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October 27, 2011

Get Hired for the Holidays: Seasonal Retail Jobs

RetailAccording to the Monster Employment Index (MEI) -- a monthly review of millions of job opportunities posted on online job boards and corporate career sites -- the retail trade sector grew 21 percent between September 2010 and September 2011. All told, the sector has shown 19 consecutive months of positive year-over-year growth since March 2010. And according to the National Retail Federation, retailers are expected to hire 480,000 to 500,000 seasonal workers in 2011.

So what can you do if you want one of these seasonal retail jobs?

Doing research is key -- because retail employers want to hire people who are enthusiastic about their products. One way to do this is to find and follow the company's social media efforts (on Twitter, for instance), to keep informed not only about products but also about local job opportunities and hiring events.

But take advantage of spur-of-the-moment opportunities, too -- don't hesitate to walk into a store with a Help Wanted sign in the window, because seasonal hiring often moves a lot faster than a traditional hiring process. With that in mind, it might make sense to put on your interview outfit, print up copies of your resume, and head to your local mall -- preferably on a weekday afternoon (when it's less crowded and a manager may have more time to speak to you).

Update your resume and prep for interviews by highlighting experience that's relevant to a retail environment. Even if you've never worked in a store, your past jobs may have required managing client relationships, data entry, simple accounting, merchandising, inventory, and similar transferable skills. And to seal the deal, be proactive about following up with a phone call, within a week after you drop off your resume. 

(And working retail isn't all cash registers and stock rooms. Read "Cool Holiday Jobs in Retail" for more ideas.) 

 Don't want to work in a store? Many other industries hire seasonal workers during the winter holidays: catering companies and some restaurants add staff, there's demand for short-term temporary office workers in a variety of occupations (to fill in for vacationing staff members or help with end-of-year crunches), and delivery companies hire thousands of seasonal workers to handle increased volume.

All of these temporary opportunities can be great resume builders and networking opportunities -- and one might just be a step to a full-time, permanent position. A rise in overall temporary hiring is expected next year. (Read "Temp Jobs Expected to Be on Upswing in 2012" for more.)

What are your holiday-hiring tips? Do you have a seasonal-job success story? Tell us about it in the Comments section.


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Posted by Charles Purdy on October 27, 2011 at 02:25 PM in Current Events , Interview , Job Search , Resume | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


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