'Tis the Season to Find a Holiday Job


Bing Crosby and Judy Garland dreamed of a White Christmas, but many workers are longing for a green one this year.

One way a job seeker, or even an employed worker, can supplement their income during this often high-spending period is with a temporary job during the holiday season.

Fifty-eight percent of employers surveyed by CareerBuilder.com said they're going to need extra hands in store to meet increased business demands associated with the holidays and end-of-the-year wrap-ups.

Almost a third expect to increase pay levels for seasonal employees over last year, while only 6 percent plan to decrease them. The survey, "Seasonal Hiring 2005," was conducted in August 2005 prior to the events surrounding hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

While 28 percent of hiring managers expect to hire fewer than 10 seasonal workers, 15 percent plan to hire more than 50 workers and nearly one-in-ten plan to hire over 100 workers.

Seasonal jobs will offer generous wages, too. A third of hiring managers expect to pay $10 or more per hour and 12 percent expect to pay $15 or more per hour. Thirty-six percent of hiring managers plan to pay between $6 and $8 per hour and 22 percent expect to pay between $8 and $10.

Nearly six-in-ten hiring managers surveyed prior to hurricanes Katrina and Rita anticipated a surge in seasonal hiring in the fourth quarter. It is expected that hiring managers will continue to monitor the impact of these events as they set their hiring pace going forward.

The most popular positions identified for seasonal recruitment include:

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Shipping/Delivery
  • Administrative/Clerical
  • Customer Service
  • Food Preparation
  • Sales

If you are interested in these or other seasonal positions, I recommend the following tips to make the most of your opportunities during the most wonderful time of the year:

  • Start applying early. More than one-third of hiring managers fill their open positions within two weeks. While many retailers hold job fairs to find seasonal help, the best way to find a job is to meet the manager face-to-face and fill out an application on-site.
  • Show enthusiasm. Saying the only reason you want the position is for the employee discount will not impress the hiring manager. Saying that you want to learn new skills, admire the company or product and enjoy working with customers gives you a much better chance of getting your foot in the door.
  • Dress the part. For example, if you are interviewing for a job in a retail clothing store, it's a good idea to show up dressed in an outfit from that store.
  • Plan to stick around. If you plan to go away for the holidays, don't apply for a job for the holiday season. This sounds obvious, but you might be surprised at how many people apply for seasonal jobs and then ask for two weeks off over Christmas. In fact, not being able to work key days during the holidays could hurt your chances of landing a seasonal job.
  • Take it seriously. If you're interested in working for the company on a more permanent basis, let the hiring manager know early and show initiative -- keep busy, ask questions and volunteer for projects. Plus, skills learned and mastered in seasonal jobs are often transferable to other positions.

Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week >>

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