Topic ID #28754 - posted 5/14/2013 12:32 AM

In Desperate need of help with job searches


Hello All,
I am in very much need of help,I have been looking high and low and everyone in between for any type of archaeological job or internship that would then possibly lead into a full time job and career. I have been applying for any and all positions that I can find and think of. I have applied at the Smithsonian National American History Museum, but was not accepted for some reason. I have gone to the website USA Jobs and applied to several positions, but keep on being told that I don't either have enough experience or don't met their requirements. I am very desperate right now to be able to find a position in which I can finally start to apply the knowledge and experience I got while getting my Bachelors degree in Anthropology. I am willing to go anywhere there is an open spot either in an internship program or post in an archaeological job. I am willing to start out in an entry position if it means that I can start to earn that much needed work and field experience. All I am looking for is a job in which I can be given a shot to learn all the skills and knowledge that I will need to jump start my career as an archaeologist. I know there are jobs that say entry level but when I apply I am told that I don't have enough experience, and so I am very confused as to how am I supposed to earn that experience without being able to get into a position. I know I could volunteer at some local archaeological dig or position but the only problem is that I have student loans that I need to be able to pay, sorry if I came off rude with that statement, but I am so very frustrated with every time I try out for a job or internship program I feel like the doors into those jobs and programs keeps on getting slammed in my face and that I will never be able to become an archaeologists and that all those years getting my degree were for nothing. I am sorry for the very lost post everyone and I am grateful for the time you took to read it and I truly hope you will be able to help me out.

Post ID#20165 - replied 5/14/2013 4:35 AM


I don't know what to tell you.

I am in a similar boat, but I have 12 years of experience and a Master's degree.  I have been unemployed for 6 months now and getting turned down for entry level positions.  In my 12 years, I have never been able to make it into the Federal system.  My applications make it through to the selecting official, but usually lose out to a veteran or some other special class of applicant.

My only advice (and it isn't working for me right now) is to send out CVs/resume to every CRM company you can think of.  Even if they don't have a post up.

My real advice, however, (and this will come off poorly) is don't be an archaeologist.  Be something else that makes money and volunteer at sites to get your archaeology fix.  I always wished someone had warned me....  

Post ID#20166 - replied 5/14/2013 4:57 AM


Welcome!  I like to compare it to fishing.  Keep tweaking your resemue and contact the places you submit them to.  I have told other students about to graduate to join your local society and be as active as you can in it.  Its usually a good laid back way to meet other archaeologists and talk about what they are working on, might even land a small job.  I really wouldnt hold my breath over USAjobs but you never know.  That system seems really slanted sometimes.  If you do apply there, format your resume EXACTLY how they tell you to organize it and put in all of the key words that they are looking for.

I have a research fellowship/"internship" with ORISE at the moment, but it is only going to last till the end of the year.  Like everyone else, I haven't had luck landing a permanent job either, just have to keep trying.

Post ID#20172 - replied 5/14/2013 7:14 AM


I'll echo what was said above...

IMHO, I think your biggest hurdle is applying to such large organizations that likely have some kind of objective, point based hiring system.  The process is so impersonal that it's incredibly difficult to break into them, or sell yourself when you don't necessarily have check-the-box type experience.  I hit the same brickwall back in the 90s and essentially gave up (I also had veteran points).

My advice would be to get a copy of your SHPO's consultant list and try to make personal contact with as many firms as possible.  Email your resume, make phone calls, and follow up, especially to reasonably local CRM firms.

In the meantime, join your state (and neighboring states) archaeological society and attend the annual meeting.  If possible, give a presentation or put together a poster.  At the very least, ask questions, shake hands, and build up relationships with the presenters.  Also, don't be afraid to go back and talk to your professors -- Many of them at some point in their careers have likely have been sub'ed out work or have colleagues working in CRM.

Post ID#20181 - replied 5/19/2013 1:47 PM


I feel you Capwill and hope the advice I offer you, or any aspiring archaeologist in your position, is worth something. Were you applying for seasonal positions for the Forest Service, NPS, or BLM? If they said you need more experience and your goal is to get a federal job (seasonal, I assume), then I definitely suggest you volunteer on a project for the Forest Service program called Passport in Time:

It's a short commitment, you can add the experience to your resume/CV, and probably most importantly, it's your chance to show the Forest Service archaeologists you will be working with that you're a good worker. This might help you land a seasonal position the following year or at the very least, provide you with a nice reference you can put on your resume/CV.

