The retail industry, in particular, is a major source of employment.
Hiring hit a 12-year high in 2012 with 751,800 jobs added from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, according to the Chicago-based outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
Retail holiday hiring for 2013 should still be in the 700,000 range, Chief Executive Officer John Challenger predicts. "It is never too early for holiday job seekers to begin their searches," Challenger, says.
Opportunities exist for a variety of positions including gift wrappers, salespeople, shipping clerks and call center reps. Try these six steps to landing a great holiday job to find employment that's well suited to your skills and interests.
- Stop by for a face-to-face. Many retailers offer online applications, but it's best to meet the manager in person.
- Offer future help. If you think you might want to extend your hours after the holidays, or be willing to work during other hectic times of the year, tell the manager during the interview. It could sway the job your way, since employers are looking for ways to trim the cost of future hiring and training.
- Be flexible. Holiday jobs mean adding and cutting hours at a drop of the hat, depending on the ebb and flow of demand during peak periods.
- Network. Kick off your job search by checking with friends already working in places that typically add holiday workers.
- Go where they know you. Check for openings at establishments where you are an existing customer.
- Don't wait for a help-wanted sign. If there are shops or restaurants where you'd like to work, drop by during an off-peak time and meet the manager or assistant manager.
Kerry Hannon is the author of What's Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job.