Category: Current Events

December 02, 2011

Monster Employment Index Rises 10% on an Annual Basis

Monster12The Monster Employment Index (MEI) -- a monthly review of millions of job opportunities posted on online job boards and corporate career sites in the United States -- showed strong hiring in November: The year-over-year growth trend from November 2010 was measured at 10 percent, with all metro markets tracked by the MEI showing positive annual growth. This is despite the slight decrease in activity measured monthly (a 2 percent decline from October), which is typical of seasonal patterns. Transportation and warehousing continued to be a top growth market, while retail slowed significantly afterits notable increase in October.

“The (MEI) continues to remain positive and in-line with typical mid-autumn recruitment trends recorded in recent years,” says Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide. “While recruitment activity continues across a broad range of sectors, the current outlook on hiring as we approach 2012 remains cautious with continued business and economic uncertainty."

(For tips on continuing your job search's momentum, read "Keep Your Job Search Going Through the Holidays.")

This positive report came on the same day that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a significant drop in the national unemployment rate: to 8.6 percent in November (with many analysts calling this a positive sign for continued growth -- ompared with a year ago, 1.878 million more people had payroll jobs in November -- while acknowledging that the labor market had shrunk in November).

Fifteen of the 20 industries monitored by the MEI showed positive annual growth trends:

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (up 39 percent) replaced Mining, Quarrying, Oil and Gas Extraction (up 35 percent) as the top growth sector in November.

Transportation and Warehousing (up 31 percent) exhibited notable expansion in online recruitment, indicating an increase in commerce activity.

Retail Trade (up 13 percent) and Manufacturing (up 16 percent) continued to register positive annual growth, albeit at an eased pace from the seasonal expansion recorded in October.

• Educational Services (down 9 percent) fell into negative growth with  reduced opportunities across all levels, from elementary to university.

• Public Administration (down 21 percent) continued to record the steepest decline in November.

TopoccupationsAnnual online demand for workers rose in 20 of 23 occupational categories in November.

• Personal Care and Service (up 65 percent) recorded the highest growth in November.

• Computer and Mathematical (up 19 percent) saw continued demand for software engineers and network technicians.

• Protective Service (down 29 percent) continued to record the weakest long-term trend among occupations

To obtain a full copy of the Monster Employment Index U.S. report for October 2011, and to access current individual data charts for each of the 28 metro markets tracked, please visit Data for the month of December 2011 will be released on January 6, 2012.

Posted by Charles Purdy on December 2, 2011 at 04:48 PM in Current Events | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

December 01, 2011

Turn Your Seasonal Gig into a Full-Time Position

Workers3By Nancy Mann Jackson for

So you’ve landed a temporary seasonal job. But you’d like to stick around even after the holidays are over. While full-time positions may be few and far between when the holiday rush is over, you already have your foot in the door as a seasonal worker, so you’re one step ahead of the pack.

What else can you do to secure your place and turn your seasonal gig into a full-time position? Start with these tips:  

  • Communicate your desire to stay. Sometimes, supervisors don’t consider the possibility that a holiday worker may want to stay after the temporary gig is up, so make it clear that you’re interested. “Tell [your supervisor] verbally, without being a pest,” says Erin Peterson, recruitment outsourcing practice leader with Aon Hewitt, a global leader in human capital consulting and outsourcing solutions. “Or write him or her a concise but well worded note regarding how much you’ve enjoyed being on the holiday team and state your interest in remaining after the holidays.”
  • Be proactive. Don’t just wait to see if your supervisor will ask you to stay; be on the lookout for job postings and apply for any open positions that may be a good fit for you, Peterson says. When the recruiter or hiring manager sees a familiar name (yours) among the pile of applicants, you may have a leg up.  
  • Behave like a full-time employee. Rather than operating as though you, as a temporary hire, have no stake in the company or its success, behave as though you’re in it for the long haul. “Show up on time, ready to work,” Peterson says. “Limit distractions such as texting and phone calls and focus on the task at hand. And engage with customers; it will be noticed.”  
  • Go the extra mile. If you really want to make a good impression, do all the things a good employee does, and then do a little more. “Volunteer for extra hours or tasks that no one else wants, such as inventory,” Peterson says. “Make improvement suggestions and implement them, if possible. Surprise customers with service they don’t expect.”
  • When demand for new workers extends beyond the holiday season, the temporary employees who are likely to be asked to continue are those whose work stands out as excellent and those who have let it be known that they are committed to being there long term if the opportunity arises. If you want to turn your holiday job into your real job, be one of those employees!

