The Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Historian Resume

This article will walk you through the process of writing your professional-level historian resume.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Historian Resume
Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
5 min read

Having a career as a historian can be an invaluable asset to any company. Historians bring expertise and knowledge that is often overlooked by other employees. It is not easy to find a job as a historian, though. You need to be able to stand out from the competition and show you are the best person for the job. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide on how to write your historian resume so you can land your dream job!

Who is a Historian?

Historians study the past and look for ways to apply lessons from history to our present day. Their work is often used by governments, corporations, and educational institutions.

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Historians specialize in a variety of fields, such as political, economic, or military history. Some historians focus on a specific time period or geographic region.

Choose the Right Format for your Historian Resume

You need to decide on what format will work best for you. There are three different formats that historians use to write their resumes.

The Chronological Resume is the most common format. It lists your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position and ending with your first job. This resume is great if you have a lot of experience or are trying to show how far you've come in your career.

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The Functional Resume focuses on your skills and qualifications rather than your work history. The "functional" part of this resume is that it highlights skills or qualifications rather than dates of employment or workplace background details. This type of resume is good if you want to be less conspicuous about gaps in your employment history, have had many jobs in different industries, or if you're changing careers.

The Combination Resume contains both a chronological section and a functional section that emphasizes skills and qualifications. You would use this format if you have both substantial experience and extraordinary abilities that will help make you stand out from other applicants for the same position.

Highlight your Good Parts in Resume Summary or Resume Objective

Your resume is the first thing a potential employer will see. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to decide you’re the right person for the job.

One strategy is to create a resume summary or objective. This should highlight your strengths and skills. As an historian, you should be able to cite examples of your experience in this field and provide a summary of your qualifications.

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For example, “expertise on American history with a focus on World War II military operations” could be one of these skills on a resume summary or objective. If you have more than one skill or qualification, use bullets to list each trait that makes you valuable for this position.

Don't forget to mention your Education

First, you should mention your education. You want to include all of your degrees in your resume because they are a reflection of your knowledge and expertise. When you are listing the schools you attended, make sure to include when you attended there, what degrees you received, and any activities or clubs that are related to history.

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Don't forget to mention any scholarships or fellowships that you received while at university. The more scholarship opportunities that are listed on the resume, the better!

How to List your Skills as Historian

The first step to creating an effective historian resume is knowing what skills you can highlight. You want to make sure that your resume showcases the areas of expertise that are most relevant to the position you are applying for.

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As a historian, there are many skills you could list on your resume, including:

  • Expertise in oral history
  • Ability to conduct research
  • Knowledge of primary and secondary sources
  • Understanding of the organization of archives
  • Skills in editorial work
  • Ability to write historical narratives

Write a Cover Letter for your Historian Resume

A cover letter is a one-page document that accompanies your resume and helps you sell yourself to the employer. Why is it important to have a good cover letter?

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The cover letter provides you with an opportunity to sell yourself and show why you deserve the job. You should use it to highlight your skills, experience, and achievements that are relevant for the job position. It also gives you a chance to elaborate on qualifications not included in the resume.


  • Include an opening paragraph about why you're interested in the position.
  • Focus your letter on what you can bring to the company rather than what they can offer you. This will make them want to talk to you in person!
  • It's okay if your previous experience is similar or has some overlap with the position because employers are looking for someone who will be able to adjust easily when necessary.


  • Don't make general statements about yourself like "I'm hard-working" or "I'm reliable." You need specific examples of how much work or reliability you've shown in previous positions.
  • Don't include jokes or personal information in your cover letter - keep it professional!

Tips for Job Interviews

Interviewing is the most anxiety-inducing part of the job search process. If you're a historian and you're interviewing for a position, interviewers will expect to hear more than just your experience and qualifications. It's important to show that you can speak about them eloquently and intelligibly.

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It's also important to know how to answer questions about what your company could do better, as well as how to answer "Why should we hire you?" These two types of questions are particularly difficult because they require personal opinions and feelings.

When answering these types of questions, it helps to be honest and show that you care about the company. You want to come off as someone who would take initiative and contribute significantly, not just someone who wants a paycheck.

Key Takeaways

  • Use a clear, professional design that showcases your experience.
  • Ensure your resume is formatted correctly.
  • Remember to include the right contact information.
  • Include all of your relevant skills and experiences.