Another place to try is the Student Conservation Association if you're 18-25 yrs old:
They have internships and the commitments are a bit longer (3 months to a year). Most of the archaeology internships are located in NPS or Forest Service sites so again, this is an opportunity to gain more fieldwork and show people who hire seasonals/permanent staff that you'd be a great future employee. The initial cost to apply is like $25 but it's a one time cost and you can apply to as many internships as there are available. There's no hourly pay but you do get housing covered, a weekly stipend for food/gas, and if available, an AmeriCorps award (minimally will come out to $1000) that you can apply towards your loans when you complete the internship. You might even be able to defer your loans during the internship if you receive an AmeriCorps award. I also know people who have applied for food stamps during their internship to help with costs.

Volunteering/interning is an investment but it will help you build your experience and your network. Also, I definitely agree with other people's advice: improve your resume (have a professional archaeologist critique it), join your local archaeological society to expand your contacts/get wind of volunteer or paid opportunities, and send your resume to a bunch of local CRM firms to see if any of them need field techs. I think, however, the biggest issue you have to tackle is lack of experience.

Post ID#20182 - replied 5/20/2013 9:45 AM


Have you tried to find a job in the private sector? You may be spinning your wheels looking for a fed or state job.

Post ID#20185 - replied 5/20/2013 8:00 PM


AN gives some invaluable advice to anyone looking to get a Fed job. The SCA and other similar programs act as feeders into the Fed system; you gain experience working on federal lands, doing things the way they want you to do, and you end up with federal employees as references-which is extremely important.

Some more advice Capwill73, and anyone else in the same boat: if you are just starting out apply to any and all lower grade positions. If you think you qualify for a 9, apply for a 7. If you think you are over qualified for a GS 4 because you have a degree there are plenty of people who think otherwise, such as those who get the job and the people who hire them. Its all about getting your foot in the door and letting agencies know you really want to work for the government. There are tons of folks with a masters starting out as a GS 5, and those with a PhD starting out as a 9. And do not be picky about location, if a location is a shitty place to work/live others will think the same way as well-meaning much less competition for you.

Post ID#20186 - replied 5/21/2013 9:30 AM


Agreed, I applied for a museum position a while back with NYS. Heard from a friend that they had 200 applicants for 2 spots, with a broad range of people with years and years of experience. Sometimes they already have people in mind, so the posting of the job can be a formality at times. I have had more success with talking to friends about jobs, and cold calling/emailing/mailing for opportunities. No archaeology for me right now though, maybe later in the summer.

Post ID#20201 - replied 5/27/2013 1:04 PM


The federal HR system is designed to have you do most of the pre-selection work for them.  Don't spoil your chances of even making it through the first automated round by being too self critical.  Polish/Embellish your experience and then be prepared to back it up if you get the interview.  Hordes of completely unqualified people make it through this first process by LYING and answering yes/perfect to everything.  On the other hand, qualified people who are a little "too honest" about their experience find that time after time the duty location never sees their name.  The ball can't get caught in the net if it falls short.

From what I have seen personally and heard from professionals in other agencies is that while hundreds may apply to one position less than 10 percent are actually qualified and of that 10 percent only half might make it through the first round because of how they answered the questionnaire.  What actually hits the desk of the duty location manager (lets just say 10 percent) may be half crap, but they have to work with what comes through the system.  The pre-screening done by the HR people who don't know a thing about what is needed from an archaeological professional at any level has always been a true hindrance to the good people who want to join the public service.So while it is definitely good to be active and get active and get your name out there, I doesn't make a difference if they never see it.  

I tried and tried to get in to the federal system since before I graduated, all the while taking CRM work farther and farther from home (although I turned away many a project with unacceptable conditions/pay and let them know why), I finally made it in.  I have always heard that one must take a temp/term position (likely in a location you may not love) to get a foothold on a permanent one, and I hope that it's true.

My advise is don't sell yourself short (but don't outright lie).  I know it is hard to be patient, but good luck to all!       

