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dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 10:30 a.m.

EDIT:  Maybe this will help some of the young people out there.

I am always on the lookout for Architects.  Young eager professionals fresh out of college and/or done with their first internship.

I read these letters introducing them to me and they are .. . .    Complete rubbish.   They say nothing!!!!   It is hopes and dreams and nothing at all.   

For those that are thinking of this as a profession (or any profession).

1. Do a little research on my company and what we do.  At least read the website.

2. What are you going to add/bring to my company?  What niche can you fill what problems can you solve what are you good at?

3. Problem solving in general.  Everything I see is about imagined concepts and a grand scale.  How about something that had a budget, a tricky plot of land with zoning issues that is in a hurricane zone.  Ya. . .   The real world.   

3. 99.9 percent send 3d cad drawings to me.  Are the design schools that out of touch with the fact that 99.9 percent of design jobs never use any 3d at all?  You may have a degree and you may be able to use 3d cad or Revit but that just makes you a glorified 3d line drawer. Can you generate a set of plans?  And we won't even get in to project specifications.  An AIA-based CSI spec.  Never once mentioned in what is sent to me.

4. Do you know anything about building code?  I have never seen a resume that even mentions the code.  If just one person mentioned something about use groups or even mentioned the IBC it would push you way up the list.

5. Are you a leader or a follower that will need to be managed?  I don't need people that I am going to have to constantly be watching taking up more of my time.  The point to a new employee is for them to take up more of the workload for me/their boss. 

All the young Architects are out there crying that they don't have any work and no one will hire them.  It is sad really.  The schools are sucking these kids in with promises of granger and glory with mystical dreams of unlimited creativity with no constraints of time or budget.  Then they get spit out into the real world and we that own Design firms look at them and there is no place for them in our businesses. 

 

Part of a letter I got from an applicant:

I cherish the synthetic role of the architect (working with means of expression and representation to overcome complexity).  

Without forgetting the competitive aspect of our profession which I really appreciate. Dedicating oneself to an idea, imagining, strengthening, and enhancing it, until it becomes part of the built environment.  

I understand that the current conjuncture is complicated.

   

What is this BS?  If you are saying that the role of an architect is synthetic (fake) you have just insulted me and you have absolutely no clues as to what the job really involves.

Something else is his dream.  The real role of an architect is to realize a client's dream.  I have hated some of the things I have designed but it was exactly what my client wanted.  My dreams as a designer don't matter.  My client's dreams are what pay the bills.  Realize your client's dreams and you will do very well.

  His current conjecture is not complicated (again insulting the reader as if he is somehow superior) it is just crap

 

 

 

 

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/23/21 10:37 a.m.

They all have delusions of grandeur as you suggested.  They think that as an architect they can do what they want and create the worlds largest phallic symbol to show how great they are, all while using somebody else's unlimited budget...

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 10:44 a.m.

They will be greatly disappointed when their first job out of school will be designing a concrete dumpster pad for an inner city housing project.  

 

EDIT:  And yes I have done this!!!

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/23/21 10:46 a.m.

But, but, that's not what I went to college for...  laugh

travellering
travellering HalfDork
7/23/21 10:48 a.m.

Uhhh, son, that ain't even English what you wrote there.  It actually reads as if someone had a neural network generate a cover letter.  

 

I genuinely was interested in Architecture when I started college, but I had a terrible GPA (thanks Obama..., wait I mean, thanks ADHD)  University of Tennessee school of Architecture was using a function of X times your GPA plus your SAT score for entry.  I was only a couple points below their threshold due to a 1480 SAT, but they had more than enough applicants that they weren't letting in any non-legacy or endowment-endowed students.  I guess it's all for the best though, as with the degree I did get, I didn't graduate writing like that individual...

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
7/23/21 10:49 a.m.

Ah crap, the youngest is headed to college in 3 weeks to study......architecture 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/23/21 10:52 a.m.

What's your job description/posting say? I'd love to read what's generating these responses.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
7/23/21 10:57 a.m.

Colleges are taking massive amounts of money to leave people unprepared for the work force? You don't say?

