Archivist CV Examples & Guide for 2024

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Archivist CV

When crafting your archivist CV, highlight your mastery of digital preservation and cataloging skills. Demonstrate your proficiency with industry-standard archival software and metadata frameworks. In the second paragraph, underscore your experience with physical archives management and conservation techniques. Your CV should illustrate your ability to handle and preserve historical documents and artifacts with care.

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Ensuring that your CV adequately highlights your experience with digital preservation and archival databases is a significant challenge in showcasing your professional aptitude as an archivist. Our guide will provide you with targeted advice on effectively demonstrating your technical proficiency, ensuring that your key skills are noticed by potential employers.

What information should you include in your archivist CV? Learn how to create your interview-landing and job-winning profile with our bespoke guide on:

  • Applying best practices from real-world examples to ensure your profile always meets recruiters' expectations;
  • What to include in your work experience section, apart from your past roles and responsibilities?
  • Why are both hard and soft skills important for your application?
  • How do you need to format your CV to pass the Applicant Tracker Software (ATS) assessment?

If you're writing your CV for a niche archivist role, make sure to get some inspiration from professionals:

Formatting your archivist CV to meet the role expectations

Staring at the blank page for hours on end, you still have no idea how you should start your professional archivist CV. Should you include more colours, two columns, and which sections? What you should remember about your CV format is this - ensure it's minimalistic and doesn't go over the top with fancy fonts and many colours. Instead, focus on writing consistent content that actually answers the job requirements. But, how about the design itself :

  • Use the reverse chronological order to showcase your experience, starting with your most recent role;
  • Include your contact details (email address, phone number, and location) - and potentially your professional photo - in the header;
  • Must-have CV sections include summary or objective, experience, education, and skills: curate the ones that fit your profile;
  • Your professional archivist CV should be between one-to-two pages long: select the longer format if you have more experience.

A little bit more about your actual CV design, ensure you're using:

When submitting your CV, are you still not sure what format it should be? Despite the myth that has been circling around, most modern ATS systems are perfectly capable of reading PDFs. This format is an excellent choice as it keeps all of your information intact.

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Use bold or italics sparingly to draw attention to key points, such as job titles, company names, or significant achievements. Overusing these formatting options can dilute their impact.

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The top sections on a archivist CV

  • Professional Experience to showcase archiving expertise.
  • Education and Qualifications for academic background.
  • Archival Skills Section for specific abilities.
  • Relevant Projects to demonstrate practical experience.
  • Professional Memberships in archiving organisations.
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What recruiters value on your CV:
  • Emphasise your experience with archival standards and practices, showcasing any knowledge of preservation techniques, cataloguing, and metadata schemas relevant to archival work.
  • Highlight any experience working with specific archival software and database management systems, such as Archivists' Toolkit or ArchivesSpace, to illustrate your technical proficiency.
  • Include any involvement with digitisation projects, demonstrating your skills in digital archiving, familiarity with digital preservation strategies, and ability to manage electronic records effectively.
  • Detail your research skills and ability to aid patrons in accessing archival materials, underscoring any experience with reference services and user engagement within an archival setting.
  • Focus on any training or continuing education you've undertaken in archival science, records management or related disciplines, underscoring your commitment to professional development in the archival field.

What information should you include in your archivist CV header?

The CV header is potentially the section that recruiters would refer to the most, as it should include your:

  • Contact details - your professional (non-work) email address and phone number;
  • Professional photograph - if you're applying hinting at the value you bring as a professional.

Many professionals often struggle with writing their archivist CV headline. That's why in the next section of this guide, we've curated examples of how you can optimise this space to pass any form of assessment.

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Examples of good CV headlines for archivist:

  1. Archival Project Manager | MA in History | Digital Curation | 8 Yrs Experience | RIM Certification
  2. Senior Archivist | PhD in Archival Studies | Preservation Strategies | 15+ Yrs | Records Management Expert
  3. Digital Archives Specialist | MSc Information Science | Metadata Standards | 5 Yrs | ACA Accredited
  4. Lead Curatorial Archivist | Heritage Conservation | Cataloguing Systems | 10 Years Professional Practice
  5. Records Analyst | BA in Library Science | Compliance Oversight | 3 Yrs | GDPR Proficient
  6. Archive Services Coordinator | MLitt in Archival Science | Public Outreach | 7 Yrs | CA Qualification

Your archivist CV introduction: selecting between a summary and an objective

archivist candidates often wonder how to start writing their resumes. More specifically, how exactly can they use their opening statements to build a connection with recruiters, showcase their relevant skills, and spotlight job alignment. A tricky situation, we know. When crafting you archivist CV select between:

Find out more examples and ultimately, decide which type of opening statement will fit your profile in the next section of our guide:

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CV summaries for a archivist job:

  • With over 10 years of specialised experience in archival science, this candidate has profoundly managed historical records for the National Archives, delivering seamless digitisation projects and inventory accuracy. Expertise in preservation techniques and metadata standards, demonstrated by leading a renowned digital archiving transition, marks a career highlight.
  • Possessing a decade's experience in museum curation, this professional pivots to archival work, bringing a refined skill set in exhibition management, artifact conservation, and research. Successfully championed an inter-museum collaboration for historical exhibits, now seeks to preserve historical documents with the same dedication and attention to detail.
  • A steadfast librarian with 15 years of experience managing extensive collections, proficient in database software and cataloguing systems. Looking to transition to an archivist role, reinforced by a passion for heritage preservation and a recent Master's degree in Archival Studies. Proudly initiated a community heritage project that won local recognition.
  • Former IT specialist with 5 years of experience and a deep interest in history, aiming to leverage advanced technical skills in database management and cybersecurity to ensure the integrity and accessibility of archived materials. Committed to continuous learning and just completed an intensive course in Archival Science.
  • Eager to embark on an archival career, this motivated individual brings fresh zeal and a Bachelor's degree in History. Strong organisational skills and a diligent researcher, determined to contribute to the conservation of cultural history. Keen to develop expertise in digitisation and archival preservation.
  • As a freshly graduated historian with a concentration in archival studies, this enthusiast seeks to apply academic knowledge and volunteer experiences with local archives to a professional setting. Dedicated to safeguarding the narratives of the past and embracing opportunities for hands-on learning in document management and archival processes.

How to meet job requirements with your archivist CV experience

We've now reached the essence of your actual CV - your experience section. This is the space where you can list your career roles and on-the-job successes. Many candidates tend to underestimate just how much time and effort they should put into writing this CV section. Your experience shouldn't be a random list of your responsibilities, but instead:

Before we move on, make sure to check out some professional CV experience sections.

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Best practices for your CV's work experience section
  • Developed a comprehensive digital archiving system for a large collection of historical documents, improving retrieval time by 30%.
  • Managed the preservation of fragile historical materials, including paper, photographs, and electronic records, ensuring adherence to conservation standards.
  • Implemented a cataloguing system using archival software such as Archivists' Toolkit and ArchivesSpace, increasing the efficiency of record management.
  • Liaised with researchers and the public to facilitate access to archives, while maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Collaborated in the creation of exhibition content for historical displays, which increased public engagement with archived materials by 40%.
  • Conducted oral history interviews and digitised audio recordings, contributing to the expansion of the archive's multimedia collection.
  • Assisted in grant writing and funding proposals that secured £20,000 for special archival projects and preservation supplies.
  • Trained and supervised a team of volunteers in archival best practices, enhancing the overall productivity of the archiving team.
  • Prepared detailed reports on the condition of the archive's collections and recommended actions for the restoration of damaged items.
Senior Archivist
Senior Digital Archivist
National Archives and Records Administration
  • Implemented and maintained digital archiving systems to catalog an average of 5,000 new historical records per month.
  • Collaborated with local universities to curate four public exhibitions, increasing community engagement by over 30%.
  • Managed a team of junior archivists and interns, guiding them through complex cataloging projects and enhancing archival accuracy by 25%.
Archival Specialist
Digital Archival Specialist
Smithsonian Institution Archives
  • Oversaw the digitization of over 20,000 physical documents, improving preservation and public access.
  • Executed a records management program that resulted in a 20% reduction in retrieval time for historical documents.
  • Developed and presented workshops on document preservation for community organizations, reaching over 200 participants annually.
Archivist I
Archivist I
The Getty Research Institute
  • Conducted detailed research to authenticate and appraise historical documents, enhancing collections with verified acquisitions valued at over $100,000.
  • Initiated a cross-referencing project for archival materials, significantly improving the accuracy of historical data for researchers.
  • Assisted in the transition from paper-based to digital archiving, training 15 staff members on new cataloging software.
Archives Coordinator
Archives Project Coordinator
New York Public Library
  • Managed a large-scale preservation project for at-risk audiovisual materials and successfully digitized over 5,000 hours of video content.
  • Designed and executed a disaster recovery plan for archival materials that safeguarded valuable records during two emergency events.
  • Partnered with IT department to enhance the security of the digital archives, reducing potential data breaches by 40%.
Assistant Archivist
Assistant Archivist for Collections
University of Michigan Library
  • Cataloged and processed incoming collections averaging 1,500 items per month, maintaining high organizational standards.
  • Aided in the development and launch of an internal archival database, streamlining search functionality for historical research.
  • Provided reference assistance to over 500 external researchers, enhancing their access to and understanding of the archives.
Project Archivist
Manuscript Project Archivist
Chicago History Museum
  • Led a grant-funded initiative to digitize civil rights era manuscripts, which included curating a virtual exhibit viewed by over 10,000 visitors.
  • Established a volunteer program that increased capacity for archival processing by 35%, while enhancing community involvement.
  • Authored a best practices handbook for digital preservation which has been adopted by five local history organizations.
Lead Archivist
Lead Archivist for Special Collections
Harvard University Library
  • Revitalized archival practices to align with national standards, leading to a 50% rise in institutional grants received for archival projects.
  • Mentored and supervised a team of eight archivists, fostering professional development and achieving a 90% retention rate over three years.
  • Negotiated partnerships with academic institutions for shared resources, expanding archival research capabilities by collaborating on three major collections.
Digital Archivist
Digital Archivist
Library of Congress
  • Directed a website redesign for the digital archives portal, resulting in a 40% increase in user engagement.
  • Implemented a custom taxonomy and metadata schema that enhanced the discoverability of digital archives by 60%.
  • Spearheaded a digital preservation policy overhaul that significantly extended the life expectancy of digital assets.
University Archivist
University Archivist
University of California, Berkeley
  • Collaborated with department heads to collect and preserve university history, culminating in a centennial exhibition attended by over 3,000 visitors.
  • Developed and implemented an academic internship program, integrating archival practice into the university's curriculum for history and library science students.
  • Secured funding for two major conservation initiatives that preserved 200+ linear feet of original university charters and documents.
Archives Manager
Senior Archives Manager
Museum of Modern Art
  • Oversaw the archival content strategy for multimedia collections, successfully launching a digital exhibits platform to showcase rare footage and audio recordings.
  • Coordinated with a team of developers to innovate an archival management system, improving data integrity and accessibility for archival staff.
  • Conducted a comprehensive review of archival procedures, identifying and implementing process improvements that reduced overall operating costs by 15%.

