While most parts of the country haven't seen the first snowflake, there is a flurry of holiday hiring underway. In fact, most of these hiring decisions will be made before Thanksgiving.
See also: 6 more steps to landing a holiday job.
Macy's, for example, recently announced it will hire 80,000 seasonal associates for the 2012 holiday season, and other usual suspects, such as Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us, are pumping up their rosters too.
Employers are bullish about holiday hiring this year, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Last year, retailers added just over 660,000 workers. This year, that figure could approach 700,000," says Chief Executive John A. Challenger.
That's jolly good news. For many retirees and job-hunting 50-plus workers looking for a temporary gig, the holiday season is a perfect time to pull in some extra income. And you have what employers are looking for: They're eager to hire someone who is responsible and reliable.
Plus, you never know. Your temporary gig can lead to future employment after the holiday rush dies down. You've got a foot in the door, demonstrated your capability and built a rapport.
If you're interested in looking for a holiday job, here's how you get started.
1. Cast a wide net. At retailers, there's a seasonal demand not only for sales clerks, but for customer service helpers, cashiers, stockroom workers, package wrappers, product demonstrators, online and call service representatives, distribution center associates and, of course, Santas and elves, too.
And retailers aren't the only ones looking. You may also find openings at restaurants as greeters, wait staff and bartenders. Package delivery firms such as UPS and FedEx are swamped with a surge in demand and hire accordingly. Small boutiques, mall kiosks, catering companies and florists add staff at this time of year.
2. Use your network. Ask friends and family members who work at companies that add seasonal workers for a heads up if they know positions may be available.
3. Play the familiarity card. At slack times, stop by businesses where you're already a customer and talk to the person in charge of hiring seasonal helpers. Knowing you're already a loyal fan of the business can make it easier to add you to the team.