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7 Tips For Landing That Holiday Job

(posted: October 31st, 2014)

7 Tips For Landing That Holiday Job

Retailers are planning to hire more seasonal employees this year than they have since 1999, according to a study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

So, even if you've put off applying until this late date, there are likely still positions available. Don't procrastinate any longer, though, as employers will stop hiring soon so that they can train the temp staff before the onslaught that traditionally begins the day after Thanksgiving.

But just because it's temporary doesn't mean that it's any easier to land a holiday job. Following are a handful of tips that will help.

7 Holiday Job Seeking Tips

  1. Do your research.
    Apply where there are jobs. The news is full of reports that UPS, FedEx, Macy's and Amazon are increasing their holiday hiring. Dig a little deeper to find who else is doing well and who isn't, and apply at the companies who are thriving. Note that the two opposite ends of the retail spectrum, discount retail and luxury vendors, are doing especially well. The more successful businesses will be hiring. The ones whose business is down or even flat, not so much.
  2. Search online. Apply online.
    Check the websites of your target employers for information about holiday hiring. Company websites are often more informative than the big job search engines, but if you're serious, follow all the leads you find.Where possible, submit your application online as well.
  3. Stand out with face time.
    Even if you apply online, it's smart to go into the store, outlet, or warehouse and introduce yourself to the hiring manager, letting them know that you have submitted an application online. This simple act allows you to demonstrate your interpersonal skills, and will help you stand out from the pack of mostly faceless applicants.
  4. Avoid the mall.
    Well, maybe not entirely, but everyone starts their seasonal job search at the mall. If you apply with retailers outside the mall you'll face less competition.
  5. Look locally.
    Do you frequent one or several local small merchants? Feel like you know their product and their customer base well? Even if they don't appear to be hiring, speak with the store manager or owner and let them know that you would be a great addition to their holiday staff, and why.
  6. Be Politely Persistent.
    Competition is fierce for seasonal work, especially this late, and hiring managers are totally overwhelmed. Go back and check on the status of your application in person or via phone, reminding the manager that you are a current applicant and that you are still available.
  7. Be flexible.
    It may be your key to getting a holiday job. A willingness to work the less popular days and hours, including the holidays themselves at some retailers, will give you more than a leg up on your competitors. After all, it's retail's busy season!

Stay Professional, Go Permanent

Employers that hire seasonal help often use that temporary employment to evaluate potential permanent hires. If you'd like to be asked to stay on past the holidays, show that you have a strong work ethic, come in on time, go the extra mile for the customers and your boss, and be pleasant.

Happy holiday job hunting!

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