    For more tips, read "From Seasonal to Permanent."

    GlassdoorGuest blogger Nancy Mann Jackson is an award-winning journalist and corporate communicator who writes regularly about small business, parenting and workplace issues. She has written hundreds of articles for publications including Working Mother,,, and MyBusiness.

Posted by Charles Purdy on December 1, 2011 at 02:28 PM in Current Events , Job Search | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 29, 2011

Employers Gain New Recruiting Tools with the Free BeKnown Jobs Tab

Beknown-logoNew BeKnown features should make the professional networking app on Facebook even more attractive to job seekers.

Today, Monster announced some exciting new features it has added to BeKnown, the fast-growing professional networking app on Facebook. BeKnown's new Jobs Tab -- which is free for employers to use -- makes it easier than ever for employers to extend their brand to the more than 800 million people on Facebook.

Available globally, the Jobs Tab provides even wider recruitment reach for all companies using BeKnown -- automatically distributing brand content and jobs to a company's Facebook page, and thereby leveraging a brand's existing fan base to reach active and passive job seekers at no cost to the company.

"You already have people who 'Like' your brand and engage with you via your main Facebook page, and these aren't just fans or 'Likes'; these are professionals who could one day become a potential job candidate," says Tom Chevalier, a global product manager for Monster Worldwide. "HR pros and recruiters will be able to tap into the power of this engagement by making it easy to view all jobs available at their company via the BeKnown Jobs Tab."

Any employer with a BeKnown Company Profile page can automatically distribute recruitment branding elements and job listings -- including BeKnown social job listings; Monster job postings; and, soon, all of their ATS jobs* -- to its company Facebook page via the Jobs Tab. Unlike other professional networking sites, Monster is not charging companies to provide job listings on Facebook pages. If an employer has a BeKnown Company Profile page in BeKnown, its designated administrators can simply integrate the Jobs Tab into their main Facebook page and extend their social recruitment presence to reach a much broader network of professionals on Facebook.

With BeKnown Company Profile pages and the Jobs Tab, employers will be able to:

-- Establish a recruitment-focused brand presence on Facebook

-- Introduce people on Facebook to all current job opportunities within their organization*

-- Feature all their Monster jobs on BeKnown

-- Facilitate conversations between employees and potential candidates to drive high-quality referrals

-- Allow visitors to follow their company and become part of the future talent pipeline

What This Means for Job Seekers
If you don't currently have a BeKnown profile, now is the time to create yours. The social-networking element of recruiting is becoming more important, and you can expect that employers will increasingly be turning to avenues such as BeKnown not only to get the word out about jobs, but also to source and research candidates. For an introduction to this tool, read "How BeKnown Will Make Facebook Work for You."

Launched in June, the BeKnown professional networking app is available in 19 languages in 36 countries and is also accessible for free via mobile apps on the Android and iPhone. Visit for more information on BeKnown, or follow BeKnown on Twitter and visit the BeKnown blog for regular updates.

*The Jobs Tab is available now and will support all BeKnown and Monster job postings and will support all jobs from a company's ATS beginning in early December if the ATS provides an RSS or XML feed of job postings.

Posted by Charles Purdy on November 29, 2011 at 01:44 PM in Current Events , Networking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 09, 2011

Getting Ready for the Veterans Virtual Career Fair

102111_virtualfair-250x166You may have been to a career fair before -- it's quite an experience: joining hundreds (or thousands) of job seekers, all in one place, to meet employers who have positions to fill. Great if you happen to be in the same neighborhood -- but not so convenient if you're a few hundred miles away. As part of our continuing efforts to help veterans manage their careers and find great jobs, Monster and are hosting a "virtual" job fair: an online version of the traditional career fair, with all the benefits of a live event (but without the long lines!).

