Have you seen the “Help wanted” and “Hiring now for seasonal employment” banners hanging everywhere from Target to the local strip mall? Companies generally start hiring for the holiday season in early to mid November. However, if you are looking for seasonal employment there are a few factors that make it a better idea than in previous year.
- Overall national employment rates are low, around 5.0%. This will make it more difficult for employers to find workers, therefore they are willing to pay more for good workers.
- Minimum wage is rising across the country, and retailers expect to pay workers between 5%-10% more per hour. When Wal-Mart announced that company-wide minimum wage would be $10/hour, they joined a chorus of voices at the state and municipal level increasing wages across the country.
- Retail isn’t the only sector of the economy that hires during the holidays, warehousing/logistics and hospitality also see increases to meet the holiday rush. Shipping giants, UPS and FedEx are changing their ways to attract workers. UPS is working to become more flexible and has added shifts as short as three and five hours.
What are the benefits of working a seasonal job?
Are you thinking of finding a side job to make extra cash? If you are, you may be an ideal candidate for one of the vast amount of seasonal job opportunities that come around during the holiday season. Besides providing you with some extra cash, a seasonal job can also provide other career benefits.
Benefits of working a seasonal job include:
- Resume building: Adding some experience or filling employment gaps on your resume is one of the potential benefits of working a seasonal job.
- Get your foot in the door: A seasonal job can allow potential employers to test you out as an employee and allow you to network, so when future full time/permanent opportunities open up you are already on their radar.
- Practice: Applying for a seasonal job will allow you to practice resume writing and interviewing skills.
- References: Working a seasonal job also provides you with a recent reference for future employment opportunities.
- Flexibility: Seasonal employment tends to provide flexible hours allowing you to still focus on other priorities like school or finding full-time employment.
- Work: Some work is better than no work. A seasonal job can always provide some extra cash for holiday expenses.
How to find a seasonal job:
- Online: Online job boards or craiglist are common places where postings for seasonal jobs can be found.
- In-Person: Stores, restaurants and other retailers usually post their seasonal job openings with signage in their establishments.
- Ask: Let friends, family and acquaintances you are looking for a seasonal job as they may be aware of opportunities at their work places.
Are you looking for a permanent position? A seasonal job can help!
For those exclusively seeking long-term careers, Phil Rosenberg, President of reCareered explains why the numbers are also in your favor for securing full-time employment. “What ends up happening is that hiring managers put a great deal of pressure on recruiters to be able to get them candidates and set up interviews before everyone in the company goes away for Christmas break.” Despite the push to bring in candidates before holiday break, the actual hiring process may take longer for full-time job seekers. In many cases, employers will convene after the holidays to make a final hiring decision from their candidate pool.
For full-time job seekers, the task is twofold; make yourself available to recruiters and personal contacts, and utilize the holiday break by networking to stay on the radar of employers returning to their offices in January to bring in the new year with new employees. Fortunately, these tasks are easiest to accomplish over the holiday season.
Take advantage of the holiday season using the following tips:
- Attend both work related and personal holiday gatherings.
- Send holiday greetings to contacts through mail, email or social media.
- Be vocal about your career goals – having a pitch prepared describing your career history, current skills, and desired career title will yield greater results than simply informing others you are on the job market.
- Carry business cards with you. If you are not currently employed, simply having a card with your name, email, phone, and LinkedIn address shows others you are ready to follow through on the next career opportunity.
- Have a master resume prepared that can be easily tailored to specific job postings