How to Get a Holiday Job

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seasonal-workerSeasonal hiring presents a great opportunity for many people to pick up more work, make extra money, or even embark on what could become a new career once the holidays wind down. Whether you’re looking to make extra money over the holidays or hoping to get your foot in the door at a larger company, the holidays rely on a notable influx in the temporary workforce, one that many job seekers should take advantage of.

Supply and demand

Seasonal jobs in particular operate closely alongside the known rule of “supply and demand.” The stronger the forecast is for consumer spending, the more seasonal jobs may be available. This year, falling gas prices alone hint at a bigger consumer spending push throughout the holidays. Additionally, Kohl’s department stores expect to hire about 67,000 seasonal hires – up from 53,000 last year – and Walmart announced a seasonal hire estimate of 60,000, which is 5,000 more than last year. Paying attention to consumer reports or industry trends can help narrow a search, but in general, it’s easiest to keep in mind that seasonal hiring occurs around the holidays – and that means retail. Other industries include shipping and handling services, warehouse services, and the middle to high-scale restaurant scene. Companies that transcend multiple categories, like Amazon, are also a safe bet – as they are retailers who will undoubtedly hire plenty of seasonal help in warehouse fulfillment and delivery logistics.

Expedite the process

When applying for seasonal jobs, be prepared to condense your typical application/interviewing timeline by a great deal. Seasonal hiring is rapid and many larger companies hire early on, sometimes as early as August or September. When approaching your resume, it’s important to think about all of your skill sets, rather than fine-tuning your background for a specific role. Pay attention to the types of skills needed for a variety of seasonal jobs, many of which don’t require highly specific training, and emphasize a broad set of abilities. In the retail industry, it can help to drop off a resume in person even if you haven’t noticed advertising for holiday hiring. Many stores are less formal about seasonal hiring and will be able to get you in touch with the right people fairly quickly.

Work with a staffing agency

For many people seeking seasonal jobs, going through a staffing agency is typically the most efficient and easiest route to take. Many larger companies, which are generally the companies that are able to hire a significant amount of holiday support, work through agencies year after year. Moreover, staffing agencies cut down your job search timeline tremendously and allow your resume to get noticed in earlier hiring phases, rather than at the last-minute. Finally, working with an agency ensures that your temporary hire arrangements are properly handed. During hectic holiday seasons, lining up temporary work can be an added headache for employers. Agencies serve as a third party that takes care of any and all paperwork, compliance requirements and other logistical details.

Author: Claire Topalian

Claire Topalian is a writer, non-profit Communications professional, and advocate for diversity in business. She currently leads Communications and the Startup Women initiative at UP Global, an international non-profit that builds startup communities through educational programs and events. You can follow her on Twitter @clairetopalian.

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