The Veterans Virtual Career Fair will run from November 14 to 18. If you're a vet, register today. All you have to do is sign up, post your resume, and start visiting the virtual "booths" of employers. Each booth will have information about the employer and the jobs available, and there will be opportunities to speak with recruiters right at the event. From your computer, you'll be able to communicate and engage with job exhibitors and attendees in a virtual environment. As long as you have Internet access, you'll be able to participate.
As with any job interview or in-person career fair, being prepared is key. Here are some tips:

1. Make sure your resume is up-to-date. Because this is one of the first things that potential employers will see, it's important proofread carefully and highlight your top accomplishments clearly. Start your resume with a clear summary of your background and what you have to offer an employer. (For tips on crafting your resume, check out's Resume Writing Archive -- and use the Military Skills Translator to "decode" your military experience into language that civilian employers can understand.)

2. Research employers. You never want to enter a conversation with an employer without knowing a little bit its goals, its products, and its mission. See the list of participating employers at the bottom of this post; then go to the company websites and do a bit of research. This is knowledge that will serve you well during the fair.

3. Set some career goals. You may think that telling an employer that you're "open to any opportunities" will make you likelier to land a job. In fact, hiring managers want people who have specific skills, interests, and specialties. Think about what your career goals are, so you can target your efforts (this is much more effective than scattershot applications).
A good exercise before going into the fair is to develop an elevator pitch or "personal brand" statement -- something that will help you explain the value you bring to an employer, in easy-to-remember sound bites.
For more tips on career fairs -- virtual and real-world -- read "Learn to Work a Career Fair."

As of this writing, the following employers have secured "booths" at the virtual fair:

  • USAA   
  • Military to Medicine   
  • Amazon   
  • CMTC   
  • Vivaro Corporation   
  • Cisco Systems  
  • Bowhead   
  • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.   
  • Verizon Wireless   
  • Signtronix   
  • Concorde College   
  • Department of Veteran Affairs   
  • MRI   
  • Public Storage  
  • Goodrich   
  • DirectTV   
  • Philips   
  • Hewlett Packard   
  • Deltek   
  • Guident   
  • Tenaris Global    
  • Old National Bank   
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Carrington Mortgage  Holdings   
  • Wyle Labs   
  • Ceva Logisitcs   
  • Great Harvest Bread
  • Brinks   
  • Optima Network Services    
  • Lowes     
  • OfficeDepot  

Register for the Veterans Virtual Career Fair today -- and tell another vet!




Military to Medicine 






Vivaro Corporation


Cisco Systems




Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.


Verizon Wireless




Concorde College


Department of Veteran Affairs




Public Storage








Hewlett Packard






Tenaris Global


Old National Bank


  PG&E  (Pacific Gas & Electric)


Carrington Mortgage  Holdings


Wyle Labs


Ceva Logisitcs


Great Harvest Bread Co




Optima Network Services






Posted by Charles Purdy on November 9, 2011 at 12:30 PM in Current Events , Interview , Networking | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 08, 2011

Veteran and Success Story Dan Blasini Shares Career Advice

DSC00115Veteran Dan Blasini RN BSN BC is one of Monster's most inspiring success stories. After serving in the Army, Dan was looking for a way he could help injured soldiers lead independent lives after returning from war. He posted his resume on Monster and soon found his dream job -- as a case manager for Hanger Prosthetics, where he began a career helping people adapt to prosthetic limbs. (In the photos accompanying this post, Dan and Navy veteran Patty Long discuss local job market opportunities at his San Antonio office. Long suffered a below the knee traumatic amputation and works part-time and volunteers helping other people with limb loss.)    

Dan finds inspiration in seeing his patients overcome their obstacles -- and he inspires us.

When we last checked in with Dan, in 2010, he was featured in a success story about his job. In honor of Veterans Day this year, we wanted to speak to him again -- and share his advice for returning veterans who are making the transition to civilian jobs. 

