Finding work can be daunting when you are first starting out. We have some tips & tricks to help from CV writing to industry specific networking events, you can even check out the other courses to pool ideas.
Our advice is to start early by building experience through placements or responding to competitions or opportunities on the course.
It is important to know the industry well and know where the openings are.
RIBA’s monthly future trends' report monitors employment trends affecting the architects’ profession and highlights areas where skills are in demand. Given the nature of the industry, and such close working relationships, it is important that you also try to meet other designers that you would like to work with in person.
Visiting tutors on your course are an excellent starting point, as well as Ravensbourne Late speakers and industry guests from the range of events such as Ravensbourne’s Institute of Ideas events in the building. Dropping an email to thank a visiting speaker for a talk is low-effort and helps build your networks for the future.
Making speculative applications & finding company details
Although we list sources of vacancies below, interior design companies don't really need to advertise entry-level opportunities. So, much of your job search will be based on making speculative approaches to companies you would like to work for.
Design directories, such as the Directory of Design consultants and RIBA's database, are useful for identifying design companies to target.
Keep an open mind about where you might get work. Construction companies, landscape and urban design/regeneration practices, spatial design and interior design practices all value the skills learnt on the course.
You will need to find out the name of the best person to contact, in large companies there will be a HR department to deal with this, smaller firms will need more researching, such as a phone call, to get a named contact to write to. Draw up a wish list of who you admire and then it’s down to making targeted speculations with your CV.
Before putting together your speculative application, research each company thoroughly, noting their recent jobs, what area they work in, who their clients are and their company values.
Early stages of studies
Getting work experience in the early stages of your studies can be challenging as there will be Graduates also looking for work. So, you need to persuade practices that you can help them even though you are so early on in your studies.
Being able to create digital 3D visualisations can be a great bonus. Practices often don’t have the time to create 3D visualisations (or sometimes clients don't want to pay for it), so include these in your CV to show how you can add value to architectural practices, particularly smaller ones.
Practices are looking for dedicated people with a passion for what they do. Show an active interest in your field by following blogs or companies on Twitter and you could hear about job openings early.
Now, armed with a strong CV and portfolio you can start making your applications. The Careers and Industry Liaison team provide advice on CVs and help with your job search strategy, even after you have left Ravensbourne.
Freelance and business advice
Practices and studios now regularly employ graduates on a short-term basis of 1, 3 or 6 months so that they are not considered full-time employees or fully employed.
RIBA produce advice on working in this way, salary survey and student contract info that could be useful when negotiating rates