The Job Center: What Candidates Need to Know
So you’re a member of the history profession and the time has come to look for a new job. The Job Center is one of the places you’ll need to be. A big part of each and every AHA annual meeting, at the Job Center we hope to connect you as a candidate with the search committee that has the right position for you. Here, you can find out about and submit c.v.’s to newly opened job searches, have an interview at a table or in a private room, or, if you’re lost, find guidance and be reconnected with your interviewing institution. As there are a lot of new people in the job market every year, here we thought we’d answer the most frequent questions candidates have about the Job Center.
Do I need to be registered for the annual meeting to use the Job Center? Yes, job candidates and all search committee members need to be registered for the meeting to use official Job Center facilities. There will be no exceptions.
Is there a separate registration or sign-up to needed to use the Job Center? For candidates, there is no additional charge or registration beyond conference registration needed to use the Job Center.
Where is the Job Center? The Job Center interviewing tables, the information booth, the c.v. collection booth, and the Electronic Search Committee Locator System will be in the Hynes Convention Center, Ballroom A. Job Center interview rooms will be located in the Sheraton Boston and Boston Marriott Copley Place.
More importantly, Where is my interview? If the interviewers haven’t told you beforehand, please visit the Job Center Information Booth in Hynes Convention Center Ballroom A. Here we have a large monitor (the “Electronic Search Committee Locator System”) with a scrolling display of all the Job Center searches and all the independently arranged searches that have told us where they are interviewing. If the display says something like “Table B-1,” that means the interview is at a table in the convention center ballroom. If the display has a hotel name and room number, that means the interview is in a hotel room or suite. If the interviewing institution is not listed, that means they haven’t told us, so come back later or contact a member of the search committee.
When is my interview? The Job Center staff does not schedule interviews. That is between you and and the search committee. We cannot “double check” interview times because we do not know them. If you do not have an interview time beforehand or cannot remember your time, please try to contact a member of the search committee. We can try to help you track them down, of course.
Ok, I know when and where my interview is. Now what? If your interview is at a table, just show up at Ballroom A and sign in at the waiting area about 10 minutes before your scheduled interview. A search committee member will come out and call your name when they are ready to interview you. If your interview is in a hotel room, just go there 10 minutes before your interview and wait outside the room—no need to sign in at the Job Center first.
When is the Job Center open? Interview tables and c.v. collection will be open Thursday, January 6, 12:30–6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, January 7 and 8, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, January 9, 9:00 a.m.–noon. Rooms will be available Thursday, January 6, 1:00–5:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, January 7 and 8, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, January 9, 8:00 a.m.–noon.
Is there free wifi at the Job Center? There is free wifi throughout the Hynes Convention Center, where the Job Center waiting area and the interview tables are located.
What do I as a candidate need to bring? You should definitely bring multiple copies of your c.v. One of the services that the Job Center provides is to collect c.v.’s for open searches. The c.v. collection booth will be in the Hynes Convention Center, Ballroom A. Although more and more searches every year are conducting prearranged interviews only, you may be able to get an interview by submitting a c.v. to an open search at the booth. Submit your c.v. early (Thursday or Friday), so the search committee has time to review it and to schedule an interview.
You should also bring dissertation chapters, letters of recommendation, cover letters, teaching evaluations, or any other supporting materials that search committees may require. You should save those for your interviews though, rather than submit them at the c.v. collection booth. Search committees collecting c.v.’s usually have many candidates to review (especially in popular fields), so too much paperwork may hurt rather than help. Use your supporting materials to help make your case at the interview.
You should also bring a notepad and pen or electronic personal planner for taking notes and writing down interview locations, a cell phone so you can be reached, and business cards for networking opportunities.
Any way I can know if institution X is going to be at the annual meeting beforehand? Check out our blog AHA Today in mid-December for when we post the Job Center Handout. This document will have all the Job Center searches listed and should give you a fair idea of who is going to be there and who is collecting c.v.’s. Of course, the late schedulers and a goodly number of the independent searches will not be included, and will only be known in Boston (because that’s when we find out about them!).
Ok, these late-announcing searches, where can I find out about them? There will be a bulletin board at the Job Center with the newest searches, updated regularly throughout the meeting. And if they’re actually interviewing in Boston, their location will be added to the scrolling monitor as well.
What else do I need to know before going through this? I would personally recommend candidates and familiarize themselves with the AHA’s Guidelines for the Hiring Process and the appropriate sections in the Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct. Know your rights.
Is it as bad as I’ve heard? You’ve got a job interview, or are looking for one. It’s a naturally stressful situation. But don’t panic. Take care of what you can—be on time, bring your supporting materials, dress appropriately, and try to relax. Present yourself as someone the search committee would actually like to have as a colleague! A little professionalism goes a long way (that goes for search committee behavior too, by the way).
And also remember we’re here to help if you need it. Best of luck! See you in Boston.
David Darlington is associate editor of Perspectives on History and is a co-manager of the Job Center.
Also check out the AHA's Job Center video: "A How-to Guide for First Time Users". This explanatory video is for all history job-seekers about to use the AHA's Job Center—which provides search committees and candidates with interviewing facilities at the AHA's annual meeting—for the first time.Last Updated: December 30, 2010 10:57 AM