Job Center

The following is intended only to provide general information on the goals and functioning of the Job Center organized at the annual meetings of the AHA. Information that is specific to a particular meeting will be made available in the fall. For more information, contact Job Center Coordinator Liz Townsend.

The Job Center hosted the AHA’s first Career Fair in 2014. The fair brings job candidates and students together with mentors from various career paths. There are tables where informal discussions can take place and where information can be shared with current or future job candidates about what career opportunities exist for those trained in history. More information on the next Career Fair can be found on the AHA web site in the autumn.

Job Center "How-to Guide for First Time Users" Video

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.

The American Historical Association’s annual meeting Job Center provides institutions and candidates with facilities and administrative support for position interviewing during the AHA annual meeting.

In accordance with AHA policy, which supports open listing of employment opportunities, the annual meeting Job Center facility will be open to all annual meeting participants.

You must register for the annual meeting in order to participate in the Job Center, the Career Fair, and the Exhibit Hall. Preregistration and housing information will be published online, in the September issue of Perspectives on History, and in the annual meeting Program.

Location

The Job Center, the interviewing tables, and Job Center interview rooms will be in one or more of the meeting hotels.

Job Center Hours

Normally, the Job Center will operate 12:30–6:00 p.m. on the Thursday the meeting opens for prearranged interviews only. On Friday and Saturday, it will be open 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., and on Sunday, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Reserving Space at the Job Center

Reservation forms will normally be available on the AHA web page in mid-October.

Interviewing institutions who wish to reserve space through the Job Center should complete the room or table reservation forms. Please be sure to complete all sections of the forms, particularly the section for address, contact person, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address (to which the reservation confirmation will be sent).

Job Center rooms and tables are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on demand, requests may be placed on a waiting list, with additional space released after the initial mid-November deadline.

Room Reservations

Rooms are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis in half-day increments from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. for a fee. Institutions reserving a full day need not vacate the room during the lunch hour. The rooms are normally small and conference-style, ideal for interviewing.

Prepayment is required. Rooms can be cancelled until December 15, and no refunds will be given after that date. There will be a fee assessed for refunds.

If you wish the Job Center staff to collect CVs for you, please indicate this on the room reservation form and attach a copy of the job description(s). If you are holding only prearranged interviews, you do not have to send a complete job description. However, please list the field and specialization so the position can be identified.

Keys for rooms may be picked up at the Job Center Information Booth. Do not ask hotel staff for room keys.

Table Reservations

Institutions may reserve tables at no cost for each day of the Job Center. If you wish the Job Center staff to collect CVs for you, please indicate this on the table reservation form and attach a copy of the job description(s). If you are holding only prearranged interviews, you do not have to send a complete job description. However, please list the field and specialization so the position can be identified.

Noninterviewing Positions and Late Notices

Noninterviewing job announcements sent in by a specified date will be included in the Job Center handout. Bulletin boards will also be available for posting late-breaking notices on the site. Bring copies of each late-breaking job notice to the Job Center information table for posting, or, if online, the description can be printed there.

Arranging Interviews

Institutions

Prearranged Interviews. After advertising their positions in Perspectives on History, most institutions will contact selected candidates to prearrange interviews at the Job Center. Search committees that schedule conference interviews beforehand should provide ample notice to applicants. Ideally, applicants should be notified of a conference interview more than 21 days in advance to allow them to take advantage of less expensive air fares and preregistration rates.

Institutions must prearrange specific appointment times with interviewees. Please do not simply tell interviewees to contact you at the meeting to set up a time.

Open Interviews. Institutions wishing to arrange some or all of their interviews at the meeting can request CV collection. Job Center staff WILL NOT sign up candidates for interviews. Staff will collect CVs and place them in the appropriate folders. It will be the responsibility of the interviewers to contact the candidates and schedule interviews.

Although many institutions may find they are overwhelmed with responses to their job listing(s), the AHA strongly urges schools to acknowledge the receipt of all CVs. Such an action demonstrates professional courtesy and recognizes the efforts of fellow historians in a tight job market. Message forms for applicants whom institutions do not wish to interview should be returned to AHA staff, who will notify candidates by e-mail.

Candidates

Prearranged Interviews. Candidates with prearranged interviews in a room may proceed directly to the specified room at the assigned time. If the prearranged interview is at a table, candidates will need to sign in at the Check-In Booth at the Job Center about 10 minutes before their prearranged time. If the location is unknown, the Job Center Information Booth may have more information.