Post ID#20216 - replied 6/12/2013 6:42 PM


If you are single and don't have a family or mortgage, you are free to take any job you think will further your career. I can tell you exactly how to get a job:

1) Be willing to go ANYWHERE- No job location is too horrible for someone that has no job. Just make sure they're paying you.

2) Change your mindset. The government may be a good job for some, but most of us will never work for the Feds. You need to think about how you can provide value to your employer (i.e. save or make them $). You say you have no experience or anything else to give. That's not true. Your mind, body, and tenacity is all you need. College shows you can obey and follow direction. That should mean you won't mess things up, which equals money saved. Think about what you have to offer and stress that.

3) Decide what town/state you want to work in- This will allow you to target companies, agencies, non-profits, and people you want to work with. You need to be able to target the principal investigators, hiring managers, archaeologists, HR people, other techs ect. that can either give you info on upcoming projects or get you in contact with the people with the power to hire you.

4) Try friendraising instead of networking- Build relationships with the folks you want to work with. I know you need a job, but try your hardest to take an interest in other people's careers by reading their reports, articles, and learning about projects that they've done. Join LinkedIn groups and ask questions (not just "does anyone know where I can find a job?"). Look for archaeologists that work in your target area. Learn about them. Ask people you know about specific companies or archaeologists. Then, email these archaeologists and ask them honest questions about their work. Be sincere. Seek to learn more about the industry. Say you're an aspiring archaeo that wants to learn about a given project, or area, or the trade in general. Once you've established rapport with several archaeologists that work in your target area, start asking if they know of any projects that are going down. Ask if you can name drop when you ask for a job. Take your time. Networking doesn't happen overnight.

5) Go to the top- Once you've established a relationship with several archaeologists in your area and heard about a future project, figure out who the hiring manager or principal investigator is going to be. Then, research that individual/company extensively and establish contact with them the same way as you did with the others. Make sure you're really careful about this because the PIs are always busy and have no time for nonsense. Don't waste time with an email. Write a killer resume and cover letter that specifically addresses why you're the best person for their upcoming work. Mail this letter directly to their office or drop it off in person.

Follow up the letter with a call (you should actually say in the cover letter that you're going to call them on a given day at a specific time to show you're serious. This way they'll either call you back and tell you to buzz off or schedule another time to talk). Tell the PI you heard they've got some upcoming work from so-and-so and you're exactly the person they/ their company is looking for. Since you don't have experience, talk up your connections and what you've been conversing with them about. Tell them what you know about the local archaeology scene (what companies are working on what projects, what they're finding, if they have anything coming up, ect). Demonstrate you're keyed into the local market and are serious about being an archaeologist. If they don't say they're going to hire you, ask if they know of anything else that's going down. If they do, ask if you can say they referred you.

6) Go from specific to general- If nothing's going down in your target area, expand the target or add a few other target areas. Keep adding to your network and keep friendraising.

7) Treat finding a job like it's your job- Work your ass off to find a job. Work at it 40 hours a week. Spend all the time you can learning about networking, sales, and resume-writing. Orient all this information towards your job search. Don't just send in an application and wait.

Every archaeologist started off in your position. I worked as a janitor for 7 months AFTER I completed my Masters. During that time I studied every resume-writing and networking book in the local university library. One day, after numerous phone interviews and conversations, I got three job offers in a single day-- including a Fed job offer. Master the art of finding a job and you won't be unemployed ever again.

PS Don't listen to any negative advice. CRM is a billion-dollar industry that is practiced in ever single state. It is built on the backbone of field techs. There is always room for a good archaeologist in this industry, but nobody will give you anything. By the time companies post an opening, you're too late. Get the job BEFORE its posted.

Post ID#20220 - replied 6/14/2013 10:27 AM


Okay, CapWill73, here is some advice from somebody on the hiring end.  I run an office for a CRM firm, and I have worked in this role for a number of firms over the past 28 years.  The game has changed in the past few years, and the old rules (get an entry level job, work hard, and move up) do not necessarily apply any more.  Being a good archaeologist and hard worker are not always sufficient.  Because of the economic slow-down, there is a large pool of well-qualified, well-experienced technicians out there.  Employers can be choosy, and it is difficult for a new graduate to break in.

