By Melanie Ayotte, Boomerang staff writer
If you are thinking about adding a little cash to your pocketbook for the holidays, now is the time to start looking for a seasonal job. According to a recent survey by Snagajob, hourly hiring managers foresee a steady increase in holiday hires this year over the last three seasons. "We're definitely seeing incremental improvements in the seasonal job market, even if we haven't yet returned to pre-recessionary levels," said Shawn Boyer, the job search website's CEO.
Besides the usual mall retail jobs, there are seasonal jobs to be had in delivery, mail and food service. If you live near a resort or vacation destination, there may be opportunities for you to be a part of other families' holiday vacations, and make some money in the process. Think outside the box for other seasonal opportunities. For instance, you can offer yourself as a pet sitter or house sitter for families traveling out of town.
When looking for a holiday job, ask yourself what you want to do and how many hours a week you want to work. While the majority of the jobs are part-time, there are full-time opportunities, too. Do you want this job to become a permanent one? It is not unusual to work as a temporary employee during the holidays and be offered a permanent job later.
Job search websites are a good tool to see where the job opportunities are, learn more about jobs that interest you and do research on companies you may want to work for. The State of Ohio has partnered with Monster.com to create OhioMeansJobs.com, a premier résumé and job bank. For job seekers, the site lists tens of thousands of job openings with advanced search tools, and allows you to post your résumé for thousands of potential employers to review.
Networking still is the best way to find a job; it's all about connections. Let your friends and family know that you are looking for a holiday job. This way, you have multiple sets of eyes doing the looking for you. When you visit an establishment where you might want to work, ask if they are hiring for the holidays or when they will begin hiring. When you're pounding the pavement looking for an income opportunity, it pays to be prepared:
- Be ready to fill out applications at any time, on the spot. Carry with you the information you'll need to complete an application (e.g., job and salary history, education, skills, references, etc.) in a form that is easy to access.
- Some major employers will point you to their website or a self-service computer kiosk to apply. Don't just fill it out and leave. When you're done, ask to see a manager, introduce yourself and tell them you've applied. Ask when you might hear something about your application and who you can call to follow up.
- Some employers still use paper applications. Always fill out a paper application at the business and return it before you leave. Ask for a manager to hand it to directly and, just as with electronic applications, introduce yourself and ask when you might hear something. Get a name to ask for when you call to follow up.
- Whenever you are asking in person about job opportunities, be prepared to interview immediately. Dress the part and have the information available with you that you will need to impress.
- Have an electronic version of your résumé that you can quickly customize and e-mail to the employer as soon as possible after your in-person meeting.
Besides putting a little extra jingle in your pocket, looking for a seasonal job is a great way to test the waters if you are considering going back to work, changing careers or adding a part-time job to your current income.
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