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How to land a seasonal job

It's the holiday season, and employers have too many customers and orders to handle without extra help. That's where you come in.

By Stacy Johnson Oct 28, 2010 6:23PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.


If you're job-hunting, don't pass up seasonal work. It just might land you a permanent position, according to a new survey of employers by CareerBuilder.

The study found that about 40% of companies are planning to keep at least some of their seasonal workers, up from 31% last year. But while your chances may be better, you have to know where to look.  Post continues after video.

CareerBuilder has put out a list of more than 20 companies hiring for the holidays. Here are the top five jobs seasonal employers hope to fill for the holidays:

  • Retail (33%).
  • Customer service (31%).
  • Clerical support (17%).
  • Shipping and delivery (12%).
  • Hospitality (10%).

Chances are you can find something close by in one of those categories. You could also check out our stories -- "4 ways you might fall into a good seasonal job" and "5 best temporary jobs" -- for more ideas.


But getting one of those jobs isn't going to be easy: A lot of people are out of work. To have the best chances at landing one, make sure you do the following:

  • Apply ASAP. Almost half of employers aren't accepting applications after Halloween, and most of the rest won't take any more after Thanksgiving. If you want to work, don't wait.
  • Be enthusiastic. Don't look a gift-time horse in the mouth. A lot of seasonal workers make the mistake of taking temporary work less seriously than a permanent job. Showing indifference in an interview will annoy an already stressed employer, and if you're lucky enough to get hired, bringing that attitude to work hurts your chances of keeping the position permanently.
  • Dress appropriately. Retailers don't like it when you show up for an interview wearing their competitor's latest fashion. If you're interviewing at a clothing store, try to wear that brand -- and always dress professionally. Casual work doesn't mean casual interview attire.
  • Do your research. This goes for any job.Don't walk in and ask for a position with a place you've never heard of. Look up the company, see what it's known for, how it operates, and whether it's been in the news recently. If you don't invest time in the company, why would it invest time in you?
  • Be ready to explain yourself. Employers are extra skeptical when hiring temporary help, and they're looking to weed out applicants who might be unreliable and unable to get work, just want the employee discount for the holidays, or those who might take the work less seriously than a "real job." Convince them otherwise by being professional, committed, and quick-witted. Those qualities will also raise your chance of keeping the job permanently.

If you do land the job, congrats! Be sure to tell your new boss you're interested in a permanent position, and demonstrate an interest in the company by volunteering for extra responsibility and asking questions. If things don't work out, take a look at "4 places for free job training" so you can pick up some new skills and try again somewhere else.


More from Money Talks News and MSN Money:



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