It’s mid-October and the Christmas decorations have been in the stores for a few weeks now. Soon the holiday muzak will be playing over the speakers and a gentleman in red will be making his annual appearance at a mall near you. Some find this a difficult time to be looking for any type of work (full- or part-time) but a few tips may help you get a job or at least set yourself up to be in a better position for 2012.
While it is true that many sectors slow down their hiring leading up to and including the holidays, there are several that have some great opportunities. Anything consumer related (Retail, Hospitality, Food Service, Call Centres and Travel) are good areas to check out. Consumers are buying Christmas gifts, booking vacations, holding annual Christmas parties and stocking up on edible goodies for when family members visit.
Most of these companies have career sections on their websites where you can apply online for jobs. But time is tight before the rush and many have been recruiting for these positions since September. To increase your odds of getting hired try these few tips:
- Apply in person and speak to the manager (store, hotel or restaurant). These employers are services based so meeting in person gives you a chance to showcase how you can interact with customers/clients. It can make a huge difference for a person that has little experience or a weaker resume but presents well. Going to the location also gives you an opportunity to check out the work area, products and company culture.
- If you go in person make sure you do your research. Check out the location, know the products and review the website. Consider yourself as a “secret shopper”.
- Many of these roles pay minimum wage but offer benefits like staff discounts. If this is the case where you are applying, make sure the product/service is something that you value and can utilize. It’s okay to be selfish in this case.
- Several of these “seasonal” jobs are listed as part-time or temporary. Many times though people have ended up working full-time hours especially leading up to Christmas. While it is true that many are laid off after Christmas, several employers I spoke to have stated that if a person works out to be a great asset then they will try to keep them on (permanent work could be a result)
- Don’t shy away from making connections with employers that are slowing down for the holidays. Once the holidays are over and annual budgets are set, some employers will start hiring again. Sometimes the only edge you need is someone on the inside that can pass on your resume to the hiring manager or give you the heads up when the posting is going out. LinkedIn is a great way to do this. Many job seekers take a break over the holidays so take advantage of their inaction.
- Take advantage of local job fairs. To be successful though you need to check the exhibitors list before you go to see if there are employers that you want to meet. Don’t waste your time going to an event where the employers are from a sector you aren’t interested in. Prepare before you go.
Here are a variety of website links to employers from these different sectors that may be hiring:
- Limited Brands (Victoria Secret, Bath & Body works, La Senza)
- Transat A.T. Inc (Jonview Canada, Transat, Marlin Travel)
- Sporting Life
- Porter Airlines
- Target Canada (opening soon)
- Discount Car and Truck Rental
Here’s hoping that 2012 will be a better year for all of us.
Good luck in your job search.