Open Interviews. Read the Job Center handout for position openings. There will also be bulletin boards where late-breaking announcements will be posted. Candidates should review the positions for which they are qualified and determine when they are available for an interview.

Positions in the handout are organized by geographic area, then by state, then by institution, then by field or specialization. Some departments announcing positions will not interview at the Job Center, but will provide an address for further inquiries from interested candidates.

Candidates will then submit CVs for positions of interest at the CV Collection Booth. Candidates should submit one CV with an attached message sheet (provided by the Job Center) for each position for which they would like to interview.

Come prepared with a sufficient supply of CVs, paper, and pens. Please do not rely on copying facilities at the hotels. The prices are often high and the lines can be quite long. Candidates should include their local telephone number (hotel room or other local lodging) or cell phone number on their message forms, as some schools will contact candidates by phone to set up interviews.

Institutions that have reviewed CVs and wish to set up interviews will contact candidates directly by e-mail or phone. Institutions not wishing to interview a candidate at the meeting will submit the response form to AHA staff, who will then send a standard decline message by e-mail.

Location Display

The Job Center features an electronic database system designed to aid job candidates in finding the locations of interviews in all interviewing facilities: at tables, in Job Center rooms, and in privately arranged suites. The display, located at the Job Center Information Booth, includes a list of institutions and their interview locations, if known. All information regarding changes in interview locations and times will be updated and appear on the display.

Bulletin boards will display job descriptions for institutions that have decided to collect CVs at the meeting, or who wish to display a new job. Please note: These billboards are intended for AHA Job Center information only. Any other material posted to the billboards will be removed.

Interviews in Non-Job Center Facilities

The association urges all interviewing institutions to use the Job Center facilities for all interviews. It recognizes, however, that this is not always possible. When the Job Center facilities are not used, it is the responsibility of the interviewers to ensure a professional environment.

The AHA will assist these institutions by collecting CVs, including position listings in the Job Center handout, and providing candidates with information given to the Job Center staff. Please inform AHA staff of your interview location to help all candidates find the correct place. If you won’t know the specific location until you arrive at the annual meeting, make sure to notify staff at the Job Center Information Booth as soon as possible after your arrival.

The AHA will only provide this information to participants registered for the annual meeting, and will specify that it is intended only for candidates with specific appointment times. Please inform your interviewees that they must show their registration badge to the Job Center staff to receive information about schools conducting interviews in non-Job Center facilities. The AHA accepts no responsibility for the misuse of this information by candidates.

Guidelines and Recommendations for Interviews in Non-Job Center Facilities

If it is necessary for an institution to conduct interviews in a regular hotel room, the AHA strongly encourages interviewing institutions to ensure:

  • that the interviewing committee has both genders represented
  • that there is proper seating for job candidates and all interviewers. No one should be seated on a bed. It is the institution’s responsibility to contact the hotel in advance of the meeting to arrange for extra seating; it is the AHA’s responsibility to notify hotels that institutions will request banquet chairs and that they should be provided gratis 
  • that candidates and the Job Center staff are advised where the interviews will be held.

See also the AHA’s hiring guidelines; job advertising policy; and the AHA statement on spousal hiring.

Institutions are particularly urged to:

  • Pay careful attention to interview space, whether parlor/suite or bedroom is used.
  • Advise the hotel when the reservation is made that additional seating will be needed.
  • Ask the hotel’s housekeeping department to clean the room before interviewing begins.
  • Ensure that all interviews and candidates have proper seating and that no one sits on a bed.
  • Keep Job Center personnel informed where interviews are taking place.

Because of its size, the Job Center can be confusing and stressful. To make the process as smooth as possible, we strongly recommend that institutions and candidates prearrange most interviews before the annual meeting.

Candidates and search committees may wish to consult the many excellent articles on interviewing at the Job Center (known as the Job Register until 2009), including

Job Market Etiquette,” by Katharine Hijar

Practical Advice for Treating Job Candidates,” by the AHA Professional Division

Best Practices for Interviewers,” by Mary Lindemann

The Insider’s Guide to the Job Register,” by David Darlington

Surviving a Job Register Interview,” by Melanie Gustafson

Successful Strategies for Interviews at the Annual Meeting,” by Lucy G. Barber and John Wood Sweet