"Every Day Is a Learning Day"
As a clinical care manager for Hanger Prosthetics, Dan works with people who have suffered catastrophic limb loss: not only battlefield injuries but also work-related, accident-related, and disease-process injuries. His role has grown in the past year to include helping patients work with insurance companies and handle workman's compensation claims.

"This is a new area," he says. "Every day is a learning day; every day brings a new challenge, a new opportunity. … I find satisfaction in bringing people together for a better understanding of how technology plays a role in the rehab process. The fun part is seeing the great outcomes."

The Military Advantage
When asked how his military service prepared him for his civilian career, Dan lists a number of advantages his service gave him.

"The military is basically an international corporation," he explains. "It has to deal with a lot of logistical planning, budgets, cost containment -- all based around a certain mission or vision, and the delivery of a specific service or objective. So once you understand how that business works, when you come to another business … it really helps."

He also credits the military with teaching him to multitask, to set goals, to be strategic and organized, and to overcome barriers: "I use those skills every day to work on any kind of barriers -- personal and professional," he says.

"The military also prepared me to work with people who have different beliefs, backgrounds, desires -- the melting pot of people you work with," he adds. "As I travel and meet new people, I can relate to new situations. … And of course one of the big things is how to handle stress."

Transferring Military Training to Civilian Jobs
Part of Dan's role as a case manager is to help people redefine (or rediscover) themselves after they've lost a part of their body -- and that includes helping them get back to work so they can provide for themselves and their families.

"The military has many jobs that basically blend into civilian employment," he says. "It's important to work with someone who can translate military jobs and descriptions into civilian description. So the employer can relate to what the veteran has done -- it's two different languages in many ways."

( is one place vets can turn to when they need help translating military skills into their civilian equivalents; the company's Military Skills Translator helps them decode military abilities and connects them to employers seeking veteran talent.)

But the job applicant's skills and background are just part of the story he or she needs to tell a potential employer, and Dan shares some advice we often tell job seekers on It's important to tell a potential employer not only what you've done, but also what you can do for them -- as Dan puts it, "how you as a team member will help save them money, make them money, and make them look good. Then it comes back around full circle."

Dan also stresses the importance of continuing education: "You have experience, but you may have to augment that with education or training to make you a viable candidate."

And then there's networking. "If you don't knock on doors, they won't open," he says. "You've got to network with confidence, and you've got to ask for help. … It can be hard for service people to ask for help, but the thing to remember is that you ask for help now, and then you can turn around and help other people later on."

"Suffered for Four Years, to Live Large for Forty"
Dan says that new vets have to keep an open mind when coming into a civilian career -- and he believes that the military helps create that adaptability. "A lot of times in the military you may not know where you're going, and you have to adapt to any sDSC00112ituation," he says. "So when you start a new role you have to learn that new environment and what to do so you're successful."

He says that, often, success has to do with work ethic. His story of inspiration didn't come without a lot of hard work: after his military service, he had a family to support and worked full-time while also going to school full time, to prepare himself for a great career. As he says, he "suffered for four years, to live large for forty."

And he's still working hard -- his next big step? "I still have goals for my MBA -- so that's the next level."  

Find your military-friendly job at and's Veteran Employment Center.

Posted by Charles Purdy on November 8, 2011 at 11:30 AM in Current Events , Job Search | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 04, 2011

The Monster 5 for Friday -- Careers Edition -- November 4

FIVE-purchasedOn Fridays, we take a look back at the week that was, and show you five of our favorite career-advice articles -- tips and news you may have missed during your busy week. And of course, on the first Friday of every month, the big news of interest to job seekers is the U.S. Department of Labor's Jobs Report.

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend up in October (adding 80,000 jobs), but there was little impact on the unemployment rate, which is now at 9.0 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also says that employment in the private sector rose -- with modest job growth continuing in professional and businesses services, leisure and hospitality, health care, and mining.

Many experts remain optimistic, saying we're in a continuing long-term recovery (albeit a painfully slow one). Some numbers that don't make the topline report do support this optimism. For example, the number of people marginally attached to the workforce (unemployed people who wanted and were available for work but had not looked for work in the past four weeks) was 2.6 million persons -- about the same as a year earlier. However, among these people, only 967,000 were considered "discouraged," a decrease of 252,000 from a year earlier. (Discouraged workers are those not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.)

