Holiday season hiring outlook

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xmas shoppingIf you are hoping to snag a seasonal job during this year’s holidays, it’s time to start looking now. Like the rest of the job market, competition will be fierce.  What you might not think about, though, is that a seasonal job can be your ticket to full-time employment.

“Competition for seasonal positions will be intense as the job market is flooded with qualified candidates vying for a smaller number of open positions,” said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. “Employers tell us they are accepting the majority of their seasonal applications during October and November, meaning job seekers need to identify and apply for those opportunities now.”

Because of the weaker economy and expected soft holiday retail sales, employers do not anticipate a robust seasonal hiring period this year. The outlook for seasonal hiring in the fourth quarter of 2009 is projected to be similar to 2008, according to CareerBuilder’s “Seasonal Hiring 2009″ survey of more than 2,900 hiring managers. Eighteen percent of hiring managers plan to take on seasonal workers to meet business needs associated with the holidays and end-of-the-year wrap-ups, on par with 17 percent in 2008.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers hired an additional 231,000 workers during the 2008 holiday season, a substantial drop from the 618,000 they hired in 2007. During the holidays, while some retailers were hiring seasonal workers, others were shedding full- and part-time jobs from stores and corporate offices. Since January 1, 2008, the retail industry has lost 770,000 jobs.

Here are some of the other results from the CareerBuilder survey:

What’s the good news long-term job seekers? Seasonal positions may prove to be the break job seekers are looking for as 31% of hiring managers indicate they are likely to hire a seasonal worker for a full-time position. Here are some tips if you are seeking seasonal employment:

  • Start applying early – 77% of hiring managers do not plan to accept applications for seasonal workers beyond November. Especially in a competitive job market, getting your resume in early will help your chances of securing a position.
  • Do your homework – Nearly a quarter of hiring managers say that having no knowledge of the company or products deterred them from hiring a seasonal candidate in the past. Check out the company’s Web site before the interview and familiarize yourself with products, services, press announcements, etc so the hiring manager knows you’re serious about the opportunity.
  • Show enthusiasm – Nearly half of employers say they were turned off by a candidate who lacked enthusiasm during their interview. Convey that you’re excited about the opportunity to contribute to the success of the organization and stay away from saying the primary reason you want the position is for the employee discount.
  • Dress the part – If you are interviewing for a job in a retail clothing store, it’s a good idea to show up dressed in an outfit from that store. One-in-ten (11 percent) hiring managers said candidates who interviewed for a job in a competitor’s ensemble were ultimately not considered for the open position.
  • Be flexible regarding your schedule – Forty-seven percent of hiring managers said they were turned off by a candidate who refused to work certain hours. Seasonal hours tend to fluctuate; you need to be open and flexible to alternative schedules.
  • Use specific keywords – To find the most relevant jobs, search online using the following terms: seasonal, holiday, part-time, temporary and Christmas.

Want to know more? Check out this article on companies hiring this holiday season.

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  5. I have been out of work going on 2 years. I have been looking for work for going on 2 years. Why are companies hiring and never respond to your application or resume. A lot of companies now you have to apply on line so they don’t have to respond to you at all if they don’t have to. I have posted my resume to every job websites that you can think of and Michigan Talent Bank (No Worker Left Behind)” “? what do they mean

  6. I have been out of work myself for 2 years & I to feel the same about the way about how Companies treat the public !!! Furoius about that!!!:( I had recently have found out thatI have possible mouth cancer I never smoke lol.I have no money to fix my problems & now I have mouth cancer and out of work no way to get help realy except the Dental place wants to help by lowering my payments ,ok sure but with no job ?How do I fix that?plus I am paying on my student loan of 20 years I can never get ahead seems like it?I always put everyone else & family first now look at me.Time for me to shine now lolTimes running out for me!!Help!!!

  7. If you are looking for a chance to leave the old grind of a brick and mortar workplace at home, and work in your PJ’s at home – you really need to check out for some great opportunities. They specialize in assisting folks with disabilities get back into the work force but have other opportunties… to work at home as well. Check them out and apply! Openings right available in New York, Virginia, Ohio and New Mexico! This is a great chance to get some extra money for the holidays!

