By Caroline Zaayer Kaufman
Monster Contributing Writer
This year’s holiday hiring season is expected to be the best it’s been in several years, and around half of hiring managers expect new hires to stay on past the holidays, according to CBS News
. Most people immediately think of retail when seeking seasonal work, but there are other options for making extra cash this year.
Pumpkin patches and orchards may be looking for part-time help through Halloween, and the next few months bring mean busy times for retail shops as well as other businesses. For example, restaurants, caterers and hotels will be adding staff to serve the holiday travelers, parties and business lunches. Hiring is also on the rise at warehouses, shipping facilities, trucking and delivery agencies, and credit card processing houses.
Check out the latest holiday jobs
Don’t wait until the season has already begun before you apply, says Vickie Seitner, founder and president of Career Edge One on One Coaching and Consulting
. “I would have them begin thinking about what areas they enjoy working in, whether it is retail, restaurants, etc., and approach those specific companies about two to four weeks prior to the start of the specific season.”
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when you go looking for a seasonal job.
Even though most advice suggests starting early, don’t ever think it’s too late.
In the middle of the season, employers may have some turnover or find they are busier than expected and need to add more staff, says Roy Cohen
, career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” Follow the hiring posts if there’s a specific place you want to work, and don’t be afraid to ask in November if a company is hiring. Stand out as someone who can work well during the holiday rush.
For many companies, the holiday season is the time to financially make up for the slower periods in the rest of the year, says Cohen. Businesses are looking for people who can provide excellent customer service.
Business might be crazy no matter what industry you’re looking to work in, so show that you can multi-task, handle different duties and switch gears in an instant. Employers want workers who can jump in wherever needed when things heats up.
Stress is elevated during the holiday shopping season, particularly when people tend to wait until the last minute, Cohen says. “Employers want someone who is patient, doesn’t get flustered and can react calmly when a meltdown occurs,” he adds. “Demonstrate that you’ll bend over backward to work hard.” Be professional no matter what industry you’re working in.
Don’t walk in to apply for a position and treat it like it’s not going to be a “real job.” Dress nicely for any interview to show that you are serious about your part-time or temporary work.
You want to look like everyone else on the job so you appear and feel like you fit in, Cohen says. “Seasonal work can become permanent work,” he explains. “Dressing professionally for an interview demonstrates your respect for the organization.” Get ahead of the game.
Be proactive and call back the managers of places where you’ve applied or interviewed but received no response. Additionally, if you know certain retail shops you’d like to work in, contact the managers ahead of the peak hiring season, Seitner advises.
“This would allow the candidate time to create a relationship with the hiring manager and the candidate will be top of mind when the store is ready to hire for the season rush,” she explains. Say you’re flexible and mean it.
Many employers are looking for night and weekend help through the holidays, so your flexible schedule will be an asset. Don’t tell an interviewer you can work strange hours, then refuse them when you get the job.
During the holidays rules get broken, Cohen says. A lot of companies run longer hours and you need to be ready to happily accept a request to work more, switch shifts and pick up extra hours. Turn your seasonal position into regular work after the holidays.
Whether you’re seeking a full-time position or the continuation of a part-time job, your performance during the holidays will determine if the company keeps you on. Work hard, show up on time for every shift, don’t call in sick if you can help it and leave a good impression on the managers.
Attitude is an important component, Cohen says. “Have a positive attitude,” he advises. “It’s much better to be around someone who is upbeat.”