AutoCAD construction drawings in portfolio?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION AutoCAD construction drawings in portfolio?

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    Hey guys, I acquired a lot of AutoCAD experience and construction drawing experience over my 8 month internship last semester and summer, and am thinking I should include a small selection of that in my portfolio. 

    1. What is the best way to incorporate “boring” technical CAD drawings into a portfolio?  I currently have snippets of 4 drawings on one page, bounded by rectangular borders to visually separate them. Two are details I drew, two are layout pages.  
    2. Is including “unpretty” technical drawings in a portfolio even a good idea?  
    Any other tips you have would be awesome!!

    I am curious about everyone else’s response to this. First of all, who is your portfolio aimed at? Schools, or potential employers? I currently also have a few construction details in my portfolio. I have restricted them to one page and I find most people just use it as recognition that you can do construction documents. These showcase what you did at your internship and will most likely be what a large part of your job will entail. I would include them for potential employers.

    Jason T. Radice

    Yes, include them by all means. And it sounds like you have them formatted nicely. It is crucial to some employers that you have demonstrated techinical drawing ability. I carry a set of ledger-sized CDs for one of my more complex projects to illustrate this point, and I’m a well seasoned practitioner.

    Rick Kingsbury

    Absolutely include CD’s. You will likely be doing CD’s when you start out.

    Tosh K

    I’ve had numerous firms ask for work samples of professional work including CAD details. I usually limit a CAD layout to a couple of nice plans and complex/in-depth/non-standard details (ones that look nice with thought out line weights).

    1. A few pages of the drawings with images of built/rendered images helps convey and understanding of the relationship between drawings and constructed result.

    2. It’s critical these days to show that you can get billable CD related wok done, I’ve heard some firms actually will have you do a “quiz” on the computer (drawing a sketch into CAD with layers, etc) – though this seems to have stayed more in the architecture practices. Having a separate “booklet” of a full drawing set is nice to show in addition to a portfolio – they can see the layouts, how well the sheets are coordinated as well as how much responsibility you have had.

    Taking the extra effort to do clean details with fine-tuned line weights have helped me during interviews: “it’s nice to see a designers intent and look in construction drawings, while maintaining clarity” is a comment I’ve gotten that leads to a deeper interview.


    Hi guys, thanks for the responses! Brittany to answer your question it’s going to be geared towards employers.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    If it is electronic and you can shuffle and re-form it easily (edit), customize it for the position that you are going for. If there is a job description, balance the content toward that job description, but include a little of everything else. If there is no job description, look at the company web page and try to weight it toward what they do.

    My belief is that in an economy that limits how much staff a firm can have, a candidate with a broad range of skills is stronger than an expert in a narrower skill set. This is simply because sometimes you can’t fill 40 hours with specialized work and you can’t afford to hire two different people to do two different jobs neither of which fills 40 hours.


    On that note, what’s your opinion of online portfolio sites? I was thinking sending a pdf (which can be fairly easily edited) and sending a link to an online portfolio would be the most convenient way for employers to view my work.

    Jason T. Radice

    I have a website, I put the address in the closing of my cover letters as well as in my letterhead and invite if the person who is hiring to look at it, as an option. I have more projects on the website. To that end, you WILL NEED a work sample package you can send them besides the online portfolio. Employers need some physical samples with the resume, even if online. I actually have a PDF marketing slick I did in InDesign that I send both as a hard copy as well as a PDF, depending on the application method. It is also downloadable on my website. I was surprised to see on interviews how many people had printed the slick off for their file.

    If you make it difficult to see your work, by making THEM take the extra step of typing in your web address and navigating through your online portfolio, or even a portfolio on disc, it simply will not be looked at and you will not be considered. Employers have very little time, given the amount of applications they wade through, to make a decsion to look into hiring you, you want to make that decision as easy as possible.

    Simple resume, simple cover letter, simple but attractive portfolio/work samples. Lots of “white space” on the pages and no funny colors or odd/cute illustrations. Strictly business!

    Good luck. I’m in that boat, too. But at least I get interviews from time to time.

    Wes Arola, RLA

    aka thats all you will be doing when you start out. AutoCAD – include them.

    If you have a half size set of a drawing package you worked on bring that along aside from your portfolio

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Any detail that you have which addresses a unique situation should have the plan view showing that this is not just a typical cut and paste detail drawing. Anytime you can demonstrate knowledge as well as a drawing skill the opportunity should not be missed. Face it, any landscape architect student ought to know how to draft a detail, but not all can design one. When someone looks at any portfolio they see what is drawn. If you can make them see that you had a thought process that resulted in that drawing, you are showing them more than those who just showed that they drew something.


    Why don’t you upload what you have and how you would present it so we can comment on it…That would help me see how you envision what you have and want to present…

    I can then make more of realistic commentary and/or critique…

    Look forward to seeing your work and how you would present it!

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