GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — According to the National Retail Federation, retailers are expected to hire between 585,000 and 625,000 seasonal workers this holiday season. Better Business Bureau recommends applicants apply early, research potential employers and be cautious of fraudulent job offerings.
With the national unemployment rate hovering at about 7.8 percent, competition for seasonal jobs could prove to be quite difficult. Here are a few tips applicants can use to position themselves as ideal candidates:
· Do research ahead of time. Find out which companies are offering seasonal employment opportunities, and whether that would be a place you would like to work. Then, use bbb.org to find additional information on the company including consumer complaints about the company, and other details.
· Be suspicious of “too good to be true” job offers. Many consumers use online classifieds to search for local job openings. Unfortunately,scammers flock to these sites, posting fake jobs aimed at stealing money or the identities of job seekers. Never give your personal information without thoroughly researching the company first.
· Work where you shop. Employers want applicants that know their products well. So, if you shop at certain stores frequently, chances are you know a lot about the company and the merchandise they sell. This will make you an attractive choice because they may not have to spend as much time and money training you.
· Be available and flexible. Holiday hiring managers are drawn to candidates who will be available and have a flexible schedule. Seasonal employees will likely find themselves working long, inconvenient hours, and often on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
· Put your best foot forward. Job hunters need to dress their best and be prepared for the interview. This includes being familiar with the company's brand and its products. Retail job hunters in particular need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skill set —which is a must when dealing with stressed shoppers, long check-out lines and holiday returns.