Thursday, May 21, 2009

Craigslist Ad of the Week

Title: Project Architect: Public and Design Excellence projects
When: 2009-05-18
Who: Robert Siegel Architects

We are looking for talented and passionate architects who are excited about making buildings and working outside their comfort zone towards innovation in architecture. Hard work and dedication, combined with inspiration and drawing ability, is one thing that all staff members share. You must have truly excellent written and oral communication skills.

Cover Letter with Salary History:

Send us a brief, signed cover letter specific to Robert Siegel Architects that states why it makes sense to hire you. Graphic presentation is key. This is your first impression and demonstrates your ability as a designer. Use care in selecting the paper, the font, and the organization of text on the page.

One-Page Resume:

People who have stayed at a firm for 4-5 years are very attractive. We are looking for great experience and commitment. Limit your resume to one page only.

Your Work Samples:

Show us only your best stuff and the work you are most passionate about. You should showcase your abilities - whether it is a sketch, a floor plan, a construction detail, wall section, spec section, watercolor, etc. So long as it is your work, we are interested in seeing it. Please do not show renderings made by others. Submitting renderings other than your own will lead to automatic rejection.


After making it through the first resume review process, we give selected promising candidates a graphic test in our office. The goals of this 20 minute test are:

  1. Drawing ability using a pencil. This is a tool that architects use to communicate. In our office we are always drawing and sketching freehand.
  2. Passion for architecture and analytical ability. There is a portion of the test in which you have to draw a plan and a section or elevation of any piece of architecture. Amazingly, either history is no longer taught or the relevance of our architectural past is not integrated into design curricula since most people fail this portion catastrophically.
  3. Basic design ability. This is a classic "Architecture 101" test to measure spatial design ability.
Personal Interview:

You will be asked to present highlights of your work and a detail or two. Move quickly and ask questions. Let the person conducting the interview hold the portfolio and turn at their own pace. You must demonstrate your ability to edit and to be concise. Do not be late: Make sure that you are on time and are dressed as if you were meeting with a valued client.

Professional References:

You should have outstanding professional references that are able to talk about your specific strengths and abilities. Please have these ready to give at the conclusion of a personal interview.


Are you a talented architect with 5 to 10 years experience? Do you enjoy working rigorously on exciting design projects for demanding clients? Do you love to draw, make models, and visit construction sites?

Would you like to work on projects ranging in size from $500,000 to $150 million in construction value? Are you energized by the idea of working with outstanding public clients including the United States General Services Administration and the New York State University Construction Fund? Do you enjoy working with private companies and high-end private residential clients?

Robert Siegel Architects focuses on architectural innovation, every day, for every client. Our staff is an energetic and talented group drawn from all over the world with a passion for architecture and expertise in design, technology, urban and graphic design. We offer a great working environment, a comprehensive benefits package and competitive salaries.

If you would like to be part of our growth and are interested in contributing to the creative process at a design, detail and management level, we would like to see your work. For consideration please mail (no emails, please) the following:

  1. Cover Letter with salary history
  2. Resume
  3. Work Samples that demonstrate your design and technical ability
Please send to:

Robert Siegel Architects
Attn: Suzann Wolfe
37 West 37th Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10018


Comments: Oh, where to begin with this one. I can't tell if it's a job posting or advice for job seekers. It seems odd that a firm looking to hire would talk about using "care in selecting the paper, the font, and the organization of text on the page." It sounds controlling as well as very, very particular. What's probably most unique about Robert Siegel Architects is the test they administer, the first step in their three-step process towards being hired. Many architects might not be willing to put up with such a process, but today I'm guessing many won't think twice about it. But what's most interesting about these Siegel ads is the number of them, as they pop up on Craigslist regularly--for at least half a year now--as well as on other job boards. This makes me think Siegel isn't really hiring to fill a position, that they are shopping around for the best and brightest. This is speculation, and if correct it's their prerogative, but nevertheless it's mildly unsettling, as if the current state of the profession is an opportunity to mine talent towards hiring, maybe, at a future date. But, like I said, this is speculation.