How To Write The Architecture Cover Letter That Sets You Apart (with Example)
Must-Have Elements of an Architecture Cover Letter
There are two types of cover letters you can choose from. Either create a PDF file (which resembles the style of an actual letter), or write an email to the person it concerns (with your portfolio and resume attached).
Elements of a One-Page Cover Letter (PDF)
1. Your name and contact information
A good format:
- Your name
- Address line 1: Street number and name
- (Address line 2: Apartment/unit and its number)
- City, state and zip code – with a comma between city & state, but don’t include a comma before the zip code
- (Country – include this if you’re abroad compared to the recruiter)
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Link to your online portfolio
3. The hiring managers contact information
Same format as before, but you can leave out the phone number and email address.
You should address the letter to the company headquarters or the regional office where the recruiter works at.
Forget about “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”. Find out exactly whom you want to address in your letter and write their name in the greeting.
5. “Intro” paragraph
While the intro paragraph is to introduce yourself briefly (who would’ve thought?), it’s also a great chance to demonstrate your passion for the role.
6. “Hard sell” paragraph(s)
This section should explain why you are qualified for the job (without rephrasing your whole CV). Think of one, at most two experiences or skills that make you look the perfect candidate for the position. Also, it’s where you can sneak in a link to your portfolio and/or resume.
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7. “Action” paragraph
The action paragraph is where you express your determination, and your willingness to move forward in the hiring process.
“Sincerely,” is always a safe choice, but “Best wishes,” or “Best regards” are also applicable.
A lot of companies have Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) that requires you to upload everything to a website, that’s when a PDF cover letter is used.
Nowadays, most companies don’t specifically ask for a cover letter. However, if you send your application via email (or you apply unsolicited), it’s a good idea to use the email body for a cover letter.
Elements of an Email Cover Letter
1. Subject line
Your subject line should be professional, you should include your name and the position you’re applying for.
2. Salutation (see above)
3.“Intro” paragraph (see above)
4. “Hard sell” paragraph(s) (see above)
5. “Action” paragraph (see above)
6. Sign-off (see above)
7. Your contact information
Formatting Tips for Your Architecture Cover Letter
- Typeface: It should be conventional and easy to read. Don’t go overboard with fancy fonts as they can make you seem unprofessional and they might not get picked up by the ATS, which may frustrate the recruiter. A great idea is to use the same typeface as in your portfolio. It will give you a cohesive look in your application.
- Size: Keep your font size between 11 and 12 (bigger fonts look strange, and smaller fonts are hard to read).
- White space: Don’t be afraid of making enough space between paragraphs and sections. White space allows your reader’s eye to rest and, therefore, they can digest your content more easily.
- Length: The longer your architecture cover letter is, the less it will work. Fit everything in one page and write between 200 and 450 words.
File format tips:
- File format: If you are uploading your cover letter to the application site, make sure to send it as a PDF (instead of a JPEG or PNG). However, if you’re sending it as an email copy, pay attention to the proper email formatting (e.g. no need to include your address in the PDF).
- Title: Name your file that includes your name, the position and the year (e.g. Your_Name–Architectural_Designer–2022) or give a professional subject line.
- Proofread: Make sure you avoid any typos and grammatical errors by double checking everything you wrote and asking someone else to proofread.
- Be relevant: Talk about your experience that is actually applicable to the position. If they mention a must-have skill in the job description, highlight it in your cover letter.
- Make it skimmable: Relevant details should be easy to find. Accentuate your contact info and bold the parts most relevant to the recruiter (e.g. your skills or most fitting experience). Also, feel free to use bullet points and headings.
- Give examples: Instead of just stating what skills you have, why don’t you give an example? It’s a powerful way to demonstrate your value and people have an easier time recalling stories compared to facts.
In today’s competitive architectural industry, it’s not easy to stand out from the crowd. Be that as it may, your architecture cover letter can make a difference, thus it’s worth taking the time to perfect it.
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Architecture Cover Letter Example – in text format
Here’s the text version for the cover letter you saw in the beginning of our article. Feel free to use it as a template for yours.
2 New Boston Road
Amherst, NH 03031-1747
October 12, 2022
Sandra Jane Lynn
15 Eastern Avenue
Amherst, NH 03031-1954
As a New Hampshire-based architect with 4 years in the architectural industry, I was thrilled to see your opening for the role of Architectural Designer. This is a unique opportunity to continue my professional development and to bring my creativity, design, and teamwork skills to such a diverse and expanding firm.
As you can see from my portfolio I have been incorporating sustainable design principles in most of my architectural projects. For my Master of Architecture graduation project (Manchester Community College) I have experimented with a green water management system and biophilic design. Since my graduation I have also acquired my architecture license (04415).
Throughout the time in my previous position at XYZ Architecture Studio, I have been working closely with the Project Manager, the clients, and the vendors and I independently produced design solutions and communicated it to the whole project team.
All of my projects are close to my heart, but I am particularly proud to have contributed to the new social housing project in Nashua (which you can find here in my portfolio). I have participated in this project from concept through build assisting with the development of design and construction documents (including drawings, calculations, specifications and reports). During this project I have also developed deep knowledge of applicable codes and construction standards.
I believe I am a good fit for this position since I am familiar with direct client interaction and collaboration within a multidisciplinary team and environment. Also, I am an advanced user of AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Revit, and SketchUP.
I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you for an interview to discuss how I can transfer my experience, my keen eye for details, and my passion for green architecture to ABC Architects.
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