We hope the positive trends continue! Now the "5 for Friday":

5. Monster runs its own montly report -- the Monster Employment Index, which is a monthly review of job opportunities posted on online job boards and corporate career sites in the United States. And its data supports the idea that the jobs situation is looking up. Read "MEI Shows Continuing Positive Growth Trend: 11% Year Over Year."

4. One of our most re-tweeted pieces of original content provided practical tips on fulfilling a common bit of pre-interview wisdom. Read "Do Your Research Before a Job Interview." (And follow Monster on Twitter: @MonsterCareers.)

3. We loved this information-packed infographic from Mashable -- with helpful advice that everyone with a career to manage needs to know now. Read "Protecting Your Online Reputation."

2. On our blog, Janet Swaysland, SVP of Global Communications and Social Media, spoke to the author of a new study on workplace "rebels," -- people who feel more comfortable creating change than fighting against it. Read "Rebels at Work: Motivated to Make a Difference."

1. US News and World Report published an advice-laden article (with plenty of guidance from Monster) on coping with something that more and more workers are facing, as they stay longer in the workforce. "By choice and necessity, more older Americans are staying in the workforce. As a result, many workplaces now have multiple generations of employees spanning 40 or even 50 years in age. Odds are that senior workers will wind up working for someone young enough to be their child, if not younger." Read "When Your Boss Is Younger Than Your Child."


Do you need job-search advice? What job-seeker topics would you like to see covered? Leave a message for us in the comments section below, or find @monstercareers on Twitter and send a message. Also, get support and great job-seeker advice when you join our community on Facebook.

Posted by Charles Purdy on November 4, 2011 at 06:23 PM in Current Affairs , Current Events , Job Search | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 03, 2011

MEI Shows Continuing Positive Job Growth Trend: Up 11% Year-Over-Year

The Monster Employment Index (MEI) --
a monthly review of millions of job opportunities posted on online job boards and corporate career sites in the United States -- showed strong hiring in October: The year-over-year growth trend from October 2010 was measured at 11 percent, with all metro markets tracked by the MEI showing positive annual growth. October's MEI also shows growth from September -- driven in part by recruitment for holiday-season temporary positions.

“The Index recorded positive momentum coming into the pre-holiday season. Employers are proceeding with hiring as planned, indicated by solid seasonal demand for temporary workers in short-term positions within the retail and manufacturing sectors,” explains Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide. “Overall, this demonstrates an encouraging sign for the U.S. labor market during the holiday season; however, substantial job-creation has yet to occur for the economy to see pre-recessionary levels of recruitment.”

(Interested in holiday hiring? Read "Get Hired for the Holiday: Seasonal Retail Jobs.")

Fifteen of the 20 industries monitored by the Index showed positive annual growth trends:Information (up 27 percent) remained among the top growth sectors, with continued demand for professionals in software, digital media, and telecommunications. Retail Trade (up 26 percent) exhibited notable expansion in online recruitment levels, suggesting that some employers are fully proceeding with their seasonal hiring efforts. Manufacturing (up 18 percent) registered an accelerated growth pace in October. Public Administration (down 30 percent) continued to record the steepest decline in October, dropping to a new low in the Index.

To obtain a full copy of the Monster Employment Index U.S. report for October 2011, and to access current individual data charts for each of the 28 metro markets tracked, please visit Data for the month of November 2011 will be released on December 2, 2011.



Posted by Charles Purdy on November 3, 2011 at 10:17 AM in Current Events , Job Search , Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 01, 2011

Job-Search Advice for Executives

From-bedlam-boardroom-how-get-derailed-executive-career-colleen-aylward-paperback-cover-artExecutive recruiter Colleen Aylward wanted to figure out how many executives had been displaced by the recent economic downturn, but her research didn't turn up hard data.

"No one actually keeps track of those stats," says Aylward, president of recruiting firm Devon James and the the author of "Bedlam to Boardroom: How To Get a Derailed Executive Career Back on Track." "When I tried to look it up with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and even talk to some of the Bureau's staff, I couldn't get a straight answer.”

