Revisiting the Archaeology Resume/CV

Posted on April 23, 2012


By request I am revisiting some of my older posts on the archaeology resume/CV and updating what new things I have gone. {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)}

My first post looked at my attempt at a timeline resume/CV. Later, I also looked at some advice from Jennifer:

My own cv is fairly long (I think 13 pages), and I’ve struggled with chopping it down into a condensed resume through the years. I’ve been playing around with one interesting variation which really chops it down to the bone. As an example, many years of employment as a shovelbum at multiple firms might be listed as something along these lines:

1994-2007: Employed as an Archaeological Field Technician, Crew Chief and Field Supervisor at ABC Archaeology Company, Dirty Trowel Associates, Another STP, Inc., Where’s My Per Diem Co., Deep As Satan’s Hellhole Strata, Something in the Water Engineering, Mom and Pop Archaeology, Inc., and Hope I Get Paid On Time Assoc.

The argument could be made that in the short form resume no one cares how many months you worked at a particular company, and at a certain level of experience it’s not necessary to explain all of your skills (unless it’s something more technical or specialized). If you’ve worked for 10 years as a field tech, you should be expected to know how to use a compass, walk a transect and dig holes.

and a look at Chris Webster’s resume with graph (still one of my favorites). I have since done some work on my timeline resume/CV as the first version was way to cluttered and did not really work to well. First, I should say that with any archaeology resume/CV there are certain rules to follow:

  • Put what matters first! In the UK if you are looking for a digger job the first think you want to put is a DRIVERS LICENSE. If you want to be a project manager in the Western United States than you want to put your PERMITS. Find out what is the most important aspect of a job and put that first.
  • Somethings do not matter other than a checked box. For example, most jobs care that you have a degree but that is about it, a checked box. Do not put checked boxes first, put what gets you hired first BUT put the checked boxes in.
  • Make it short! Most people do not/will not read beyond a page or two, sometimes not even that.
  • Make sure your phone number/email is up to date.
  • Tailor, Tailor, Tailor, Tailor. Put the most relevant information into a resume/CV and leave out the rest or put it at the end as a list.
  • Which leads me to… you decide what is relevant. You tell a employer what a job means and what you did for it. I should say that not all jobs are the same. I was a field tech that also wrote up sections of the reports. Not common at most companies and so I should put that on a resume. A job title tells someone only so much about what you did, you need to tell them the rest.
  • Make it easy to read- not fancy fonts, no clutter, etc.


  • From Jim- put your highest degree. If you have a PhD it is safe to assume you went to high school, undergrad, etc. Save room and just put in one degree.

Taking all this into account here is my revised timeline resume/CV from my first post. This was for a job as a instructor (tutor in the UK)  for a continuing education course (so tailored).

I have cut down my timeline to only the last 2-2 1/2 years. I put in all my jobs so it does not look like I have gaps in employment but I only highlight those jobs that matter e.g. teaching experience for this particular job. I also list all my other jobs, while not to0 relevant it shows that I have worked before in a variety of jobs and have lots of experience. I put in a website in case someone wants to look up what I did. Will they probably not but if I get an interview they might. I also have a second page with education etc. for all those checked boxes but that is not in a time line. It is plain old lists, don’t want to go to overboard with a timeline.

Does anyone have any questions? Does this work in your opinion? It would be great to have some feed back.