BBB Advises Seasonal Job Applicants To Start Early, Prepare For Interviews

October 16, 2013

Job seekers should be polishing up their resumes now if they want to compete for holiday jobs with retailers. BBB advises job seekers to apply early and research potential employers for the best chance at landing a job that fits their needs.

Wal-Mart recently announced plans to hire up to 55,000 temporary workers for seasonal jobs at its stores and distribution centers. Kohl’s says it will hire 50,000 holiday workers, and Toys ‘r Us said it could hire 45,000. However, not all retailers are beefing up their hiring, and competition for the jobs is expected to be brisk.

Major retailers’ plans to hire seasonal workers are welcome news for job seekers. While holiday jobs are usually temporary, this is great news for struggling families and others who have had problems finding work.

BBB offers the following advice for job hunters this holiday season:

• Start your job search earlier rather than later. Retail, shipping, restaurants and catering companies are common sources of seasonal employment. This 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.

• Work where you shop. Try to identify seasonal employment opportunities at businesses where you shop. You will already be familiar with the company and its products, and discounts available to employees can mean significant savings when shopping for gifts. Discounts can range from 20 to 40 percent for seasonal employees.

• Put your best foot forward. Even if you are just picking up applications at stores in the mall, dress neatly and be prepared for an interview. This includes being familiar with the company’s brand and products. Retail job hunters need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skills because they may be dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long check-out lines and holiday returns.

• Be flexible. Full-time employees usually have first choice on preferred hours and shifts. As a seasonal employee, you can expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours, possibly including 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 available hours.

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