San Diego Union Tribune

It’s Time for Seasonal Hiring

The most expensive and wonderful time of year has arrived. This year, with unemployment at its lowest in years, retailers are gearing up and adjusting their workforce for a prosperous season.

But it’s not only the brick-and-mortar stores expecting higher spending than last year. U.S. retail ecommerce sales are expected to jump 16.6 percent during the 2017 holiday season.

So this year the news looks bright for holiday shopping. While we usually associate seasonal jobs with traditional retailers, like Walmart and Target, who together will hire over 120,000 temporary employees this winter, Fed-Ex and UPS might be great options for those who don’t want to be stuck indoors, especially with the increase in online shopping. Even private delivery services with companies like Amazon are good bets this year. Many of those jobs may also extend beyond January due to returns.

Be sure to investigate high-demand industries such as restaurants, hotels, travel, and event management. People begin their seasonal travel to spend time with their families. Added positions in these categories also increase temporary hiring during the season.

Companies, more and more, are hiring seasonal professionals, meaning contractors and temporary part-time or full-time workers, in lieu of salaried workers because it keeps their costs down while also meeting the holiday rush. In today’s digital world, companies ramp up their efforts on social media, as well as adding someone to make regular updates on their websites, during the holidays to advertise products, deals and to monitor consumer feedback. Other top-paying seasonal jobs include decorators, who design holiday window displays and building decor; production designers, who lay out holiday cards and party invitations; and photographers, who take family photos for holiday cards and photograph events.

Seasonal hiring includes well-paying professional jobs, as well as jobs that pay minimum wage. What does this mean for you? A win-win opportunity to try out a new company or industry on a short-term basis while providing much-needed supplemental income during the holiday season.

These jobs are being filled starting NOW so it’s time to get up off the couch and be the first in line.

Here are a few common pros of temporary seasonal employment you might want to take into consideration.

It’s resume-building

If you’re straight out of college or struggling to fill in bare spots in your resume, adding a seasonal job is a great way to show additional job experience. Alternatively, if you’re looking to switch industries but have no experience in your new field, adding a seasonal job can help bridge the gap.

For example, if you’re interested in a full-time customer-service role, a seasonal retail job at a company known for outstanding service, such as Trader Joe’s will stand out on your resume. Similarly, if you’re looking to switch to into an operations role, seasonal jobs with logistics leaders such as Amazon or Apple, even if they are basic retail or warehouse roles, can really help you shine.

Start online

Your first step should be to start your search online. It is quick and easy, and many jobs allow you to apply online without having to fill out the application by hand. Many job search sites offer seasonal and temporary employment as part of the search so you don’t have to wade through all the full-time employment.

If you have a specific retail store in mind, head to its website and check out the careers page to see if the store is hiring for seasonal employment. This is true for the tourism industry as well. Visit the websites for the hotels near you. You might find job opening in guest services, a banquet captain, front desk supervisors or even sales.

Once the holidays are in full swing, you might notice some stores, restaurants or delivery services may need additional staff and do last-minute hiring.

Network and reach out

I know I might sound like a broken record but networking is key. Make sure your friends and family know that you are looking for work. It’s also not a bad idea to put the message out on your social networking sites to see if any of your connections have any leads. Your network of business and personal connections may also be able to give you a referral to help you secure an interview with a company. Having someone vouch for you can make a huge difference in your job search.

Treat the process like full-time employment

A big mistake many job seekers make is not taking the process as seriously as they would if they were applying for a full-time job. Even though it’s only seasonal work, you are still competing against many other applicants and a hiring manager wants to know that you will still be professional and work hard. Dress the part if you fill out applications in person or are called in for an interview.

Don’t forget – research the company and practice your answers with a friend. Being prepared will let the interviewer know that you are serious about the job. With the high turnover in seasonal employment, employers want to know that you are serious and committed, and being ready and professional will help to convey that.

Be professional and work hard

In some cases, companies will hire full-time employees from their seasonal employees. If you are interested in obtaining full-time employment, make sure you stand out and work hard during your employment to encourage a manager to consider you for full-time permanent employment.

The work that you put into job hunting will pay off once you are hired on as a seasonal employee. From the first day until the end of the season, be professional and work hard to impress your coworkers and your managers. You never know what kind of future opportunities may be provided based on the impression you make during your seasonal employment.