Here are some hints:

1.  Work your network.  Archaeology is still a good-old-boy/good-old-girl network.  Start with your professors and work out from there.  I am more likely to hire somebody if I know their references.  Early on in your career, put a lot of names on your resume.   Don't just include the PI, but also the Field Director and Crew Chief.  The more names, the more likely a potential employer will recognize somebody.

2.  Be a pest, in a nice way.  Once you have a resume in with a firm, check back at least every two weeks (unless they tell you to stop).  If you are local, stop by the offices every week or two.  The CRM business can be very unpredictable.  If I am building a crew in a hurry, and if you just happen to call at that moment, I might take a chance on you, simply to make my life easier.  I also like to see the earnestness of desire that is reflected by a continued effort to get hired.

3.  Don't be choosy.  In the past, a technician could be selective about for whom they worked.  All technicians would like to only work jobs with Wage Determinations over $25/hour.  That selectivity is a luxury that new graduates cannot afford at this juncture.  It is more important now to build your resume and get your foot in the door.  You may end up working for crappy firms for a few projects, but you have to keep an eye on the broader goal of building a resume.

4.  Distinguish your resume.  I also like to see that somebody is serious about improving.  To use a recent example, if I am looking for folks to work a battlefield project, the first place I am going to look is the list of recent graduates from Advanced Metal Detecting for the Archaeologist.  If I see this course or other continuing education courses on your resume, it speaks of your seriousness about a career in archaeology.

5.  Bust your tail when you get a job.  Getting tapped into a network is only a part of the fight.  You must develop a strong reputation as a good archaeologist and hard worker.  You should always be looking for a way to help, you should be pro-active in keeping busy.  You should volunteer.  You should show interest in the job beyond basic 9 to 5 (e.g., ask the PI or Field Director what you can read about the site, region, history/prehistory).  Ask questions and show your desire to learn.  

6.  Do not categorize yourself.  If I see a resume identifying you as a Historic Archaeologist or a Caribbean Archaeologist, I may skip right over you when the project is a lithic site in upstate NY.  There is no need at this juncture in your development to pigeon-hole yourself.  That said, if you know of a specific upcoming project, customize your resume to best show why you are qualified for that team.

7.  Attend state, regional, and national conferences.  I recognize that there are often very expensive registration fees associated with conferences.  However, they very rarely check the name badges of attendees (i.e., you do not have to register).  Likewise, you do not need to stay or eat at the overpriced conference motels.  Find your nodes (professors, former employers) and get them to make a few introductions.  I am more likely to hire you if I have met you in person, and I know you are serious if I see you at a conference.  

8.  Volunteer with the Office of State Archaeology or the Forest Service or the state park or historic site.  Volunteering can fill what would otherwise be temporal blanks on your resume.  Volunteering increases your network.  Volunteering occasionally leads to an offer for a paying job or internship with the same agency.

9.  Have a reliable vehicle and do not have a dog or a cat.  Okay, I know nobody wants to think they are being prohibited from having a pet.  However, If I am booking a crew, I do not want to have to go to the added trouble of finding a pet-friendly motel.  I do not want to have to try to figure out how to deal with the pet during the work day on Fridays after we have checked out of the motel for the weekend.  No employer goes looking for additional grief.  Likewise, for being able to get to the project.  When choosing between somebody with a vehicle and somebody I am going to be picking up and dropping off at the bus station, I am taking the person with the car.

10.  Do not market yourself and your significant other as a package deal.  I have hired a number of couples in the past, and many times there have been no problems.  However, there is always potential for couples to explode, adversely affecting crew dynamics and productivity.  Furthermore, the package deal inevitably results in an averaging process.  While you alone might have been a sufficiently strong candidate to get hired, when you are averaged with your partner, you might not score as high (or vice verse).  

11.  Be on time, don't drink excessively, don't be stupid with drugs or guns, and generally act responsibly.  After you have proven yourself for a few years, a bit of off-job eccentricity may be excused.  In the meantime, don't give anybody an excuse to fire you or give you a negative reference.  

12.  If a project ends, ask your supervisor who else you might call.  Do not hesitate to ask for a generic, To Whom It Concerns, letter of recommendation (or join LinkedIn and have them post their recommendation on your page).  Remember, that supervisor may not have access to a computer at some point in the future when you could suddenly use a letter of reference.  Ask your supervisor what you can do to improve your marketability.  They might tell you to go learn to run a total station, and that is something you can then do.

