Portfolio Counsel

How To: Write a CV That Works

Published on: 02-01-2015

Adrem’s Directors of Architectural Recruitment, Keiron Najada and Ian Whitear have worked with our Director of Interior Design Recruitment, Deborah D’Silva, to bring you an expert guide on writing a successful CV for Architects, Interior Designers and Design Professionals in general.



At the point of application, your CV, along with your Design Portfolio is your one shot to show employers what you are capable of.  Not taking your time to perfect the CV and Folio can be highly detrimental.

We recommend that you follow this simple guide to creating a Design CV that works:

  • You should profile yourself at the top of the CV. This should be one succinct paragraph so, after reading, the prospective employer should understand what your speciality is (Architectural Technician, Part II Architect etc) as well as your future goals and ambitions.  Do not oversell yourself.
  • Start with your current job, then work backwards and do not overly elaborate details of very old jobs (over 6+ years). Include company name, location, dates and a brief description of your responsibilities. You should aim to make a Design focused CV no longer than 2-3 pages. If applicable, we’d recommend that you include project details, such as values and size– especially if you have worked on large scale Architectural or Interior Design projects.
  • Make it clear with well structured formatting. Most employers will scan CVs in about 20-40 seconds, so the easier it is for them to pick out key information the better. Bullet points work extremely well at conveying the utilisation of large skill-set’s and responsibilities.
  • Do not add a photo of yourself.
  • If you would like to add images of work on your CV, they must be clear and polished and from professional architectural or interior design work (not college projects). Only add images if you feel they add value to your CV, but we’d recommend you save images and artwork for a folio. If you do include images, take the time to add a descriptive caption.
  • You only need to include University degree or further higher education qualifications. Include the University name, the nature of the degree and grade achieved, as well as dates attended.  Do not forget to mention any awards or major achievements. That will add weight to your qualifications.
  • State that you can provide references on request – do not put contact details of previous employers as it is not necessary at this point.
  • Computer skills and software should be put at the end of the CV and the education at the beginning. State clearly what software you use – do not add any if you are not proficient.
  • Do not use any other colour than black for your text and keep the typeface simple.
  • Do not add hobbies/interests for the sake of it. These may be of interest during an interview but it will not help you get the interview!
  • Make sure your CV is a reasonable file size. We recommend optimised PDF format.

The most successful CV’s enable the hiring manager to understand exactly what skills and experience you have to offer and the value you can offer an organisation. In today’s economic climate, employers are not likely to employ candidates that do not have exactly the right skill-set, so make sure you focus your CV on a particular role and the skills required and try to mention your core skills through out the CV.