  8. C’mon people, there’s no excuse to be out of a job for two years. There are plenty of jobs out there, get off your lazy ass and start moving. You might have to do something that you might not want to do, but at least you’ll have an income. I’m tired of people complaining that they can’t find work. Maybe your standards are too high and unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from working no-one is going to feel sorry for you! Sorry to sound harsh, but hey thats the reality of life!

  9. I feel for you both. Unfortunatly for alot of my friends and community this is all too familiar. I have, as a former “boss” with alot of hiring experience, helped quite a few of these people. My #1 advice is to be proactive. Follow thru. They don’t call , call. No appt? Go there to make appt. If you know the business is hiring, you have to go an extra mile to get the job. My girl friend had not worked in public for 30 years. Now 50 she was forced into the work force. I kept telling her go back, talk to the guy hiring, tell him why you have to have This job. She did and got it.

  10. well, karen my name is linda and i joined Tupperware in August and it’s been going great for me and i have a FT job and i do my Tupperware PT just for the extra income and like i said it’s been going great. If you need further information, you can email me at my website or at I hope you find some kind of work cause it’s really hard now a days but like i said if you would like to try Tupperware i can help you get started. thanks linda:)

  11. I have been laid off over 5 years ago. But I did not fret when I couldn’tfind someone to hire me. So, I tried various home-based businesses to pass the time. I have a good one to share if you are interested. Please let me know.

  12. Is there a GOOD home-based business? If you know of one that is not a scam, I would love to hear it. Trying to find one is like beating your head against the wall.

  13. James, youre an arsehole and you are really insensitive to these times. As a recent graduate from a prestigious private university, I have been looking for a full time (PAYING) job since March. Thats 8 months of low paying, part time, seasonal jobs with bad employers, because I take WHATEVER I can get. And I dont even pay rent, and Im broke. Im trying to get a job the BEST I POSSIBLY CAN. Its not the unemployed’s fault they cant get a jon when 5 years ago, it was a breeze, and I could have got any job I wanted with a college degree.

    Im far from lazy- Im ambitious, motivated, a hard worker. Ill do anything to succeed in a job and be admired for my work. But as a recent graduate, Im not even given the CHANCE to show what Im made of. Competition for jobs right now is FIERCE and out of control and anyone without a decade of experience in the desired field will not even be considered when there are hundreds and thousands of other applicants who do have that experience, and have been laid off.

    Being young, fresh, new, malleable, isnt ENOUGH right now. Being smart and involved and active throughout high school and college isnt ENOUGH. Knowing people isnt ENOUGH. No one decided to show up at job fairs this year- because NO ONE IS HIRING. You need think twice, JAMES, before calling people lazy who dont have jobs because of the ECONOMY and the ECONOMY alone.

  14. Karen,
    Maybe you should use proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. If your resume has as many grammatical errors as your post, its no wonder you can’t get a job. BTW, I’m no literary scholar either. I just happened to notice several grammatical errors in your post.(Is grammatical even a word?)
    Good luck!!

    Big Fat Jimmy

  15. well, james, I hope you never find yourself out of work. You are an insensitive jerk who probably works for his daddy’s company, has a trust fund or is a real loser who is suckiing off someone who is working. times are tough out there and there are more people out there looking for jobs than there are jobs. Yes, you can be out of work for two years…..these people are right. No one returns an e-mail to acknowledge your interest because they don’t have to….they have plenty of applicants. My family is living the nightmare right now !

  16. To those of you making nasty comments on the long-term unemployed to just “get a job” all of us are not so well connected that someone will “give” us a job. I have a BBA and 18 years of work experience and have been out of work for almost 1 year. I also dont have any special skills, good references and have a criminal record and i’ve been fired from every job i’d had due to I am just not cut out to be employed. I’ve never wanted to work/hated all my jobs and would gladly go on welfare if one could live off the measly amount that it is. I tried disability as i’ve been fired from all past jobs due to behavoiral problems (I am lazy and have no motivation and only do as i’m told) but I don’t qualify for a legitimate mental disorder for SSI. I have applied to cashier jobs but since havnt worked as a cashier since I was 17/18 (am now 41) I am not considered experienced enough and any employer knows that a single person cannot live off a cashiers salary so i’d leave as soon as i get a decent paying office job. Not everyone on planet earth is ambitious and career oriented you know. I have to work but would be happy not to. Anyone receiving unemployment must apply to jobs so don’t think we are playing or lounging about all day. There are many like me who aren’t super individuals employers would like but we need a job to survive just like you. If you get fired/laid-off i’d like to see how quickly you get a new job. IT’S NOT AS EASY AS SOME OF YOU THINK!

