Guest Author - Reshma Vyas
Getting a job during the holiday season, or any job for that matter, in the current economic environment is becoming an almost insurmountable task. The sheer scarcity of jobs and heightened competition are particularly frustrating and daunting for individuals trying to secure seasonal employment. Large retail stores, many of which are financially struggling, have drastically reduced their workforce and scaled back their plans for seasonal hiring. The traditional venues of seasonal employment such as the retail and hospitality sectors have been negatively impacted by the difficult economic environment. As a result, job seekers have to become increasingly creative and proactive when it comes to obtaining a job during the holiday season.
It is imperative to start your job search for the holiday season as early as possible. Employers are looking for flexibility, dependability and enthusiasm in applicants for seasonal jobs.
A few strategies:
1. When it comes to applying for seasonal jobs, you may not need a resume. However, it is still beneficial to prepare a brief resume. In a highly competitive climate, it can help you stand out from other job seekers. The resume can highlight your range of skills, knowledge and experience in terms of previous positions held, hobbies, and participation in charitable activities. The resume should spotlight relevant skills and experience. For example, individuals who are knowledgeable about nature and gardening might be able to obtain seasonal employment as an instructor, tour guide at a botanical garden or arboretum, or as a part-time sales clerk at a Christmas tree nursery. It may also be prudent to present a copy of your references to your prospective employer. Busy employers will appreciate organized and prepared job applicants.
2. Search the websites of companies in your area as well as reputable online job boards. Apply to legitimate and reputable temporary agencies. When applying online, submit a cover letter outlining your relevant experience and skills and emphasize flexibility and dependability. The cover letter should also convey enthusiasm for the job in question.
3. Step up volunteering activities as this will help you keep current with any job openings. It may help to focus on smaller, more nimble, and possibly overlooked companies and organizations. Large clinics, hospitals, animal shelters and food banks in your area may have reached their saturation both with volunteers and part-time staff. Focus on smaller organizations as they may need help the most. Job openings with lesser known and/or smaller organizations can be easily overlooked.
4. Try to be more proactive. Many seasonal jobs, such as those in the retail and hospitality industries and the services sector in general, are most often filled by submitting a walk-in application. If you are fortunate to obtain an interview, follow-up with a short thank-you note. Writing a thank-you note shows the prospective employer that you care and are serious about the position.
Possible Seasonal Opportunities
1. Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
2. Activities Instructor or Assistant
4. Commission Sales
5. Contractual Web Designer
6. Decorator/Interior Design
7. Dietary Aide
8. Driver (Part-time or even full-time)
9. Event Planning/Support
10. Fundraising Sales
12. Insurance Verification Clerk
13. Leasing Agent (Apartment complex, etc.)
14. Mail Sorter
15. Merchandiser, hourly or as independent contractor. Field Service Rep.
16. Newsletter Writer
17. Outside Sales Representative
18. Package Handler/Delivery
19. Part-time Installation
20. Part-time Proposal Writer
21. Product Coordinator (usually in the retail field)
22. Product Demonstrator
23. Pharmacy Clerk (training may be provided in some instances)
24. Seasonal Tour Guide
Informational purposes and not intended as advice.