Polly Digs…Top Tips

Polly digs…top tips

Polly digs

Welcome to our blog series ‘Polly digs…’ , in which we chart the highs and lows of DigVentures’ own social media and community intern on her mission to find a job in archaeology!

Hi there! My name is Polly, and I am DigVentures’ communities and social media intern. I’m currently wading through archaeological career paths with Joe Flatman’s book Becoming an Archaeologist as my bible! I intend to keep track of all the experiences I’m going to face looking for life after university here in the Site Hut. Wish me luck!



April 14th 2013: the stats

Paid jobs applied for: 1 / Interviews for paid job applications: pending

Volunteering jobs applied for: 3/started: 1, pending: 2

Wow – I received lots of feedback from last week’s blog post, thanks! Friends on twitter seemed to empathise with the long, post-university job hunt, especially for a subject such as archaeology where there really aren’t tons of jobs available.

A discussion was started on twitter (read it on storify) about how to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. When an employer is trawling through CVs, what do they look for? Is it that extra qualification, the Masters degree or PhD? Is it the grades you get in those degrees – is anyone without a 1st class not considered? Is it the range of extra-curricular activities or time spent volunteering?

I don’t know the answer to this, so if you do have the task of employing people as part of your job, I would love to hear your opinions – what are you really looking for? What makes someone look good on paper?

I know what I think is imDigVentures Polly Digs top tipsportant: showing the passion you have for the role, and being able to get that across on paper to make sure you are called back for that crucial interview. How then, do you show this? For @vicky_pearce it meant volunteering, interning and working in part-time jobs before she landed her current job at the Horniman museum. And that was after graduating from a fantastic university with a relevant degree.

At a recent UCL careers event I attended recently, amusingly named ‘Careers in Ruins’, there was a running theme throughout all the speakers’ talks: volunteering. Each of the professionals, all with great jobs in different areas within archaeology, said that this was the most important thing that lead them to where they are now (that, and networking).

Joe Flatman’s book also has some handy top tips for how to stand out from the crowd and get that job. Like Vicky, and the speakers at UCL, it includes volunteering. Joe’s list contains some interesting points, however, such as reading magazines, watching TV programmes, talking to people and finding out about the archaeology in your own local area.

DigVentures Polly Digs top tips

Right on, Eleanor – words to live by!

Once you start immersing yourself in the subject you love, connecting with people online or in person, asking for advice, getting involved, keeping up to date, reading the most recent publications and yes, even watching that Richard III documentary, you will soon begin to make your presence felt amongst the community, and hear of job vacancies through the grapevine. And even if that doesn’t happen for a while, what you learn along the way is invaluable.

Follow Polly on twitter: @ArchPolly

Are you going through the same thing? Or, do you remember the days when this was you? Get in touch with Polly  and share your experiences, send encouragement and suggestions, and of course – job opportunities…

Comments are open at the bottom of the post, or you can send her a message

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Lisa Westcott Wilkins

Written by Lisa Westcott Wilkins

Co-founder and Managing Director of DigVentures, Lisa makes sure the boxes are ticked, the diggers run on time, and that everyone has a *really* good time along the way. She is responsible for the Americanisms, ridiculously strong site coffee and early morning DV dance parties.

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