Some reports indicate that holiday hiring will not be as robust this year, while surveys conducted by organizations like SnagAJob.com indicate a 26% increase in 2011 holiday season hiring from last year's levels. If you can get one of these positions, expect the pay to be reasonable for a job designed to earn extra income. Half of all hiring managers expected to pay at least $10 per hour with 9% paying at least $16. If the seasonal hiring statistic is correct, managers will have an average of 3.9 jobs available this season, but with unemployment and wages still severely depressed, finding those jobs could be difficult. Regardless of the hiring environment, competition is sure to be fierce for holiday positions this year. So, what can you do to stand out from crowd?
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Do What You Know
Do you like clothes? Apply at clothing retailers. Do you like sports? Make one of your first prospects a sporting goods store. Along with wanting to spend the holiday season working in an industry where you have interest, you're more likely to make a positive, and enthusiastic, impression in an interview if you're talking about something you enjoy and know well.
More Than Retail
UPS says that they will hire up to 50,000 workers this holiday season, and they're not alone. As merchandise is purchased, the infrastructure needed to get the goods to the customer, or recipient, of the gift sees a substantial increase in volume. If you enjoy warehouse-style work, these jobs often pay better than retail positions. (For a more investment-related article on the retail sector, check out Analyzing Retail Stocks.)
Get creative with your job hunting prospects. Nearly every business has some exposure to the increase in holiday retail traffic. People travel more to spend time with family, they give and receive more money as well as make end of year financial transactions, and they eat out more for holiday parties. Retail stores might have the hiring signs in the window, but businesses all over your community need help.
Waiting until November to apply is too late. Apply right now. Hiring managers want their workers trained and experienced for the holiday rush, which seems to start earlier every year. If you haven't started your search, now is the time.
One survey found that those who were hiring seasonal employees saw scheduling flexibility as one of their top three criteria. If you have scheduling demands, they would rather hire somebody else in the resume stack. Holiday traffic tends to be unpredictable, especially in the early part of December. Employers want somebody they can call at the last minute, or send home if business is slow. If your schedule doesn't allow for that flexibility, a holiday job may not be a good fit for you.
Make an impression
Once you get the job, make an extraordinary impression if you would like to stay on as a permanent employee. Of businesses, that were surveyed, 40% reported that they would most likely convert a portion of their seasonal employees into ongoing positions, up from 2009's 31%.
The Bottom Line
Many people use seasonal positions to not only make extra money, but receive employee discounts on merchandise they would normally give as gifts. There is sure to be heavy competition for the available positions, but if you're enthusiastic, flexible and knowledgeable, there's probably a job waiting for you. (For another, in-depth reading into finding a new job outside of the holiday season, check out 9 Different Ways To Find A New Job.)