Thanks to Miriam for asking about cover letters!
Make sure that you sound professional, don’t have spelling or grammar errors, and that you list these three things clearly: availability, driver’s license and regional experience.
Availability: How soon are you available and how many days a week are you available? Are you willing to work on weekends? Are you available to travel?
Driver’s License: Many CRM firms need their field techs to be able to drive company vehicles. In order to drive the company vehicle you need a valid driver’s license. If you have a good driving record (no recent tickets or accidents) you should definitely add that in as well.
Regional Experience: If you have any experience working in the area that you are applying to jobs in, it would be good to highlight that in your cover letter. I’ve been told by a few different people in management positions that regional experience is key. It’s certainly easier to train people who already know something about the archaeology of the area. I work in California, so firms are looking for experience in California or the Great Basin (which encompasses parts of Nevada, California, Utah and Oregon).
I’m going to take this opportunity to suggest that one great way to get experience is by volunteering. Passport in Time is a great volunteering opportunity. It’s a national program, so hopefully they have something in your region. Most projects get posted in the spring, but keep checking the site for updates!
Some other things to add to your cover letter are any special skills that you have. GIS, faunal or osteological analysis, lithics analysis, ceramics, GPS experience, etc… These skills should be in your CV, but the cover letter is a great opportunity to make it clear that you know what you’re talking about. “I have experience with GIS, analyzing slope within survey coverages, exporting GeoPDFs, and preparing field data for a GPS.”
Take a look at my cover letter (feel free to point out any errors). Let me know what you think, or use it as a guide for your own!