13.  Get along with your fellow crew-members.  You do not need to be best friends with everybody on every crew, but you should try to get along.  You never know when another crew member may have some sway over who is hired on the next project.  As well, PIs and Field Directors do not want to have to deal with personality issues.  

14.  Remember, your network should also include your fellow technicians.  Many times, word of a project that is hiring spreads quickly through unofficial networks well before a job advertisement ever appears.  Use your social networking opportunities to keep in touch with former crew members.  

From where I sit, the economy and our industry are slowly recovering.  The pool of good technicians looking for work is slowly shrinking.  I sincerely hope that this bodes well for your job search.  As painful as it has been for me to answer dozens of I'm-a-recent-graduate calls over past few years, I know it is much more painful for that graduate who cannot find a job.  I wish you luck.  I hope there is at least a kernel of wisdom in my advice.

Post ID#20223 - replied 6/16/2013 10:09 PM


Nice Breakdown Spider!

Maybe we should ask Jen to re-post that as a permanent at the top of the discussion board... a sort of punch-list for the newbies out there.  

I have seen this same kind of thread resurrected many times here on the site and it's usually pretty similar, but even after being in the biz for a few years I still read them.  Can't forget where we all started out...

Post ID#20377 - replied 12/31/2013 4:12 AM


I wanted to say I am very most grateful for all you great advice and I have taken it all to heart. In fact I had a professional resume company make me a great looking resume and I signed up for a ton of different job searching websites who send me alerts for any archaeological jobs that come up. I have been applying to a lot of different private sector companies like AECOM and SWCA and Goldberge. But as of right now I am still without a archaeological job and I am getting so worried that I will never be able to start my career as an archaeologists, I know I should just keep my chin up and keep applying to any and all job that come up and I am more than willing to work anywhere from Timbuk 2 to Antarctica. But I was wondering if any of you knew of any websites that had entry level positions and also can I count the 7 months that I was taking a Field school course while attending Florida State University as field experience when I am applying for any archaeological jobs. I have been looking to maybe finding out if I could take a leave of absent from my work with Home Depot to be able to volunteer with that one website so that I can start to gain some more much needed field experience. I want to say again to everyone who responded to my thread that I am very much grateful for all the great advice you gave to a desperate hopefully soon to be working archaeologists. 

Post ID#20378 - replied 12/31/2013 5:53 AM


Capwill73, yes you can count the 7 months of field school as field experience.  That is just as good as any paid experience.  As for websites posting entry level positions, this is/was the place.  Unfortunately, the amount of postings for technician positions from CRM firms has been cut drastically from what I remember them being since 2008.  Check out shovelbums, I haven't paid attention to them in a long time so I am not sure what he is posting that is much different than Jennifer's but you may find some additional leads.

Have you called or visited the firms you are applying to as a follow up?  Remember spider's number 2 tip: Be a pest, in a nice way.  I feel most people are more likely to provide you with better insight or will talk about potential upcoming projects just for the fact that it is harder for them to be rude and ignore you in person than via email.

At one point, SEAC was looking for 2 technicians, maybe your professors from FSU could provide you with some good support.

Post ID#20380 - replied 1/3/2014 10:12 AM


Hi Cap

Can you post your resume? I have found that pretty much every professional resume creators make piss poor archaeology resumes for field techs. The values are different for getting a tech job over most any other job e.g. no one really cares about what school you went to. We can probably give you some hints on how to improve your resume.

Also- have you tried cold calling? Bill and Dwarmour touch on it a bit- by the time a job gets posted here, shovelbums, etc. it is probably too late. Best to get a job before they post it. If you need some pointers on how to cold call we can give you that info.

Post ID#20392 - replied 1/11/2014 5:19 PM


Here is a copy of my resume sorry for the delay in getting back to you. 

