General cover letter tips
Make sure your cover letter addresses each of the specific qualifications you have listed in your resume.
Send the cover letter as a PDF, Word document, or RTF file … not as a JPEG or Word doc attached to an e-mail.
Use a formal, professional tone and a salutation ‗ such as "Dear Mr. Sullivan" ‖ instead of simply "Hey, Bob" or "Hello." While it may seem overly formal, the cover letter is the first impression an employer has of you as a candidate.
Include all relevant information – such as salary figures – without being repetitive or drawing undo attention to your resume or any related experience.
Be sure to include information about the company’s current projects or initiatives and why that projects or initiatives interests you, whether it’s a new headquarters being constructed or a technology that is being developed.
Try to incorporate a short quote or tidbit from the company’s website or a news article about the company.
Make sure your header is well formatted and includes all the necessary information: your name, phone number, and e-mail address.
Mistakes to avoid
A good cover letter is your best shot at piquing the curiosity of the hiring manager. Don’t just list your previous work experience and qualifications on your cover letter. Instead, tell a story about why you’d be good for the job.
Make sure to display these points:
- Why you are interested in the job and the company
- Your relevant skills and achievements
- Ways in which your skills and experience match the job description
How to structure your architecture cover letter.
It’s important to address your cover letter to a particular person. Since you probably won’t know who your cover letter recipient is, send it to the hiring manager and email it to a specific contact person. This will ensure that your letter (hopefully) reaches the decision-maker.
There’s no universal template that you can use, because your job will be different from the next person’s. To help you put your best foot forward, I’m giving you a simple structure and example. Once you figure out what to write, it should be easy to tweak it and personalize it for the position you’re applying for.
You’ll also want to use your cover letter to address any questions the hiring manager may have. You can address your skills and experience to the needs described in the job description and the cover letter.
The idea is that you should also be able to address these needs if the company decides to move forward in the hiring process with you.
This should state precisely why you are writing the cover letter. This is NOT about how you found the job ad and whether you feel you meet the requirements. This is what you have to say to persuade the reader to offer you an interview.
Good fit paragraph
The good fit paragraph is one of the most important parts of your cover letter. It gives the employer an idea of what you might be interested in working on, as well as what you have to offer. This gives the employer an idea of what the company might gain from hiring you.
For example, you might say, “I believe I would be a good fit because of x, y, and z. These skills include a passion for design, an eye for detail, and previous experience with similar projects.” Keep your reasons brief. The employer is likely to read your resume first, and, if you’re a good fit for the job, they’ll want to schedule an interview or hire you.
The purpose of this closing is to provide a chance for you to simply explain interest and enthusiasm for the position.
“I appreciate your time and attention to my resume. My overall goal is to satisfy the needs of clients and represent your organization in a positive manner. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs in greater depth.”
This statement imparts interest and enthusiasm for the position, but leaves more work for your interviewer.
“I am inspired by your mission and goals as stated in the (insert job description here). As an admirer of your commitment to a better tomorrow, I am naturally drawn to you company and anxious to find out if we are compatible.”
This statement shows admiration for the company and the interviewer, but may leave the impression that you are merely an admirer.
Sample Architecture Cover Letter
Dear Ms. Brown,
Here are my qualifications and experience as they apply to the position of architect at your company. I am 34 years old and have a degree in architecture from UC Berkeley. I worked for Dean Johnson Architecture as project architect for the past three years, and I have four years of experience designing four bedroom homes in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My background makes me a perfect fit for your company in three ways. First, I have proven track record working on projects similar to what you do. When I was at Dean Johnson, we worked exclusively on custom homes, just like you do, and over 75% of our clients were referrals and repeat customers. The stunning homes I designed for them were in the same architectural style that you prefer.
Second, my experience makes me a perfect fit for your company because of where I was able to put my own ideas into practice. I was able to venture outside the box to innovate and create advanced new features and new designs. For example, I used a patented technology that was a first for our company. The technology allowed the client to personalize the home interior to meet their exact needs. You will see in my portfolio that the end result is a home that perfectly suits the client.
Submitting the cover letter
After years of designing buildings, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and look for an architecture job. You think the first step toward your new career should be writing a cover letter to introduce yourself and to show
The employer what you’re capable of.
You can find a cover letter samples in your college career center, online and even in the Facebook group for folks in your profession. Deciding to use a sample as a template is one way to make sure you get the ideas across. But creating a cover letter from scratch can be intimidating, especially if this is your first time.
A cover letter sample for an architect has some additional challenges that you won’t encounter in other fields. As a designer of space, you need to have a built-in passion for the space you live in, but also a strong sense of how to design better spaces that are both efficient and beautiful. Your introductory letter should be able to show that you understand how space works, but also that you are able to communicate your ideas to others.
