10 essential archaeologist CV skills (plus examples)

Updated 16 March 2023

Archaeologists are professionals who examine, recover and preserve evidence of human activity from past cultures by analysing human remains and artefacts. If you wish to pursue a career in this field, knowing and understanding the CV skills employers look for is crucial. This allows you to improve your abilities and gives insight into how to include them on your CV. In this article, we discuss nine essential archaeologist CV skills, with examples of how to include them in a job application.

Explore jobs on Indeed
Part-time jobs
View more jobs on Indeed

10 archaeologist CV skills

Archaeologist CV skills are the abilities and competencies candidates list on their CVs to make themselves attractive applicants. These skills show that you're a qualified candidate with the expertise, knowledge and experience required in the archaeology field. Here are ten essential skills to include in your CV and how to list them:

1. GPS

Archaeologists use Global Positioning System (GPS) to determine exact location coordinates in the field. This navigation system is an important tool for surveying, helping archaeologists map sites and measure control points for different modes of travel such as land, sea or air. Archaeologists also use GPS to map earthworks and other archaeological features. Here's how to list GPS skills on your CV:

  • imported GPS data for the creation of site maps

  • developed GPS map data and links

  • conducted geographical analysis and retrieved relevant data

  • surveyed field work through GPS receivers and software

  • developed digital and paper reports, photographs, maps and cartographical items

Related: An overview guide of tech trends in the upcoming decade

2. Technical reports

Archaeologists use technical reporting skills to determine the progress, process and state of problems and results of scientific research. They also use reports to showcase the overall conclusion and recommendations of a project. Here's how to list your technical report skills in your CV:

  • authored technical reports documenting surveys, recommendations and resources available

  • engaged in all phases of fieldwork, from initial planning to final technical report writing to implementation

  • prepared technical reports analysing, reporting and researching historic and prehistoric artefacts

  • researched, prepared and authored technical and map reports using mapping software

  • created technical reports for local utilities, pipelines, electrical transmission lines and private development plans

  • used maps, graphs and charts for technical report writing

Related: 14 different technology skills and why they're important

3. GIS

Archaeologists use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to store, manipulate, analyse, capture, manage and present geographical data, including patterns and relationships. This type of database is an essential tool for integrating map data and physical details of an area's landscape while also gaining information about past inhabitants. This way, archaeologists predict accurate positions of sites with historical, agricultural and cultural relevance. List GIS skills on your CV as follows:

  • created, integrated and translated GIS data layer for maps

  • administered GIS database for projects

  • performed GIS modelling, analysis and integration for field preparation and survey design

  • used charts, maps and supporting documents for technical reports using GIS software

  • created maps for use in publications using digital maps and converted them into digital forms

  • conducted relevant academic research publishing within the GIS department

  • stored and maintained geographic maps digitally

Related: What does an archaeologist do? (Duties, salary and careers)

4. Data recovery

Archaeologists use data recovery to excavate, study and preserve artefacts like ancient ruins, in a process known as excavation. Excavation is vital to archaeologists as it helps reveal three-dimensional structures and patterns and the deposition of artefacts, features and ecofacts. Through this, archaeologists assess the temporal, functional and possibly symbolic significance of patterning. Examples of how to list data recovery in your CV include:

  • conducted and organised archaeological excavations, data recovery, testing, field surveys and environmental monitoring

  • participated in resource investigation, data recovery excavations and surveys

  • conducted intensive data recovery and surveys to locate new archaeological and historic-era resources

  • worked on mitigation projects, including conducting surveys, testing, data recovery and monitoring

  • executed excavation to recover, study and preserve artefacts like tools and ceramics

  • assisted in bone analysis and estimation of sex, race and age under the supervision of a physical anthropologist

5. Archaeological sites

Archaeological sites allow archaeologists to learn about past cultures by studying artefacts, animal bones and human remains. They use this to predict the religion and livelihood of ancient civilisations. Employers expect archaeologists to locate archaeological sites for research purposes. Here's how to list archaeological site skills in your CV:

  • examined records from the past, including diaries, censuses, deeds, maps and photographs

  • performed archaeological excavations and surveys and documented artefacts for later analysis