Instead, Aylward took the Bureau's 2010 figures for layoffs in all categories and chose the job categories that she knew fit the executive profile. Her top line figure -- 2.5 million executives out of work -- is just one indicator of the extent of the unemployment problem.

"... These are not the high-priced CEOs that are being criticized for taking too much money in salary and bonuses,"  she adds. "These are the managers in the trenches, who spent decades in the corporate world making the trains run on time, and have since been displaced by younger, cheaper executives who lack the experience and institutional memory of those they replaced."

Aylward's specialty as a recruiter is to help displaced executives find work, and she has figured out a few key tips to help those who were insiders for so long but who now find themselves on the outside looking in -- but these good job-search ideas are not limited to people seeking corner offices. They include:

Be a Specialist
For many years, an executive’s resume was an exercise in being all things to all people, but that’s not what corporations want these days. They don’t want a general manager of all things executive, but rather, specialists who have niche expertise that can be applied immediately. It’s a culture shift for many executives, so it may seem difficult at first. However, everyone has at least one, or maybe even two, areas in which they could lay claim to being a specialist. Highlight those areas in your resume, and you’ll find a lot more opportunities open to you.

Be Creative
Hiring an executive is a big commitment for many companies, as well as an expensive one. Don’t be afraid of creating a situation that puts you back in the saddle while at the same time mitigating a company’s risk. If a company is on the bubble about bringing you on full-time, offer to take on a specific project as an outside contractor and then tie your compensation to the completion of the project. If you screw it up, that’s on you. If you succeed and deliver, not only will you get paid, but you might also win a full-time gig.

Get Out and Network
The days of working for one company forever until you retire have been over for a while. Executives have to view even their full-time jobs as freelance gigs with a limited shelf life. In that respect, displaced executives should look toward more project work instead of just waiting around for that dream job to drop in their laps. They need to get out, network, and use their days not to root out jobs, but also to talk to individuals in companies that might have a problem their expertise could solve. Often, one well-executed project will turn into more.

"The old ways don't work anymore," Aylward adds. "In fact, they haven’t worked in a while, but the executives who have been laid off over the last few years never had to read that particular news update. They are still vital and have plenty to offer, but they need to find new ways to show it. The dream job doesn't look at all the way it used to look and executives need to change their perspective if they are going to have a shot in the corporate world of today."

For more tips on executive-level career management, check out:

    The Need for Executive Self-Assessment

    Sample Cover Letter for a Manager

   Reframe Six Career-Limiting Beliefs

Posted by Charles Purdy on November 1, 2011 at 12:00 PM in Books , Current Events , Job Search | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 28, 2011

The Monster 5 for Friday -- Careers Edition -- October 28

FIVEOn Fridays, we take a look back at the week that was, and show you five career-advice or job-search-related articles that got us thinking, talking, or tweeting -- tips and news you may have missed during your busy week. 

5. published a helpful article with great advice on how long-term unemployment can affect your job search. Read "Job Hunting Tips for the Long-Term Unemployed."

4. In 2011, retailers are expected to hire 480,000 to 500,000 seasonal workers, according to the National Retail Federation -- and temporary hiring is expected to rise throughout 2012. Read "Get Hired for the Holidays: Seasonal Retail Jobs."

3. What can reality-TV celebrities teach you about developing your personal brand? Perhaps a lot. Read "4 Ways Kim Kardashian Can Help You Land a Job."

2. This week, the BeKnown blog featured a helpful bit of networking advice that's not often talked about. Read "How to Meet Someone Offline After Connecting Online."

1. It's not just women who will benefit from the excellent workplace advice in this HuffPo article. Read "Women's Career Advice: Self-Promote Without the Backlash."

Do you need job-search advice? What job-seeker topics would you like to see covered? Leave a message for us in the comments section below, or find @monstercareers on Twitter and send a message. Also, get support and great job-seeker advice when you join our community on Facebook.


Posted by Charles Purdy on October 28, 2011 at 04:02 PM in Current Events , Job Search | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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.


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