See also: 6 more steps to landing a holiday job.
Macy’s, for example, recently announced it will hire 80,000 seasonal associates for the 2012 holiday season, and other usual suspects, such as Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us, are pumping up their rosters too.
That’s jolly good news. For many retirees and job-hunting 50-plus workers looking for a temporary gig, the holiday season is a perfect time to pull in some extra income. And you have what employers are looking for: They’re eager to hire someone who is responsible and reliable.
Plus, you never know. Your temporary gig can lead to future employment after the holiday rush dies down. You’ve got a foot in the door, demonstrated your capability and built a rapport.
If you’re interested in looking for a holiday job, here’s how you get started.
1. Cast a wide net. At retailers, there’s a seasonal demand not only for sales clerks, but for customer service helpers, cashiers, stockroom workers, package wrappers, product demonstrators, online and call service representatives, distribution center associates and, of course, Santasand elves, too.
And retailers aren’t the only ones looking. You may also find openings at restaurants as greeters, wait staff and bartenders. Package delivery firms such as UPS and FedEx are swamped with a surge in demand and hire accordingly. Small boutiques, mall kiosks, catering companies and florists add staff at this time of year.
2. Use your network. Ask friends and family members who work at companies that add seasonal workers for a heads up if they know positions may be available.
3. Play the familiarity card. At slack times, stop by businesses where you’re already a customer and talk to the person in charge of hiring seasonal helpers. Knowing you’re already a loyal fan of the business can make it easier to add you to the team.
- 4. Make it personal. Online applications are often standard fare at big national employers. If possible, an in-person visit to a specific location allows you to meet the store or restaurant manager and is hands-down the best way to get noticed. Be enthusiastic, energetic — spirited, if you will. Dress professionally in case your passing conversation turns into a formal interview.
5. Follow up. It’s good business, and good manners, to call or email the person you met, or interviewed with, to say thanks for the time. If there’s not an immediate opening, don’t be a pest, but try to keep tabs on hiring plans. As customer traffic builds during the fall months, opportunities may pop up unexpectedly. By staying in touch, you position yourself to be top of mind for last-minute hiring decisions. When someone doesn’t show up for work, bingo, you’ll be a go-to worker in a pinch.
6. Be flexible. You’ll have a better chance of getting hired if you’re willing to work whenever they need you. Employers are often in the dark about just how many hours of help they’ll require until the shopping season really gets going. So be clear that you can come in at a drop of a hat, work weekends and nights (if you can) and are open to tackling many kinds of jobs.
7. Have a future view. It never hurts to let a manager know during an interview that you can also be available at other busy times during the year. For some employers, knowing they only have to go through the hiring and training process once can be an incentive to hire you for now, but with an eye to the future.
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