We surveyed US hiring decision-makers to find out if cover letters are still necessary and if *you* need one to land a job in 2020. Here’s what we found.
There are only 133,900 architect jobs out there.
Over a million architects are fighting for those positions.
But the good ones—Gensler; AECOM; HDR—pay salaries as thick as waffle slabs.
Your architecture cover letter must connect you to the job like steel framing.
That’s the only way to land the interview. But—
It’s easier than it sounds.
In this article, you’ll get:
- Two architecture cover letter samples: for experienced architects and internships.
- The steps for how to write a cover letter for architecture that gets interviews.
- An architect cover letter template you can copy, adjust, and implement in less than 15 minutes.
Let’s break ground with two architecture cover letter examples:
1. Architecture Cover Letter Examples
She’s a talented, hard-working architect who cares about her work.
But—she can’t just tell that to the firm’s hiring team. She has to convince them that her passion for new materials fits with the firm’s. That works great, because she’s researched them and knows their needs and how they think.
See how Morgan designs the perfect architecture cover letter sample:
Example 1: Mid-Level Architecture Candidate
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3372 Philli Lane
Atlanta, GA 30303
Dear Mr. Niel,
As a Tusla-based architect with a passion for emerging technologies, I was thrilled to come across your ad for an architect position. I've long been a fan of your approach to research-based design through reading your blog. In fact my 2nd Place position in the Tomorrow's Challenges in Today's Buildings contest in 2018 came largely thanks to applying insights from your articles.
Your job posting says you're looking for an experienced architect who has designed multi-million dollar projects. You're interested in improving quality while lowering costs through new building materials and design strategies. I believe my 6+ years of achievements have prepared me for this role, including:
- Design. Designed and developed 25 architectural projects with budgets over $10M each.
- New technologies. Cut costs 30% through using new materials like hardwood cross-laminated timber and recycled insulation.
- Process improvement. Completed jobs with 15% less rework thanks to designing for better process flow.
I'd be happy to discuss AECOM's upcoming projects and share how my project management skills and passion for research can further invigorate your team.
Morgan Menetries, Architect
PS—I'd love to meet with you in person to explain how my track record of beating budgets by 2% to 10% can contribute to AECOM's success.
Nice work, Morgan!
But—what if you’re writing a cover letter for architecture internships?
It’s not hard.
Meet Robert, Morgan’s little brother.
He’s looking for an architecture internship. His dream? To get in at ground-level with a good firm.
He’s never held a “real” job, but his cover letter will soon fix that.
Check out his sample architecture cover letter:
Example #2: Architecture Internship Cover Letter Sample
3372 Philli Lane
Atlanta, GA 30303
Dear Mr. Niel,
It was exciting when my Master’s thesis examination team called me, "The most talented, hard-working young architect we’ve met in years." It was even more exciting when I saw your architect internship position advertised. It's the perfect fit for my new career.
I've been impressed with AECOM since I first started studying architecture six years ago. Your commitment to helping new hires grow into their jobs is inspiring, and fits with my achievements as an M. Arch student at California College of the Arts:
- New materials: Master’s thesis on new materials published in Design Observer.
- CAD design: Maintained 4.0 average in all CAD coursework and projects.
- Design research: Received Research Honor Award from AIAS for design research excellence.
I'd be glad to speak with you about AECOM's need for an architect intern, and share how my efficiency at CAD design can help your bottom line.
Robert Menetries, Architect
You’ve seen two architect cover letter samples that could get you in at HOK or ZGB.
It’s time to build your own.
We’re about to show you how to write the perfect cover letter. We’ll add examples you can copy, paste, and use.
Also, do you have an architecture resume? Your job search will collapse without the best one you can get. See this sample and guide: Architecture Resume Sample & Guide
1. How to Write a Cover Letter for Architecture Jobs Step by Step (Template)
Here’s how to write a cover letter for architecture positions:
1. Use the Right Architecture Cover Letter Format
Your cover letter underpins your architecture job search.
HR teams get hundreds of applications per month, but only interview a few.
