Archaeology CVs / Resumes for New Archaeologists (and the old too)

Posted on February 26, 2013


Occasionally, I post some advice on how to write a CV for archaeology jobs. Well, just a few days ago Chiz posted an article he wrote in 2010 about archaeology CVs (British CV e.g. same as North American Resume):

Traditionally-formatted CVs look great and they work well for traditional industries, but for archaeological jobs the emphasis needs to be slightly different. In today’s tough economic times there may be several hundred respondents to each advert, and the CVs all have to pass through the hands of someone who has a quota to fill and not a lot of time to fill it. They have to make a quick decision about each CV and get that pile down to the few who will get a reread and hopefully a phone call. In reality you may have as little as 30 seconds to make sure your CV stays on the table and doesn’t go straight into the bin -which is where the vast majority will go. So how do you make your CV escape the ‘Reject’ pile, and get into that pile of ‘Possibles’ which will get a more in-depth read?

He gives lots of practical advice for putting together a CV to work in UK archaeology:

So what needs to go on your CV? And how long should it be? Well the standard view is two sides of A4, with the ‘good stuff’ on the first page. It’s not a lot of room so think what you need to prioritise. You are more likely to get a job due to a valid CSCS card, full clean driving licence and your own car than with a first class degree, so industry tickets should be given pride of place on the CV: state that you have a CSCS/EUSR card, that you have experience driving minibuses/4WD and that you hold a First Aid at Work (FAAW) ticket. Say that you have your own car in your covering letter, it does make a difference: employers want staff who are flexible and can get to the office on time for those early starts. They really don’t mind paying for you to do a CSCS test, but they do mind not being able to get you onto that site immediately because you don’t have one now.  It is always worth trying to get a FAAW ticket through a university club or a voluntary group, and you could consider paying for a CSCS test yourself. If you are a foreign national then clearly state that you have a work permit.

Chiz has over a decade of experience as a Project Officer and has seen his fair share of CVs so listen and learn from one of the best.