CHICAGO, IL – If predictions hold true, it could be a very merry Christmas for retailers and package delivery services as well as for those looking for seasonal employment. Hiring for seasonal workers could top 800,000 this year, which is substantially higher than in 2013. However, having more jobs available is still no guarantee of employment. The Better Business Bureau says job seekers must be prepared.
“Those who are looking for work shouldn’t limit themselves to applying for sales positions only,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “There are opportunities in customer service, and marketing, as well as with restaurants, caterers, and hotels; they often beef up staffs to handle holiday parties.”
The BBB offers the following tips to successfully find seasonal holiday employment:
- Start your job search today. The key to landing a seasonal job is to start searching early. Now is the time for job hunters to determine which job suits them best, identify companies they’d like to work for and then begin submitting applications and resumes.
- Research companies prior to submitting applications. Always check out the company’s BBB Business Review for free at www.bbb.org to see if the company has received a good rating from the BBB and a record of taking care of consumers and employees.
- Be careful with credit card or checking account information
. Never give these account numbers to an individual or business that promises employment. Legitimate employers never charge fees to prospective employees.
- Work where you shop.
Try to identify seasonal employment with businesses you actually shop at or frequent. You will already be familiar with the company and its products and discounts available for employees may mean significant savings when shopping for holiday gifts.
- Put your best foot forward.
Even if you are just picking up an application at stores in the mall, dress your best and be prepared for an interview. This includes being familiar with the company’s brand and its products, as well as reviewing the store’s website. Retail job hunters in particular need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skills, which is a must when dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long check-out lines and day-after-Christmas returns.
- Be flexible. Full-time employees usually have first dibs on the preferred hours and shifts. As a seasonal employee, expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours that may include Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. If this is a second job in addition to your day job, be upfront and clear with your new employer about your availability.