  17. Tonya, I hope you read this… any others unemployed with student loans to repay.

    Check into putting your student loans in DEFERMENT. There are various ways you can lower or put a hold on your student loans, but you’ve got to look into them and apply for the changes. I currently have mine in deferment because I lost my job in January. (And to James….I have been taking any temporary work and substitute teaching jobs available while trying to find a full time job that pays a LIVABLE wage…..not fancy, just a little more than I’d make on unemployment, actually! And…when I take these temp jobs, all money I make is DEDUCTED from any unemployment benefits before I receive them. In fact, I did not quailfy for unemployment benefits until October, due to my last full time employer being EXEMPT from paying into the system due to it being “church” related. Don’t you DARE infer I’m a slouch!)

  18. To Erlinda: I have been very curious about working from the home, but I proceed with caution, as I do need to find a reputable company. Thank you for sharing if you would.

  19. Where do you live???? In Florida there are NO JOBS, people are taking whatever can find MICKEY D”S ,SUBWAY, people that have finished school
    got a degree and have a student loan bill and NO JOB, maybe you should give
    up yours, and see how it feel, do you think people want to be out of work
    with no MONEY, can’t pay RENT, CAR PAYMENT oh yea DO FORGET you have to EAT?

  20. Erlinda? Are you out there? Please share the home based business that you speak so kindly of. (Seems like you tried a few before you found the right one.?.) THANK YOU!

  21. I so agree wuth you .It is such as scam all I want to do is answer call type anthing that I can get paid for and all they want me to do is pay them

  22. Pingback: More Companies Hiring for the Holidays : The Work Buzz

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  27. I have been disabled for over 4 years now. It was hard to live with the fact that I would be at home and not going out to work any longer. I had a lot of questions. Would my disability payment each month be enough for my family and me to survive? Was this it? I am only 40 years old and will I ever be productive again for myself, my family, or my community? These were definitely in the fore front of my mind. Luckily, I was introduced to the Social Security Administration’s, Ticket to Work Program.

    The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work. The Ticket Program is part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 – legislation designed to remove many of the barriers that previously influenced people’s decisions about going to work because of the concerns over losing health care coverage. The goal of the Ticket Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation (VR), and other support services from public and private providers, employers, and other organizations.

    Under the Ticket Program, the Social Security Administration (also referred to as the Agency) provides disability beneficiaries with a Ticket they may use to obtain the services and jobs they need from a new universe of organizations called Employment Networks (ENs).

    The Ticket Program is flexible and voluntary – Social Security Administration beneficiaries are not mandated to participate and in most cases, ENs can chose which services they want to provide, where, and to whom. Beneficiaries receiving Tickets can contact one or more ENs to discuss services and once an agreement between the beneficiary and EN is reached, the two work together to develop a work plan to assist the beneficiary in reaching his or her employment goal.

    Every month a Ticket-holder is employed at a certain wage level, ENs receives revenue.

    This program really helped change my life. With the income limits changed, I was able to keep my Disability benefits, including Medicare, and work to learn a new skill, bring more income into the family, and earn my own self respect and keep my identity as a person. For more information you need to check with the management company for the Ticket to Work, Maximus, phone 866-968-7842 and on the web you can get all the particulars there to apply and start feeling like a productive person again. Especially now with all of the Work at Home positions available around the country, it is great time to participate in the program.

    Once you have gotten all the particulars about your Ticket to Work in order, check out the immediate openings at J. Lodge Corporation is a company dedicated to the employment of folks on the Ticket to Work program, on Social Security Disability, and Social Security Supplemental Income (SSDI) in various positions that are tailored to the unique needs of these individuals. They have openings now!

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