-- Cultural Resource Manager ~ Field Archaeologist –

Job Announcement Number:


Social Security Number: XXX-XX-2513

Citizenship: U.S. Citizen


úú Qualifications Summary úú


Remarkably astute, intuitive, and versatile professional, with broad-based background in archaeology as well as business and management experience in the service industry. Recognized for unmatched work ethic and organizational skills essential in managing priorities and multiple projects from conceptualization to completion, in fiercely competitive, challenging, and fast-paced environments. Enthusiastic team player, with strong interpersonal and communication skills in building and maintaining productive relationships with a diverse range of individuals. Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Additional qualifications include:

ü  Participation in the Presidential Inauguration event during the first presidential term of U.S. President Bill Clinton; along with special tours to the Smithsonian Institution, Capitol Hill, and the Norfolk Navy Base

ü  The Woodland Insurance History award for 1992, 1993, and 1994

ü  Experience in an archaeological dig site (O’Connell Site-8Le157) outside Tallahassee


 úú Education úú


Graduate Certificate in Ancient History, Aug 2009

University of Melbourne § Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Bachelor of Science in Anthropology, Dec 2003

Florida State University § Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA


Associate of Arts in General Education, Jun 1996

Tallahassee Community College § Tallahassee, FL 32304, USA


High School Diploma, Jun 1994

Woodland Hall Academy § Tallahassee, FL 32309, USA

Valedictorian | 3-Year School Council President | School Yearbook Editor


 úú Core Competencies úú


  • Obtained innate understanding of the principles and methodologies utilized in obtaining, recording, and analyzing archaeological information used to restore the past
  • Displayed comprehensive knowledge on the diversity of archaeological data; as well as in classifying, illustrating, and documenting several types of archaeological information
  • Exemplified proficiency in performing a wide range of basic fieldwork approaches utilized throughout archeological projects
  • Acquired expertise in properly processing all artifacts found in excavating sites, as well as proper utilization of tools and equipment used in archaeological expeditions and excavations
  • Gained extensive knowledge of the history, culture, and development of Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern civilization; as well as the role of Ancient Egypt and the East in modern history
  • Demonstrated solid appreciation of the complexities of an ancient, multicultural society; as well as how it applies to modern times
  • Broadened knowledge on mythical narratives of each historical era, as well as the central patterns and themes in classical mythology
  • Explored the social, political, and cultural development of the ancient civilizations of Egypt and the Near East
  • Enhanced ability to understand textual and archaeological approaches to study processes of cultural change and interaction
  • Developed comprehensive familiarity of major cultural features, the main sites, and monuments of Pharaonic Egypt
  • Earned strong capability to critically assess and analyze a diverse range of archaeological, inscriptional, and literary sources relevant to dynastic Egypt
  • Exemplified familiarity with major cultures of the East Mediterranean Bronze Age, as well as the archaeological remains of and interactions between Egypt, the Aegean, and the Levant
  • Established understanding of the progression of anthropology, as well as what it means to “do” anthropology and ethnography
  • Learned the process in which humans conduct communication and shape the world, as well as the impacts humans leave on the world


 úú Professional Experience úú


Flooring Sales Associate

Jun 2007–Present

Home Depot

3217 Hershberger Rd NW, Roanoke, VA 24017

Bill Groh, May be contacted


Hours per Week: 40

Salary per Year: $22,000

Render assistance to customers in discussing their needs as well as demonstrating how offered services and products could meet their needs. Offer suggestions on the most suitable product that optimally addresses their home improvement needs, which are based on customer-provided information, product specifications, and applicable regulations.

  • Received recognition as the employee of the month of May for exemplary performance and dedication


Appliance Sales Associate

Aug 2002–May 2007

Best Buy

4707 Valley View Boulevard Northwest, Roanoke, VA 24012

Michael Autry, May be contacted


Hours per Week: 40

Salary per Year: $20,000

Provided suggestions to customers regarding finding the most suitable appliance for their homes, as well as other concerns raised by customers in regard to products and services offered. Responded and resolved all customer inquiries concerning products, prices, availability, product usage, and credit terms utilizing knowledge and expertise of products and services.


Café Manager | Assistant Manager

May 1996–Jul 2002


1515 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24012

Mary Beth Nash, Do not Contact


Hours per Week: 40

Salary per Year: $19,000

Performed and delegated tasks provided by the general manager to all employees in different areas of the store, ensuring completion of all workload and smooth store operations. Participated in constructing a weekly store timetable for all personnel. Spearheaded all store operations as the manager on duty, responding and resolving all problems that transpired during assigned shift. Managed the procurement of café products and ingredients and the preparation of specialty drinks for the customers.