 

I don't know where the current idea of "if I'm an architect someone will pay me to build my dream building" came from, but it couldn't be farther from the truth. I for one have been of the opinion that to get into the field at that level you should spend at least 6 months, if not a whole year, working for each of the trades first, just to have an idea what reality is like versus the fantasy sold in school.

iansane
iansane HalfDork
7/23/21 11:03 a.m.

Before I discovered cars as a little kid all I wanted to do was be an architect. I used to "play" 3d home architect for hours and hours making houses and buildings and junk.

And then I found glorious cars.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 11:03 a.m.
Tom Suddard said:

What's your job description/posting say? I'd love to read what's generating these responses.

Unsolicited but I am listed with the AIA and some of the local schools we are on their lists but I don't advertise. 

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) MegaDork
7/23/21 11:11 a.m.

(edit: dang, I had this response hanging out for a few hours half finished and unsubmitted, and Tom beat me to the punch. I'll leave it as it is.)

First: Yeah, anything worded like your example would go right into the circular file.

 Are the skills you listed in your job descriptions? I'm guessing that that architects should know building codes, much like we'd assume a welder will have welding certifications, but in the age of Indeed and Monster job searches, specific keywords are critical to getting applicants with the specific skills. If people don't know what your are looking for, they can't drop the skills they have in their customized letters. 

As to what the schools are doing, unless you work with them directly and get them to shape up their acts, it's unlikely that's going to change. 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 11:11 a.m.
secretariata (Forum Supporter) said:

They all have delusions of grandeur as you suggested.  They think that as an architect they can do what they want and create the worlds largest phallic symbol to show how great they are, all while using somebody else's unlimited budget...

Showed that to the Sr VP in my company and he almost died laughing.  I can still hear him down the hall.  :-)

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 11:19 a.m.
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) said:

First: Yeah, anything worded like your example would go right into the circular file.

 Are the skills you listed in your job descriptions? I'm guessing that that architects should know building codes, much like we'd assume a welder will have welding certifications, but in the age of Indeed and Monster job searches, specific keywords are critical to getting applicants with the specific skills. If people don't know what your are looking for, they can't drop the skills they have in their customized letters. 

As to what the schools are doing, unless you work with them directly and get them to shape up their acts, it's unlikely that's going to change. 

Valid point but they have gone so far off the rails and so far away from what a designer/architect does, it is just silly.  No, I am not advertising. but again look at the company website and you can get a clue about a company and its focus.   I am not asking that you learn every project we have done but are we commercial, residential, public sector, medical, housing, elderly care, tech, historical, historical restoration, All easily knowable from virtually every company website.

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
7/23/21 11:20 a.m.

Something to remember when you are trying to HIRE someone for their first career position, there is no collegiate preparation in how to actually write a cover letter (easily the worst, most tedious, BS part of applying for professional positions), and most school help for writing resumes is just terrible.  Your expectations also read as though you want a few years of professional experience, when they're coming to YOU to get that experience.

While I agree that they should at least research the company they're applying to, your marketing or publicity team is likely using these terrible words and phrases you're making example of all over your website and that's why it sounds like they're pulling things out of their a$$es.  These are kids who have zero real world project work; they don't know what they can bring to your company yet, they have never generated plans, they usually don't know professional codes or industry standards, and they sure as E36 M3 don't know if they want to lead a team or be led.  

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa PowerDork
7/23/21 11:25 a.m.

I'm not so sure the colleges are failing these "kids"
You mentioned that they're done with their internships at the point they come to you looking for a job?  Shouldn't they have learned this stuff, or at least part of this stuff at their internships?  What are your fellow firms teaching these kids?  Is it realistic?  Based on what your fellow firms are looking for, is what you're looking for realistic? 
Aren't these "kids" supposed to be full of hopes and dreams right now?  Aren't they supposed to learn how the real world works once they get out of college?

Hell, the job search alone is probably doing a good job of disabusing them of the idea that things are going to go their way.  I remember meeting people at companies I had applied to (at a hiring mixer the school hosted during senior semesters) and one or two of the people I talked to remembered seeing my resume and then really enjoyed talking to me.  They urged me to reapply and include their name and position in my cover letter and I still didn't hear back from anyone at the company after applying.

