Tips to find holiday employment

November 30, 2009 6:22:12 PM PST
A job is now at the top of the holiday wish list for thousands of Californian's. It appears that the holiday season may give them just what they're hoping for, at least for a little while.

Stuffing tissue into a box, now that's a positive sound for retailers during this holiday season.

"We're definitely anticipating higher sales this year," said Crate and Barrel store manager Diane Gomes.

Gomes says the store is planning to handle an increase in sales with the help of more seasonal workers.

"Last year we hired about 25 people, this year it was up about 10 people. So we hired about 35," said Gomes.

If you're looking for work, Yahoo! Hotjobs editor Tom Musbach recommends persistence. He says the seasonal hiring is not over yet, because employers are still gauging their needs.

"Depending on how the holiday season goes, if you're looking for retail -- there may be opportunities that open up in December that weren't there in November because things seemed worse," said Musbach.

While there may be more seasonal jobs this year compared to last, it's the pool of applicants that has changed significantly.

"There are a lot more people out there right now looking for jobs, people who might otherwise have looked for fulltime jobs, they can't find them, so they'll happily take a seasonal job right now," said Musbach.

The quest for a paycheck during recessionary times is a similar one nationwide, but particularly in California, where the unemployment rate has jumped over 12-percent. The competition for jobs has been stiff.

"We got a lot more applications this year. They were constantly coming in, and we had a lot people that were very, kind of overqualified, people with degrees," said Gomes.

More typical seasonal positions include retail sales, hospitality, and shipping and delivery services. UPS for example hires 50,000 temporary workers through the end of December, and retailers like Walmart, Toys R' Us and Amazon.com also staff up with holiday help. So how do you get hired?

"You've really got to be on top of your game," said Musbach.

Yahoo!'s Hotjobs editor recommends searching for seasonal jobs online and walking into places you would like to work.

"Make sure that you're prepared because sometimes you may be asked to interview right there on the spot. So make sure that you look presentable, in terms of what you're wearing, have some resumes with you to handout," said Musbach.

Hiring managers also say toss in some enthusiasm and flexibility to work-schedules and you'll be a prime candidate.


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