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Bespoke Careers

24 January 2018

24 January 2018

"Constant learning" - Mat Cash, Heatherwick

What Employers Want - World Architecture Festival, Berlin 2017

Filmed by Bespoke Careers at the 2017 World Architecture Festival in Berlin, Mat Cash, Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio, tells us more about what makes a CV stand out, the importance showing your passion for design and shares his advice to those just starting out in the architecture career.

What CV advice would you give a candidate?

I think it’s about clarity. It’s about not making any mistakes on your CV - a CV is your singular moment to communicate to the studio, you as a character and as a personality, so you need to be very careful how you set that out – in terms of the graphics, the information you put on it. But do make sure there are no silly spelling mistakes, because a little mistake can make us question your rigour. 

What makes a CV stand out? 

It’s really about judicious editing. We sometimes get incredibly large CVs, and all sorts of different types, and I think it’s about editing your own work to the singular images, diagrams or sketches that communicate your skills as clearly as possible. Be quite self-critical on the information, it’s not about throwing everything in. It’s about editing it all down whilst making as big an impact as you can. We receive a lot of CVs, so something that is really precisely edited down, graphically beautifully presented, and rigorous would stand out. 

What type of portfolio do you prefer to receive? 

We’re fairly relaxed. People are using digital more and more which makes a lot of sense, it’s cheaper for the candidate not to print out and it means you can have animations that improve the conversation about a candidate’s skills and the work they have done. So personally I think digital is quite good, it also allows us to share it with the other members of the studio who work across the recruitment board and talk about a candidate’s merits more easily. 

What makes a good first impression? 

I think it’s about showing a passion for design, and a real enthusiasm for what they may be doing and also an enthusiasm for the studio’s work. If you are applying to join us, I would expect and hope that you know a lot of what we do, and that you’re curious to find out more. That’s the point of the interview in a way. I also think clarity of communication, to be able to articulate a design idea really clearly and succinctly, is highly prized. 

What questions should people ask?

I would expect people to be very curious about how we work, how our design process works in the studio, how the teams might be organised, how crits are formed, what a normal day might be like, those kinds of questions. A real curiosity where they are imagining themselves in the studio, and what they would be doing, it’s very simple things like that I would expect from people serious about joining the team. 

If you could offer one piece of advice what would it be? 

As a reminder to myself, as a designer, you are never finished. It’s always constant improving, constant experiences, constant learning - never forget that.  

What is your design ethos in three words? 

Inventive, surprising, rigorous. 

How would you describe your office culture? 

Open, honest and collegiate.  

Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers

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