Cover letters vary by industry, but the core structure of an architecture cover letter remains the same. Your letter should include elements like your address, phone number, a precise opening line, a formal greeting and closing line, and a summary of your experience .
Often, you will need to send a short email to a potential employer describing why you would be a good fit for the position.
Rather than sending off a generic message, you should customize your email as much as possible. This is a little bit harder to do if you don’t get any feedback from a company before sending in a resume or cover letter, but once you receive an acknowledgement email, you can start planning it.
Once you have received the email, read it carefully to understand the expectations set out by the company.
You want to ensure that your message is well balanced between being professional and engaging.
The most important thing to remember with this email is the value you are bringing to the company. The reason why you are writing to them is to demonstrate that you are the right person for the position and that your skills can solve some of their problems.
For each skill and experience you have, you should be able to think of a specific example that you can use in this email that shows why it serves your potential employer.
If you’re a fresh graduate, highlight your experience at school and any internships you’ve had.
Highlight your skills you already possess, not the skills you want to gain in the future if you think they are different.
Here are the three main “ingredients” of your application
For any architectural position:
- Your cover letter
Any designer applying for an architectural position should have all three elements and they need to be prepared professionally, targeted, and concise.
No matter what kind of job you are applying for, a good cover letter will help you get your foot in the door. You can boost your application by adding a few sentences about why you are specifically interested in this company. It’s also a good idea to mention your educational experience, which can speak of your knowledge but also of a genuine interest in architecture.
When writing, remember to show your versatility, because an architect needs to be able to adapt to various tasks. The portfolio and resume should reflect your scope of work, skills, and experience.
Option 1: Cover letter in body of email, resume and portfolio attached separately
Email is easy, right? Just type in an email, address it to the person who is in charge of the job you’re applying for, and then attach your resume and portfolio. Job done for the day.
But is that enough?
The hiring manager will read your email, but will they read it as a whole, or will they simply scan it quickly and then go straight to the attachments?
How many times do you read email attachments? Do you prefer to read the email first and then go to the attachments?
I’m guessing not. So the chances are that they will read your email attachment and then the cover letter, at the very best.
In the email, structure your cover letter to be read as a whole. Try to write the cover letter to look as if it’s an email in its own right. If you’re lucky, and they’re in a very good mood, the hiring manager may even read the cover letter first.
In the same email, give a quick overview of your experience with them, the criteria for the job, and create a connection between the two. Take them from the subject line straight to the enclosed resume and portfolio.
Option 2: Cover letter, resume and portfolio attached separately
Some of you may argue that this is not a perfectly formatted cover letter but the idea is to send a big file than having the possibility of attaching your job documents and cover letter in separate emails.
Make sure that you put a clear and big title above the file.
Option 3: Cover letter, resume and portfolio combined into one attachment
Cover letters and resumes are the two documents together with your architecture portfolio that represent your professional self in the best light. It’s important to represent your skills and experience professionally and accurately.
Whether you’re applying for an architectural internship or a full-time position as an architecture graduate, the cover letter is a great opportunity to promote your skills and highlight your qualifications for the job.
Your cover letter gives you the chance to tell the architectural employer why you want the position and why you are a good fit for the role. The letter can also set you apart from other applicants by showcasing your personality, your skills, and your experience in an inventive and creative way.
Potential employers may want to see what you have built before considering hiring you. The most straightforward way of demonstrating your work is to put it online.
A personal or linkedin profile is unlikely to impress potential employers enough to warrant hiring you without seeing some of your work.
De-constructing a website is a time consuming process, which is why potential employers will always prefer to visit your website.
Further, it shows initiative and a willingness to stand out from the crowd.
All websites should have a consistent theme throughout, from the general layout to the colours used on each page.
Mailed hard copy
Employers are increasingly moving to a web-based job application process, but this doesn’t mean that you should ignore paper contact information. Research the company and make sure that the resume you are sending is being directed to the right person. If the company doesn’t have a job board, a paper version of your resume or cover letter can be sent in a large envelope to human resources.
A message can be written on the front of the envelope that reinforces your interest in the job, and a thank you note can be included on the inside. (A sealed envelope may also work, but you may not want to spend the extra money for a stamp.)
The first impression is everything. By sending a paper version of your cover letter with a handwritten message, you can ensure that someone will read it and take it seriously.
Do you feel that the company owes you a response? You can let the hiring manager know this with a polite note at the bottom.
You can also include a business card or brochure with your contact information, and a follow-up phone call may be appropriate if you are looking for a quick response or if you have concerns about how long it is taking for you to get a response.