Job Listing: Guide

Job Postings,

Monticello - Charlottesville, VA

Closes - open until filled

Position Title - Guide

Compensation - $15/hour

Job Type - part-time; Available to work weekends, evenings, and some holidays is required.

Apply - Application must include: (1) a cover letter, (2) resume, and (3) contact information for two professional references. Please visit the website to apply.

Hiring timeline:

  • Phone and in person interviews: Mid October-Mid December.
  • Position closes: Mid December
  • Offers/notifications: Early January.
  • Training begins: Wednesday, January 25th

Summary - The purpose of Guides is to make Monticello a place of reflection and inspiration for twenty-first century guests. To be a powerful storyteller, conveying the histories of Jefferson and all of Monticello’s free and enslaved inhabitants through research, documents, artifacts, landscape and architecture. To serve as an informed, friendly ambassador to visitors whether onsite or online. Monticello guides are committed to working as a part of a team to ensure an excellent guest experience.

Job Responsibilities 

  • Develop and conduct interpretive, interactive talks, dialogues, and/or tours indoors, outdoors, and digitally for varied audiences.
  • Provide informal interpretation through conversations with guests in a variety of historic, modern, and digital spaces.
  • Talk with audiences about the founding of the United States, principles of the Declaration of Independence and its legacies, slavery in the United States and its legacies, Jefferson’s families with Martha Jefferson and Sally Hemings, history of the landscape and gardens, and the architecture and material culture of the site.
  • Uses historical reasoning and thinking to assess primary and secondary sources.
  • Respond to audiences by varying tour content and technique to meet differing levels of familiarity and interests.  

Qualifications -

  • Two years of college or equivalent experience in either a) interpreting a historic site or b) public speaking and historical study.
  • Excellent speaking skills, especially the ability of succinct expression
  • Excellent interpersonal skills—must be able to demonstrate empathy for each visitor and help them feel that Monticello is a place meant for them
  • Ability to perceive and express the complexity of Monticello’s history – home of the author of the Declaration of Independence and a plantation powered by enslaved labor – and its contested nature today.
  • Ability to work well as part of a team meeting multiple demands and changing situations
  • Skilled at working with children of all ages and varying backgrounds and managing students in group situations
  • Digital and technology skills
    • Basic understanding and use of smart phones and tablets (ability to send/receive texts on work devices take, find, and show photos and videos)
    • Assess and critically vet sources on the Internet
    • Use email regularly
    • Ability to use digital meeting and webinar platforms
    • Ability to learn and use scheduling software
    • Demonstrated comfort with using interpretive apps and accessing videos online for continuing education.

Physical Demands and Work Considerations:

  • Must be able to stand for periods up to 120 minutes.
  • Work inside and outside in all weather conditions for up to 8 hours with breaks included.
  • Walk on uneven and sloped ground.
  • Speak at an acceptable volume for at least five hours per day with breaks included.
  • The ability to climb and descend at least 75 steep, narrow stairs inside the house at one time and climb and descend at least 20 stairs on a regular basis throughout the day is required.