Technology job listings for cultural heritage or the humanities aren't always easy to find. I've recently been helping recruit into various tech roles at the British Library while also answering questions from folk looking for work in the digital heritage / GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) tech / digital humanities (DH)-ish world, so I've collated some notes on where to look for job ads. Plus, some bonus thoughts on preparing for a job search and applying for jobs.
Preparing for a job search / post
If you're looking for work, setting up alerts or subscribing to various job sites can give you a sense of what's out there, and the skills and language you'd want to include in your CV or portfolio. If you're going to advertise vacancies, it helps to get a sense of how others describe their jobs.
Lurking on slacks and mailing lists gives you exposure to local jargon. Even better, if you can post occasionally to help someone with a question, as people might recognise your name later. Events – meetups, conferences, seminars, etc – can be good for meeting people and learning more about a sector. Serendipitous casual chats are easier in-person, but online events are more accessible.
Applying for GLAM/DH jobs
You probably know this, but sometimes a reminder helps… it's often worth applying for a job where you have most, but not all of the required skills. Job profiles are often wish lists rather than complete specs. That said, pay attention to the language used around different 'essential' vs 'desirable' requirements as that can save you some time.
Please, please pay attention to the questions asked during the application process and figure out (or ask) how they're shortlisting based on the questions they ask. At the BL we can only shortlist with information that applicants provide in response to questions on the application. In other places, reflecting the language and specific requirements in the job ad and profile in your cover letter matters more. And I'm sorry if you've spent ages on it, but never assume that people can see your CV during the shortlisting or interview process.
If you see a technology or method that you haven't tried, getting familiar with it before an interview can take you a long way. Download and try it, watch videos, whatever – showing willing and being able to relate it to your stronger skills helps.
The UK GLAM sector tends not to be able to offer visa sponsorship, but remote contracts may be possible. Always read the fine print…
Translate job descriptions and profiles
Updating to add: public organisations often have obscure job titles and descriptions. You can help translate jargon and public / charity / arts / academic sector speak into something closer to the language potential candidates might understand by writing blog posts and social media / discussion list messages that explain what the job actually involves, why it exists, and what a typical day or week might look like.
Cultural Heritage/Digital Humanities Slacks – most of these have jobs channels
- GLAM Data Science Network
- Digital Humanities
- RSE (research software engineers)
GLAM/DH Mailing lists
- Museum Computer Network (MCN) – mostly US
- Museums Computer Group (MCG) – mostly UK
- GLAM Labs
- Code4Lib discussion list
- Is there something similar for technologists in archiving? Let me know!
Job sites with GLAM/DH vacancies
- Code4Lib jobs
- Digital Library Federation (DLF) jobs
- Digital Preservation Coalition jobs board (thanks Angela Puggioni for the suggestion)