Its a brutal world out there and most of these graduates get absolutely no feedback at all when all they've know for the past 4+ years is feedback.  Even a form letter stating what got them removed from the hiring process would be better than what they are getting.

 

 

Also, whenever architecture is mentioned, this has to be posted.  Its the law.

College of Architecture and Planning Sign

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/23/21 11:32 a.m.

People who use lots of words but have nothing to say are a pet peeve of mine as well. 

That said, synthetic does have more than one meaning, you know.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 11:33 a.m.
sobe_death said:

Something to remember when you are trying to HIRE someone for their first career position, there is no collegiate preparation in how to actually write a cover letter (easily the worst, most tedious, BS part of applying for professional positions), and most school help for writing resumes is just terrible.  Your expectations also read as though you want a few years of professional experience, when they're coming to YOU to get that experience.

your marketing or publicity team is likely using these terrible words and phrases you're making example of all over your website and that's why it sounds like they're pulling things out of their a$$es.  

Humm ya another gross assumption trying to make it my fault.  This is another rabbit hole we can go down with respect to the up and coming generation.  "It is not me it is you" Sorry but I wrote all the text on my company web site just to not have all the fake fluff that marketing peoples think is so good. 

I assume that you have read my website after those assertions about it?  Maybe we all need to do a better job teaching kids but don't make statements about my company website unless you have read it.  

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa PowerDork
7/23/21 11:34 a.m.
dean1484 said:

Valid point but they have gone so far off the rails and so far away from what a designer/architect does, it is just silly.  No, I am not advertising. but again look at the company website and you can get a clue about a company and its focus.   I am not asking that you learn every project we have done but are we commercial, residential, public sector, medical, housing, elderly care, tech, historical, historical restoration, All easily knowable from virtually every company website.

I'm currently applying to jobs.  I can't look up websites to research companies to find out what they do.  Everything posted is under some sort of job placement program so when I send my resume in they then forward it on to the actual company.  Sometimes I get lucky and find the company on a google search, but I only do a google search when I really really like what the description reads as, then I try to submit directly to the company.

I'm putting in dozens of applications a day, I don't have time to research every company.  I pull up the ad, I modify my resume and cover letter as required, throw in some of the buzzwords I see in the ad, then I move on.  

I repeat, hiring is brutal from the applicants side.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 11:42 a.m.
Mr_Asa said:

I'm not so sure the colleges are failing these "kids"
You mentioned that they're done with their internships at the point they come to you looking for a job?  Shouldn't they have learned this stuff, or at least part of this stuff at their internships?  What are your fellow firms teaching these kids?  Is it realistic?  Based on what your fellow firms are looking for, is what you're looking for realistic? 
Aren't these "kids" supposed to be full of hopes and dreams right now?  Aren't they supposed to learn how the real world works once they get out of college?

Hell, the job search alone is probably doing a good job of disabusing them of the idea that things are going to go their way.  I remember meeting people at companies I had applied to (at a hiring mixer the school hosted during senior semesters) and one or two of the people I talked to remembered seeing my resume and then really enjoyed talking to me.  They urged me to reapply and include their name and position in my cover letter and I still didn't hear back from anyone at the company after applying.

Its a brutal world out there and most of these graduates get absolutely no feedback at all when all they've know for the past 4+ years is feedback.  Even a form letter stating what got them removed from the hiring process would be better than what they are getting.

 

 

Also, whenever architecture is mentioned, this has to be posted.  Its the law.

College of Architecture and Planning Sign

I do agree with you on this.  They don't get feedback and you can not improve with out knowing what is wrong.  I do try to get back to applications I get.  Even if it is a simple thank you but I am not interested reply.   It is brutal out there trying to get a job when you are fresh out of school.  There is no debating that. 

It is the delusions of granger that many have in this field that seems to be the big disconnect.  I don't know if this is a problem in other fields or not.  

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/23/21 11:46 a.m.

Very few people know that applying for a job should be treated as "applicant trying to help someone else solve a problem". Most people think it is "trying to get someone else to solve the applicant's 'no job' problem". 

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
7/23/21 11:55 a.m.

