it will not provide you with an
interview. If necessary, create a new email address for formal emails,
which is essentially your name, use middle initials or a few numbers –
NO stupid nicknames!
• Incomplete information
It is very frustrating reading through a CV that has information missing.
Make sure you put in all the relevant details about your education,
grades and importantly dates. Another common mistake is not providing
full contact information including address, telephone number and email.
Try to provide all of these things as different employers like to contact
potential employees in different ways, so don’t make it difficult for them.
• Inconsistent text and formatting
For an architecture student, this is inexcusable. Make sure your
formatting is consistent, size, font and layout should flow over the
page/s. It looks terrible if you flick from one font to another, or have
random font sizes that are clearly not intentional.