I thought i would do a post about writing covering letter. I’m not sure how important covering letters are to firms but its definitely worth investing some time to writing and designing one. The design is especially important when you have to print it out because when you apply by email the body of the mail is the covering letter and its kind of redundant to attach it as a pdf.
So the layout was done on indesign and I kept it really simple and clear. I’m not great at writing stuff, I never was and I had it proof read and spell checked since I would personally not give a job to anyone who had a spelling error in their covering letter since it just shows a lack of effort and attention to detail.
Have an outline of the content and follow a consistent format but I tried to change the content according to the individual practice. This one for example was for Heatherwick studios which I actually didn’t send across in the end as I already got a job offers but it makes references to to some of their projects and what I could offer them.
This approach won’t work if the idea is to apply to large number of practices. For example I applied to about 20 practices that I really liked in total so that was 20 different cover letters rather than one generic one. I’m not sure if the generic covering letter approach is superior or inferior but personally being really selective in applying to firms paid off in the end.
Another little detail was to add a digital signature which I created in Illustrator to all of my email and covering letters. And the other thing is not to be disheartened by the fact that you haven’t received any replies from firms but to keep trying.
It’s been a busy week and I haven’t found the time to buy myself some shampoo let alone post anything. I thought I would start of with my CV as this is one thing that you will send out to all your job applications. The portfolio is still the most important part of any job application and the CV should compliment it. Try to use the same approach so that it looks as if the same person designed both. Same text sizes, same font and recurring design elements. It’s worthwhile to look at several CVs on websites like Issuu and get an idea of whats out there.
The next thing to do is actually write down what your going to put into it as text and then try to organise it into sections and only then do you actually start adding your own design touches. I did my CV before I did my portfolio so this had an influence on the way I laid out my portfolio.
Its been a while since I’ve posted anything (months actually), the primary reason is that my computer just died and even the Germans couldn’t fix it. The reason it died is because of balsa wood dust getting into the system. Anyway I spent my time hunting for a Part 1 job and the good news is that I actually managed to snag one! The firm is in Shoreditch and its called Buckley Gray Yeoman and they’re a great firm and do check their website out, they’ve done some uber cool projects. It’s been my third day here and it’s been thoroughly enjoyable except for the UI shock of shifting to Macs. As a hard core PC user I find macs terribly clumsy and I just can’t get it to do what I want it to. Also I had to get trained in Vectorworks which again is so different from AutoCAD. I’ll talk more about this later. I’ll try to do more regular post on what I’m working on and also the continuation of my regular work (final portfolio and such). I’m also planning to do some posts on how I went about looking for a job and the kind of portfolios and CVs I created for that purpose. I had lots of help and support from friends and I hope I can provide some useful tips about the whole thing.
P.S The cider is on the table because it’s a Friday and everyone gathers around for a beer, not because I’m an alcoholic (though there is an ongoing debate about that)
zunftHAUS with Daria Vidisheva. The intersection of the two buildings is a guild house a communal space for gardeners and the mechanics. The resolution was done really quickly since we had very little time and its a project by itself.
Final Elevation. Finally done with school!!! Handed in my last assignment (a massive academic portfolio that covered the work of the past three years). This was an elevation showing the intersection of the two housing schemes.
Zunfthaus. This is the intersection where maschinengeHÄUS pierces through the fabric of the grüneHAUS to create a communal space for the mechanics and the horticulturists for recreation. We didn’t have much time to send too much time to design this space as we mostly concentrated on housing but it’s a design project on its own.
Symbiogenese. Two days of work and an isometric showing mine and Daria’s projects done. Because its A1 and I had so many layers the photoshop file was immense and the temporary file was an astonishing 60GB! I have no clue how my computer handled it! It took me ages to render to each and every circle and get the line drawings cleaned up and right but it explains the different components of the symbiotic relationship of maschinengeHÄUS and the grüneHAUS (and yes we love German). I’ll put links to Daria’s project once she decides to upload them and also a more detailed look at each component once I’m done with it.
Concept Diagram. Since the beginning of the project I’ve been struggling to represent the complexity of the project and how it works. There were so many components involved from the Bio-gas to the CHP plant and how the symbiotic relationship of the residences with the closed greenhouse and how the closed greenhouse generated power and the inputs involved…. anyway it was a nightmare to explain during the crit. I knew the key to explaining it was a diagram but how do I make a diagram look good, architectural and explain things at the same time? I had done a couple of separate diagrams before I realized I could combine them to a circular diagram (keeps with our theme) like the the carbon or nitrogen cycle. I decided not to provide too much detail but rather show the the basic exchanges of energy involved and how they link together. Took a lot of time, thinking and research to do this but beats writing lots of text to explain your idea and it kind of looks like a Ferris wheel.