How to ensure your archivist CV stands out when you have no experience

This part of our step-by-step guide will help you substitute your experience section by helping you spotlight your skill set. First off, your ability to land your first job will depend on the time you take to assess precisely how you match the job requirements. Whether that's via your relevant education and courses, skill set, or any potential extracurricular activities. Next:

  • Systematise your CV so that it spotlights your most relevant experience (whether that's your education or volunteer work) towards the top;
  • Focus recruiters' attention to your transferrable skill set and in particular how your personality would be the perfect fit for the role;
  • Consider how your current background has helped you build your technological understanding - whether you've created projects in your free time or as part of your uni degree;
  • Ensure you've expanded on your teamwork capabilities with any relevant internships, part-time roles, or projects you've participated in the past.
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Talk about any positive changes you helped bring about in your previous jobs, like improving a process or helping increase efficiency.

Hard skills and soft skills to showcase your unique skill set on your archivist CV

Did you know that your CV will mostly likely be assessed by recruiters based on skill alignment? And that means that the way you feature your key skills across different CV sections will play a crucial role in landing you that first interview. We recommend you add your:

  • technical capabilities or hard skills in your CV experience, certificates, projects, etc. Use your past accomplishments to prove your technical capabilities. List up to a dozen different software or hardware in your dedicated skills section to match the job keywords;
  • personal and communication skills or soft skills in your CV strengths, achievements, summary/ objective, etc. Soft skills are a bit more difficult to prove. How do you define your aptitude in active listening? So, instead of just listing the skill name, include a tangible metric to show your success.

On a final note, when you're in a hurry to create your profile, you may misspell a particular technology or soft skill. That's why we suggest you copy and paste the particular skill name (or keyword), directly from the job advert. This would also help you to pass any initial Applicant Tracker System (ATS) tests.

Top skills for your archivist CV:

Cataloguing and Classification

Preservation and Conservation Techniques

Historical Research

Digital Archiving

Records Management

Database Management

Metadata Standards

Collection Development

Archival Storage Principles

Legal and Ethical Issues in Archiving


Attention to Detail

Organisational Skills


Communication Skills



Time Management

Analytical Skills

Critical Thinking

Customer Service Orientation

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If there's a noticeable gap in your skillset for the role you're applying for, mention any steps you're taking to acquire these skills, such as online courses or self-study.

CV education and certificates: your academic background as proof of your skill set

A common misconception about your archivist CV education is that you only need it, if you have less professional experience. That is completely false. The CV education section serves to back up your technical (and sometimes personal) capabilities, fill in gaps in your work history, and show you have the initial industry background and know-how. When creating your education section:

  • List your degrees in the reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent (and relevant) ones first;
  • Include your degree and university names, start and graduation dates. It's optional to also denote you received a "First-Class Honours" for diplomas that are more relevant to the role;
  • Curate your relevant university coursework, projects, or thesis work if you happen to have less professional expertise and need to integrate more job keywords and skills.

Your professional qualifications don't need to stop at your academic background. It's advisable to also select up to three of your most noteworthy (and relevant) industry certificates and feature them in a dedicated section. Once more, include the certificate name, the institution that issued it out, and the date you obtained it on. You could feature both hard skills and soft skills certificates, as in the examples below:

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If you have received professional endorsements or recommendations for certain skills, especially on platforms like LinkedIn, mention these to add credibility.

Key takeaways

Impressing recruiters with your experience, skill set, and values starts with your professional archivist CV. Write concisely and always aim to answer job requirements with what you've achieved; furthermore:

  • Select a simple design that complements your experience and ensures your profile is presentable;
  • Include an opening statement that either spotlights your key achievements (summary) or showcases your career ambitions (objective);
  • Curate your experience bullets, so that each one commences with a strong, action verb and is followed up by your skill and accomplishment;
  • List your hard and soft skills all across different sections of your CV to ensure your application meets the requirements;
  • Dedicate space to your relevant higher education diplomas and your certificates to show recruiters you have the necessary industry background.

Looking to build your own Archivist CV?

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.