I am interested in getting some tips on who I can cold call to find a archaeological job, because right now I am willing to work anywhere there is a job, so that I can start to earn that much needed work and field experience. I would love to be able to volunteer for an archaeological dig some where but right now I am working full time at Home Depot and that is what is helping pay the bills, so I am stuck as to what to do because on the one hand I really want to go work on an archaeological dig so I can get some more experience under my belt to that I can get a good archaeological jobs, but on the other hand I have bills to pay so I can take off for a long period of time. I am so scared that worried that I will never be able to find an archaeological job and that I will be working for Home Depot for the rest of my life. I have 7 months worth of field experience when I took that field school while attending Florida State University. So I am so close to the year's worth of experience that so many of these jobs need, I am a quick learner and just want to be given a shot at showing that I can be a really good archaeological field technician and would be willing to work anywhere in the US or world, so any and all help would be great. I am hoping some could point me in the right direction because since I am new to looking for and getting a job I feel so overwhelmed right now. 

Post ID#20393 - replied 1/12/2014 2:53 AM


I see why you haven't been getting jobs. I have suggestions and things you should do:

Things you should do- take off your Social Security Number right away. If you get hired they will ask for it but you are basically asking to get your identity stolen otherwise.


Citizenship you don't need. Everyone assumes you can work and don't need a visa. Moreover, if they do require it they will ask for it. Only add what is key.

Summary is ok- way too many fluff words for my taste e.g. Remarkably astute, intuitive, and versatile professional. But that is personal taste so others might like.

Additional qualifications- lose the first one is has nothing to do with archaeology. Other two nice but I have no idea what they are. Honestly you should have a whole section on your archaeology experience and what you learned. You tell me you went to a field school but as an employer I have no idea what you did. Did you sit around all day? Did you survey?

I wasn't there so I have no idea what you did. Same does for you degrees. Yeah you list them but I have no idea what you did. TELL ME

Degrees- Lose high school. Dates are those when you graduated? when you started? give details.

Core- too vague and not relevant e.g.

"Exemplified proficiency in performing a wide range of basic fieldwork approaches utilized throughout archeological projects" What skills? What sort of fieldwork? If I can't figure out what you can do then I will throw your resume in the trash and move on to one of the 100 other applications.

"Explored the social, political, and cultural development of the ancient civilizations of Egypt and the Near East"- interesting but you are doing North American Archaeology. Only list relevant experience.

Jobs- get rid of wages. also get rid of contact details for people. Maybe have them as a reference but that should be a separate section. If at all possible get another archaeologist to be a reference.

Those are just some tips. The main problem you have is that after reading your resume I have no idea what your skills, experience or knowledge is about archaeology. You need to make that much more clear. Get this ebook and follow what it says-

As for finding people to call. I suggest start local and expand. Call up your states SHPO and get a list of archaeology contracting companies for your state and start calling. Once you have gone through that list pick the nearest state to you and call that SHPO to get names. Keep checking with SHPOs. There are 50 so you have lots of calling to do. BUT first change your resume. The reason you are getting told you don't have enough experience is because your resume does not tell us what you know or what experience you have. Commenting here you say 7 months but from your resume I might have guessed 4 weeks? I say guess because I can't find anything that tells me how much experience you have.

Post ID#20394 - replied 1/12/2014 8:51 AM


Thank you very much Doug for looking over my resume, I will change my resume the way that you say, and then post it again here for you to look over again to make sure I got it right if that is ok with you. I know I should know what SHPO means but could you tell me what or who that would be. 

Post ID#20395 - replied 1/12/2014 3:21 PM


SHPO- State Historical Preservation Officer or in your case the O stands for Office (depending on the state you might talk with the staff instead of the actual officer). Each state (territories too, I think there are 59 total) has office and there are also THPO's were T stands for Tribal for Native American land. Most SHPOs will have a list of firms that conduct CRM work in the state. I can't speak for all 50+  of them but out west they have lists of those who are permitted to work on State/Federal land. At the very least they can point you in the direction of any local lists if they exist.

Cap if you don't know what a SHPO is, which is nothing to be ashamed of as we all had to ask to learn at some point, you may want to brush up a bit on CRM. Find out what things like Section 106 mean. One it will help you with a job once you get one and two it will give you some insights into how commercial archaeology works. That can help you write your resume.


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