I owe some of you an apology. About 97 of you, it appears. That's how many respondents the survey for jobseekers had before I shut it down about a week ago. And here's why I owe you that apology. Because I'm not going to do anything with it--in fact, I probably can't do anything with it. So I've wasted your time there, and I am sorry for that.
Here's what happened. I took a sneak peek at some of the answers last week. At least one of the respondents took the opportunity to point out where I'd gone wrong with the survey. And you know what? S/he was really insulted by my failure to do this right--above all, it was just too important to do on a whim. And I stewed on that a while and thought about the objections presented and decided that, for the most part, the respondent was correct. The questions were skewed and it was done more in a spurt of energy and not so much really thinking it through beforehand.
Which is exactly what I've been telling you not to do with your application materials. How ironic is that? At any rate, I've been thinking it over for over a week now. And what I came to realize is that doing the survey was akin to applying for a job I didn't really want. An initial commitment of time that could lead to an outcome of expectations that I couldn't--and didn't want to--fulfil. I started this blog project with the idea of figuring out--and sharing--what it is that archival recruiters want from archival jobseekers. Anything more? was definitely beyond me.
Do I think it still needs to be done? Absolutely. Apparently a lot of you agree with that, especially the person who disagreed with my methodology (or more precisely, my lack of methodology.) Do I think I'm the person to do it? No, I don't. Having said that: you know all those things I've been saying about building your resume? Doing research and writing on archival-specific topics is a great addition to a resume. Here's a clear research/publication opportunity for one or more of you. In the meantime, if you haven't yet found it, here's an anecdotal option. NewArchivist: the MSI Diaries. Check out the "From the trenches" series.
Again, I'm sorry. I wish I would have thought this through and come to the realization earlier that heading in that direction wasn't somewhere I wanted to go. Well, nobody can say I'm not educable or that I won't let go of a wrong position. And next time I get asked in an interview about a mistake I've made and how I've handled it, I may have a new answer. Here's hoping one of you does it right.