Reinveting the Archaeology CV/Resume

Posted on August 13, 2011


A more updated post on resumes can be found here

Archaeologists is unlike any other job in the world, yet we continue to use the same CV/resume template as ever other profession. {Note- resume is a North American term for a 2 page summary of your experience while a CV is a list, many pages long, of all your experiences. While in the UK a CV is pretty much the same as a resume, 2 page summary. I am discussing resume(NA)/CV(UK)}

I find it odd that we present our lives in the same manner as an accountant yet there is profound difference between what we do. Furthermore, the job conditions in archaeology have profoundly changed in the last few years. Post-Oct. 2008 job postings for archaeology follow this pattern on the list-serv shovebums: first email- hi, we need 1, 4, ..6 etc. archaeologists for … please send resume to …. . Second email about 1 day later– we have received 100, 150, 250 resumes in the last few hrs. job is close please stop sending resumes.

Entry level archaeology jobs are facing fierce competition for every single position. The mathematics of this situation is scary. With 250 resumes to review even at 1 min. per resume that is 4 hours of looking through resumes/CVs,

This means you have to convey lots of information in only a min. or two, capture the attention of the employer who might have just spent 3 1/2 hours looking at resumes/CVs , and at the same time focusing on the unique skills needed to be an archaeologists. Unfortunately, I don’t see many traditional CV/resumes accomplishing these tasks.

Here is my crack at it when applying for a community education archaeology job.

Tailoring to archaeology: I have actually moved my education to the second page, against every other opinion you will see on CVs/resumes. Why? because in 98% jobs, excluding academic, in archaeology really do not care too much where you got your degree beyond that you have one from a real university, especially in commercial archaeology.   If it is only a check-box then put it to the back. Next, I put that fact that I can drive above my degrees. This is because in the UK  commercial archaeology having a drivers license counts more than having a degree.  This is not a commercial job but it does mention travel which means the same emphasis on driving.

Standing Out and Compact information: Combined these two by creating a time line of my work experience. I visually compacted ten years of work experience into one page in a way that was going to make my CV stand out.

Improvements: I am not totally happy with how the timeline turned out as I created it using excel. I would like it to look a lot better than what it does but it is a good first attempt. I plan an experimenting a lot more with my CV in the coming months so look out for some more ideas. Please feel free to comment or post suggestions.

1st page example CV Doug RM

1st page example CV Doug RM

2nd page example CV Doug RM

2nd page example CV Doug RM