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Finding a Job in Archaeology How, Where and Why. BAJR Federation HOW ?. Playing to your strengths? Know what you want. Remember the real world? Have you been in it? Where will the jobs be? Where are the gaps?

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Finding a Job in Archaeology How, Where and Why.

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  • Playing to your strengths? Know what you want.
  • Remember the real world? Have you been in it?
  • Where will the jobs be? Where are the gaps?
  • Do you really want to be an archaeologist?

BAJR Federation


  • A Good CV
  • Education – once you have your degree, you don’t need to cite every other exam result.
  • Archaeological Experience – Keep it up to date and relevant – listing employer, dates, site/project and periods.
  • Non Archaeological Work – If it is relevant – and ONLY THEN.
  • Publications – Have you written reports? Or contributed to a site publication? Any papers presented?
  • Other Information – For example, First Aid, Driving Licence etc.
  • Referees – A good reference is worth its weight in applications.
  • Tailor your CV – Think about the job you are applying for and make your relevant experience stand out.

BAJR Federation

COVER Letter

  • Personalise – A cover letter should say more than “Hey I saw your job ad, here's my CV.. Cheers mate”
  • Keep it short – It should quickly summarise your experience, why you are perfect for the job, but not be more than 1 page.
  • Think of this as your first interview – Some employers may only look at your cover letter – so think about what you say and check your SPELiNg.
  • Sending by post – Use a quality paper, fold it neatly and sign it clearly.
  • Sending by email – remember to attach the CV! And watch your email address - may count against you!


WHERE? (part one)

  • Depends on what you are looking for.
  • Education/Research – -
  • Archaeological – BAJR –
  • Museum Work – Museum Jobs –
  • Heritage, Museum and Education – Uni of Leicester Jobs Desk - (USA)

Vacaturebank Archeologie (Nederlands)

Archaeology Forum

(Germany, France, UK)

Underwater Archaeology & Maritime History (World)

eCulturalResources (USA)



WHERE? (part two)

  • Being active!
  • Contact Companies and Universities Nobody is looking for you – so go out and make yourself known
  • Volunteer This is controversial, but can be considered, in the right circumstance.
  • Keep your hand in Not only will you enjoy yourself – but you will become better known.
  • Don’t stop there Keep learning, and keep skills up to date.

BAJR Federation

Options ?

  • What jobs are there?
  • Contractors and Consultants
  • Local Government
  • National Organisations (National Trusts, Heritage Agencies, Forestry, Natural England)
  • University Departments
  • Specialist Companies (Osteological, Forensic, Geophysical etc)
  • Museums
  • Independant
  • Where to find all these? ( ) Directory of Organisations

BAJR Federation

More ?

  • Be aware of
  • Your Rights Knowing your rights in this industry is a hot topic, as the size is such that you will soon become known – however, help is there.
  • Being disabled – so what? This is controversial, but may prejudice your employment opportunities, with even colour blindness, RSI and less visible disabilities being areas of concern. ( see: )
  • Joining the Union? Is it for you – does it help – are there other options.
  • Self Employed Route A talk in itself – be aware of your obligations. And make sure you have a contract!

BAJR Federation


  • So what are useful Skills
  • Think of transferable skills (know when to hold them) There are a host of skills that can be taken out of archaeology, like Survey, GIS, Databases, Forensics, Research, Editing, Photography, Environmental studies.. etc.
  • Plan your future (know when to fold them) Knowing what you want to do, how you will achieve these goals, and what they mean to you.
  • Know when to call it quits (know when to walk away) Many archaeologists don’t remain in archaeology full time, this is not a failure, as you can support archaeology from a number of positions, and still get involved.
  • Know your limitations. (know when to run) You need to keep contacts so you can get help when you are out of your comfort zone.



  • Archaeology for the right reasons?
  • Get rich? Nice idea, but it is not going to happen.
  • Travelling? More options to see the world (check Past Horizons )
  • Interest? It is certainly not dull….



Get your CV ready - consider a Skill Passport or CPD log

Know your skills and join appropriate groups/societies

Keep in touch and communicate with colleagues

Look for opportunities - don’t wait for them to look for you

Enjoy your Work but keep a plan B up your sleave



'If you enjoy what you do, you will never work another day in your life' – Confucius

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