Nov 20

Seasonal Jobs Are All the Rage: Here’s What You Need to Know to Land a Great One

The arrival of the holiday seasons means indulgent overeating, and shopping: Lots of shopping. And when consumers do lots of shopping, retailers must hire more employees.

Seems logical, right? Right.

Retail sales make up 20 to 40 percent of any single retailer’s annual sales, a monetary figure that’s expected to rise to $616.9 billion in 2014. As the economy has continued to rebound over the last few years, material goods are once again in high demand. With skyrocketing sales numbers comes the need for more staff to wrangle the crowds, and to oversee the transportation of Santa’s bounty.

The National Retail Federation anticipates that retailers will increase their ranks to the tune of 800,000 seasonal employees. Now, that sounds like an opportunity if ever we heard one.

Everyone could use a little extra jingle jangle in the pocket this time of year. Here’s what you need to know to land the most rewarding seasonal job.

Go to where the jobs are.

Holiday shoppers flock to discount department stores — think Walmart and Target — and they’ll be hiring in large numbers. But maybe retail isn’t your thing, and that’s okay. FedEx and UPS have big plans to hire nearly 150,000 seasonal workers in 2014.

Dress to impress.

It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for a job cutting Christmas trees, or for a job selling jewelry at Macy’s, think business-casual.

Always be prepared. 

Have pen, will fill out application. Be prepared to sit for an impromptu interview, and to prove that you are legally authorized to work in the United States. Bring a copy of your resume, and any professional references that might speak to your related knowledge and experience.

Know what you want, and what you offer.

Don’t waste your time, or your potential employer’s. Before applying for any seasonal job, take a few minutes to know what you offer, and what you want in return. Decide what hourly rate you will accept, and what you will turn down. Determine what hours and days you will make yourself available to work (Are you open to working Christmas Eve, or not?), and how far you’re willing to travel for work.

Be flexible.

Flexibility is key. Not just during the holiday season rush, but especially so. If you walk into an interview and say, “I can work Tuesday, December 2; Thursday December 11; Monday, December 15; and Tuesday, December 23, and that’s it.”, you’re not as likely to land the job as someone with fewer scheduling restrictions.

Happy seasonal job hunting!

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