I don't know what applicants you are getting but in the mechanical / biotech space I have seen some of the strongest in years. We are talking coming in with practical projects they built themselves. (homemade 3d printer, code that actually has use, SAE car experience). I have a 19 year old intern right now, that with 3-4 years practical experience put serious improvements to things I designed in industry use. Her python skills are obscene and she asks the right questions for mechanical. 

 

We take in ~40-50 a year company wide from a big search and I would say 60% of them end up with offers. Maybe its a difference in major or focus but the actual quality of some of these kids who grew up programming and in maker spaces just blows me away. 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 12:08 p.m.
sobe_death said:

 they have never generated plans, they usually don't know professional codes or industry standards, 

And there applying for a position as a designer at a architectural firm?  High School student coming to me asking if they can learn sure no problem.  In fact I have had several kids from a couple of the local schools join us over summer break over the years.  They have been great!!!! And I would gladly have anyone of them back!!

But if you have a degree in Architecture and/or have some intern experience and you don't know any of the things you listed above the college system / degree programs are failing there students.

ALSO Consider that company are in business to make money and get work done.  Yes there is some teaching / learning by employees.  No one should stop learning.  But. .. .  would / should GRM higher a Jr. editor that needs to learn critical righting, grammar and English skills?  Should GRM be expected to teach these skills?

I guess what I am saying is there is a certain set of baseline skills that every job needs and in the Design / Architecture field it seems that these have been forgotten by the edguication system.

nocones
nocones UberDork
7/23/21 12:18 p.m.

I have noticed (Obviously anecdotally) a general improvement of  the problem solving skills and desire to learn of younger people I've worked with in the last 10 years.   It seems with the open availability of 3d printing, 3d modeling, and programing the ability to ideate and solve problems in creative ways is improving.  

Saying that the 3 worst first job Engineers I've ever experienced had the best resume's / coverletters that made them seem like Rockstars.  They interviewed really well and gave the impression that they were solution focused individuals that could come in and contribute despite their low experience.  Once in the role it was obvious that they were not capable of critical thinking nor self motivated.   All they could do was self market and had learned to be adept at overselling their contributions to any projects they had been a part of.  

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
7/23/21 12:19 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:
dean1484 said:

Valid point but they have gone so far off the rails and so far away from what a designer/architect does, it is just silly.  No, I am not advertising. but again look at the company website and you can get a clue about a company and its focus.   I am not asking that you learn every project we have done but are we commercial, residential, public sector, medical, housing, elderly care, tech, historical, historical restoration, All easily knowable from virtually every company website.

I'm currently applying to jobs.  I can't look up websites to research companies to find out what they do.  Everything posted is under some sort of job placement program so when I send my resume in they then forward it on to the actual company.  Sometimes I get lucky and find the company on a google search, but I only do a google search when I really really like what the description reads as, then I try to submit directly to the company.

I'm putting in dozens of applications a day, I don't have time to research every company.  I pull up the ad, I modify my resume and cover letter as required, throw in some of the buzzwords I see in the ad, then I move on.  

I repeat, hiring is brutal from the applicants side.

And this may be part of the problem.  I call it the shotgun approach.   I am not saying it is wrong as it is what you have to do in the current market.  But just using the buzzwords from an add and not giving something that makes you stand out is about what an AI program would do if it was tasked with this. 

Your statement that you are putting dozens in per day is also a problem.  You may want to examine this and re balance quality versus quantity.   Are you by chance an architect?  ;-)

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane SuperDork
7/23/21 12:21 p.m.
dean1484 said:

ALSO Consider that company are in business to make money and get work done.  Yes there is some teaching / learning by employees.  No one should stop learning.  But. .. .  would / should GRM higher a Jr. editor that needs to learn critical righting, grammar and English skills?  Should GRM be expected to teach these skills?

Well played :) 

Honest question (since I haven't visited your website), is there a section that details exactly what jobs you're hiring for and responsibilities, or are these kids just being told by a school guidance councilor to "go apply to Dean's company?"  Do you know?

 

This is a topic that fascinates me, and I'm hoping to be in a similar position of attracting & hiring people soon...

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