How can your architect cover letter rise above the rest?
Start with a foundation of good cover letter formatting.
Here’s how to format an architecture cover letter template:
- Left-align all the parts of your cover letter.
- Single-space your letter with 1-inch margins on all sides.
- Choose the right cover letter font. Match it to your architecture resume font.
- Make your cover letter for architecture a single page or less.
Expert Hint: One study from ACTE found interpersonal skills are key for architects. Show evidence of interpersonal skills in your resume and cover letter for architect jobs.
2. Put the Right Contact Information in Your Cover Letter Header
Your architecture cover letter is like a building, and the heading is the lobby. It’s the first thing employers see.
To do it right—
Format your architect cover letter like a business letter. Start with your info and the date. Then add the recipient’s name, title, and contact details.
Do it like this template:
Architecture Cover Letter Example Template
[Hiring Manager’s Full Name]
[City, State, Zip]
To make it easy for employers to identify you, use the same header on your cover letter and resume.
The portfolio is the most important part of your application, and the resume nearly as important as the portfolio. In the design industry, we want to know who you are and what your talents are. Keep your cover letter short and be careful it doesn’t come off too ‘salesy.’
3. Introduce Yourself and Reference the Position You’re Applying To
Frank Lloyd Wright matched architectural designs to the surrounding landscape.
The same way, your architecture cover letter has to match your application to the job.
Start with the hiring manager’s name. Find it on the company website, on LinkedIn, or by phoning the receptionist.
Write the first paragraph of your architect cover letter. In it, introduce yourself and mention the job you’re applying for.
A great way to do this is to cite your biggest architectural accomplishment. Make sure it fits the job opening. If the firm likes emerging materials and you’ve used those to great effect—there’s your opener.
Here’s an example:
Architecture Cover Letter Sample: Intro Statement
Dear [Manager’s Name]:
As a [your city]-based architect with a passion for [specific skill they need], I was thrilled to come across your ad for a [specific architecture job position]. I've long been a fan of [specific fact about the company you love]. That’s why I think my [big architectural achievement that fits their needs] makes me a good fit for [company name]’s architect job opening.
Expert Hint: New technologies like VR, AR, 3D printing, and big data can help architects be more productive. Likewise enhanced materials and off-site construction. If you’re tapped into new tech or methods, mention it in your architect cover letter.
4. Cite Relevant Architecture Achievements & Skills
As an architect, you know requirements-gathering is crucial.
The same is true for architecture cover letters.
Learn the employer’s specifications before you start.
For your second paragraph—
Go back to the architect job description. Find the job requirements, then show how your past achievements fit you to the job like piles in bedrock.
Example Cover Letter for Architecture: Middle Paragraph
Your job posting says you're looking for an experienced architect who has [specific skill or requirement]. You're interested in [specific company goals]. I believe my [number of years] of achievements at [your previous company name] have prepared me for this role, including:
- [Skill #1]. [Achievement #1]
- [Skill #2]. [Achievement #2]
- [Skill #3]. [Achievement #3]
Expert Hint: A study in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found networking is vital to new careers. Especially for entry-level applicants, build networks by joining architecture associations and online groups. AIA and AIAS are good places to start.
5. Ask for the Interview
You're ready for the finish work.
Before you send your application—
Put a strong ending on your cover letter.
Ask for a call or interview. Reiterate your value.
Here’s a sample architecture cover letter closing:
Sample Cover Letter for Architecture Jobs: Call to Action & Closing
I'd be happy to discuss [company name]’s upcoming projects and share how my project [specific skills] can further invigorate your team.
Remember these steps when writing a cover letter for architecture jobs:
- Format architecture cover letters before you start writing.
- Address your letter to the hiring manager.
- Introduce yourself and mention the architecture position you’re applying to. Then reference your skills and background.
- Use the architecture job description as your blueprint. In your middle paragraph, show why you’re a fit.
- Finish with a call-to-action.
Do you have questions about writing architect cover letters? Need more cover letter samples for architecture jobs? Let’s chat below in the comments section. Thank you for reading!