In today’s economy many people are wondering, “where are all the jobs?” Young preservationists are especially curious about job availabilities.
If you are looking for employment or even an internship, HISTPRES is the website for you. Laura Burghardt, a native of Western NC who herself has been working in the Winston-Salem area recently, and Meagan Baco developed HISTPRES to display job openings in the field of preservation, especially jobs for those starting out in the field.
Not only can you search for openings, but you can also submit your
resume for review. The website offers a consultation package for sale
called Resume Review. The service includes a resume review, custom job
suggestions, and guidance in preparing a job or internship application.
Upon learning all of this information about HISTPRES, I was curious to
ask Laura and Meagan some questions.
How did you get started on creating the HISTPRES website?
After we both graduated with a master’s in historic preservation, we
began searching for jobs and developed a system for searching. Once we
landed our jobs, Laura didn’t want to stop the daily job hunt but
instead wanted to share the interesting opportunities for emerging
preservation professionals. There are so many interesting opportunities
in preservation and we can’t apply for them all, so why not share them
on HISTPRES! After that, it was a matter of trial and error working on
the DIY website and establishing a business. We’re working hard to
make the site successful, and we thank all of our daily readers!
What kind of jobs does the website cover?
We post nearly any preservation-related job that seems interesting and
has a low requirement for years of experience. We’ve become very
familiar with the range of preservation jobs and have a feel for what
people will be interested in and what is appropriate for recent
graduates or emerging professionals. We post jobs that we consider
“under-advertised.” Many preservation-related jobs are hidden in the
depths of the Internet, making them hard to find and apply for. We
especially like to post unique jobs, like historic train conductor and
18th-century farmer. These are jobs that someone out there may really be
interested in, but perhaps didn’t even know existed!
Are there internships and other opportunities listed on the site?
Absolutely. Our tagline at HISTPRES says “unique jobs,” but it should
say “unique opportunities!” We post full-time jobs, part-time jobs,
term jobs, internships, field schools, conferences, training sessions,
events, calls for papers, calls for presentations, and general historic
preservation news. Just navigate to the type of job you’re looking for
or check out the site every day for the most recent opportunities.
How many jobs are listed on HISTPRES currently?
We post between five and ten opportunities a day, and over the past
eight months that HISTPRES has been up, we’ve amassed about 1,500 jobs.
Even as these jobs expire, they stay on the site. This lets readers
explore the variety of preservation jobs that exist, note hiring
trends, see the most common qualifications, and get to know names of
businesses and organizations.
How do you learn about job openings to post on the site?
While we gladly accept submissions of jobs for posting, but the
majority of our jobs are hand-picked by Laura, who skillfully searches
the Internet everyday! We can’t give away her secrets, but really it’s
just a lot of hard work on Laura’s part to bring HISTPRES readers the
best preservation opportunities.
Who is using the site?
HISTPRES has a very diverse group of readers: recent graduates,
emerging professionals, folks making preservation a second career,
academic career advisors, preservation program administrators, even
parents and grandparents suggesting awesome preservation jobs! Everyone
is welcome and we are starting to develop other content for the site,
separate from the job posts.
How long do you plan on maintaining the website?
In perpetuity, we’re just getting started.
What would you say to students or professionals currently looking for an internship or job?
Here are some basics for folks looking for jobs and internships: Be
flexible in your job search and geographic scope, create your own job
search system including networking (be tour docent, volunteer
somewhere, do more and meet more people in preservation), and never
Finding a good job in this market is tough in general, but historic
preservation-related jobs have the benefit of requiring unique
qualifications that you probably already have. On the other hand many
employers are seeing an increase in total number of applications. This
means you have to have a strong resume, cover letter and application. We
know what employers are looking for, we know how to highlight your
best skills; check out the resume review and custom preservation
opportunity package on HISTPRES.