  • conducted archaeological fieldwork and historical research

  • engaged in lab analysis of evidence from archaeological sites

  • prepared nominations of archaeological sites to the national registry

  • conducted surveys on historical sites to identify potential archaeological significance and identified unknown archaeological locations

  • collaborated with local historians to determine the purposes and origins of structures and artefacts

Related: What does a historian do? (Plus salary and skills)

6. Data collection

Archaeologists use data collection to analyse, research and store information on excavations and historic buildings. They also use data collection techniques to source historical and environmental information, such as historic woodland. This vital archaeologist skill forms a basis for statistical analyses, reports, public outreach programmes, publications and education about the human past. Here's how to include data collection skills in your CV:

  • prepared written reports detailing findings and summarised results of multiple sites

  • maintained and stored detailed field notes and records of findings throughout each project

  • kept a detailed knowledge of site location, stratigraphy, features and artefact types

  • recorded sites using drawings, detailed notes and photography

  • conducted an information security review for data collection software

  • assisted in data collection of hazardous materials

  • gained experience in data collection, streamlining and field note-taking

Related: Key data collection methods and when you should use them

7. Background research

Archaeologists use background research to learn more about a previous excavation in their study area. This helps them form a focused opinion on the topic, promoting confidence in the overall quality of the analysis and findings. Examples of how to list background research skills in your CV include:

  • performed background research on sites, contributing to reports and processing artefacts

  • assisted project managers with background research and report preparation

  • conducted background research on project areas

  • conducted historical background research on subject interviews, deeds and mapping

  • maintained up-to-date records of the project

  • summarised background research and conducted analyses

  • performed literature reviews on historical background studies for various projects

8. Report preparation

Archaeologists use report preparation skills to prepare structured documents, presenting factual information in a concise format. These reports are useful for future studies to help improve decision-making. Here's how to include report preparation in your CV:

  • used data from fieldwork, archival research and laboratory analysis to prepare reports about archaeological sites

  • assisted in report preparation and clerical duties

  • assisted in the preparation of reports documenting findings at project sites and assisted in curation activities, such as object labelling and storage

  • recorded level and feature data and interpreted archaeological and historical data

  • prepared expense reports and artefact documentation

  • recorded archaeological sites, excavated sites and mapped landscape features for private and government contractors

9. Artefact analysis

Archaeologists use artefact analysis to collect relevant data from archaeological artefacts. This data allows them to understand the artefacts and provide essential information regarding their creation and use. Here's how to list artefact analysis skills in your CV:

  • examined the local museum to check what type of artefacts are available in the area

  • collected artefacts and radiocarbon dating samples

  • treated, cleaned, identified and preserved archaeological artefacts and assisted in laboratory research

  • performed cataloguing and artefact analysis

  • participated in excavation, which included data input, map plotting and artefact analysis

  • conducted extensive research, labelling, washing and organising artefacts

Related: What is an environmental analysis? (Plus how to perform one)

10. Archival research

Archaeologists use archival research skills to locate and study old records for personal interest or to find evidence for a case. Archival research provides transparency through time and factual data, allowing researchers to uncover early research and track developments. Archival research also ensures research continuity, the preservation of historical information and the securing of academic knowledge for future generations. Here's how to list archival research skills in your CV:

  • conducted archival research in support of field investigations

  • ensured accuracy and completion of paperwork filled out on site

  • performed archival research operation of electronic measuring devices

  • assisted with archival research


  • Archaeologist Degree: Careers, Salaries and What To Expect

Explore your next job opportunity on IndeedFind jobs

Explore more articles

  • Writing a legal secretary CV (with template and example)
  • How to write a professional profile to enhance your CV
  • How to write a forklift driver CV (with tips and an example)
  • How to write an engineer cover letter (With examples)
  • How to write an impressive investment analyst cover letter
  • How To Write An Executive CV (With Steps and Examples)
  • How to write an effective photographer CV (with examples)
  • How to write an archivist CV (with template and example)
  • How to write a private equity cover letter (with example)
  • How to write a compelling property manager CV (plus example)
  • Market research skills: definitions, examples and tips
  • How to write a risk management cover letter (with example)