Hired for the holidays: Seasonal jobs are here

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The appearance of holiday shopping commercials on TV already may cause you to grit your teeth and feel like Ebenezer Scrooge, but before you say bah humbug, know that this can be good news for your job search. According to a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,400 employers nationwide, 35 percent of retailers plan to hire for the holidays, up from 29 percent in 2011. Employers are also planning to pay more: 62 percent of employers plan to pay holiday staff $10 or more an hour in 2012, up from 53 percent last year. Twenty-two percent will pay $16 or more, up from 14 percent last year.

We’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of cities with the largest hiring plans, industry areas that will need additional support during the holidays and tips for how to turn that seasonal gig into a full-time position. But don’t wait too long, as these seasonal positions fill up quickly. Thirty-six percent of employers who are hiring seasonal staff say that they hire the most in October, 30 percent in November and only 11 percent in December.

Big cities, big hiring plans
Check out these five cities with the largest economies and plans to hire:

1. Los Angeles – 22 percent of employers plan to hire season help, 40 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions
2. New York – 16 percent of employers plan to hire season help, 35 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions
3. Atlanta – 15 percent of employers plan to hire season help, 31 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions
4. Philadelphia – 14 percent of employers plan to hire season help, 36 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions
5. Chicago – 13 percent of employers plan to hire season help, 31 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions

The areas that will need a helping hand
After a stretch of lean holiday seasons, the economy is bringing seasonal cheer to hiring plans this year. “An increase in consumer confidence is helping to fuel the best seasonal hiring the U.S. has seen in recent years,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “While the bulk of seasonal recruitment falls within the retail space, companies across industries are hiring for a wide range of positions to support their business operations as they wrap up the year.”

Offices and stores alike will need extra help this holiday season in these areas:

Turning a seasonal gig into a full-time, permanent position
A seasonal position can offer more than just temporary employment—it can also be a potential offer for a full-time, permanent position. Thirty-nine percent of employers who are hiring seasonal help this year plan to transition some employees into full-time, permanent staff, up from 30 percent in 2011.

How can you impress your seasonal employer? To stand out as a prospective permanent employee, hiring managers recommend these tips:

  • Provide above and beyond customer service. Offer help instead of waiting to be asked for it – 53 percent
  • Proactively ask for more projects – 46 percent
  • Let the employer know up front that you’re interested in permanent employment – 46 percent
  • Present ideas on how to do something better or try something new – 34 percent
  • Ask thoughtful questions about the organization – 32 percent

If you want to avoid getting a lump of coal for the holidays instead of a permanent job offer, avoid these employer turnoffs:

  • Someone who isn’t enthusiastic – 55 percent
  • Someone who is unwilling to work certain hours – 48 percent
  • Someone who knows nothing about company/products – 31 percent
  • Someone who is more interested in the discount than anything else – 21 percent

Seasonal positions are a great way to get your foot in the door at a company and get more experience on your résumé. With the right attitude and hard work, you could be starting the new year with a new job.

  1. Part-time seasonal work is a great way to make some extra money around the holidays. While not everyone is looking to turn their temporary work into a full-time position, those that are should remain vigilant through the season. It’s important to never give your manager a reason not to hire you. Part-time employees should be dependable, helpful, and offer a keen interest in the overall success and mission of the company.

  2. Seasonal jobs are not only a great way to earn some extra cash during the holidays, but many companies offer temporary employees full-time positions. Also, because certain companies need seasonal employees, they are willing to start them off at a higher pay than minimum wage.

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