Updated September 20, 2012Temporary retail holiday jobs are usually filled by students and teachers on break, people who want to earn extra money for gifts, and those who just want to buy stuff with their employee discount. In a holiday season when unemployment is still high, though, the usual holiday retail temp will be competing with 15 million people who aren't looking for holiday money, they're looking for rent and food money. A larger pool of candidates will be competing for a relatively small number of temporary retail holiday positions this year, and the competition will be fierce.
Retail job seekers this holiday season will need creativity, salesmanship, and a competitive advantage to land one of the coveted retail temp positions. These tips will help job seekers find the temporary holiday openings, and once located, land the job.
Holiday Retail Job Search Tip #1
Go Where the Jobs Are
Luxury stores are doing better, discount stores are thriving, chains like Hot Topic and Rite Aid have been struggling all year. Some retailers are opening new stores before the end of the year. Some retailers are struggling to keep their chains open.> Do your homework, and save yourself some time by going where the jobs are.
Holiday Retail Job Search Tip #2
Get Out of the Mall
Not all retail holiday spending is done in a mall. While people may be spending a little more on gifts in the upcoming holiday, they always make extra food purchases for traditional holiday meals, treats, and parties. Grocery stores often hire temporary seasonal employees to handle their business increases. Temporary seasonal job openings might be less competitive at grocery stores because job hunters often forget about them.
Holiday Retail Job Search Tip #3
Apply Early, Follow Up Often
Retailers already had a stack of resumes before they had any open positions. You need to get your resume into the stack as soon as possible and keep it near the top of the stack by following up with your potential employers regularly. Many retailers have decided to delay hiring until after Black Friday this year. Persistence is a positive quality to demonstrate. Pestering is not.
Holiday Retail Job Search Tip #4
Retool Your Resume
If your resume was created to help you get a job in the financial services sector, the travel industry, the tech industry or anything other than retail, then it needs to be retooled to focus on skills and experience that match the needs of your potential retail employer. Customer service, sales, and cash handling skills are what retailers need during a busy holiday season. If you have any training or experience in any of those areas, then they need to be emphasized on your resume. Everything else should be deemphasized or removed altogether.
Holiday Retail Job Search Tip #5
Ask for the Job That Nobody Else Wants
In the holiday season, the need for late night and early morning stocking employees increases. If you specifically request those shifts, you will position yourself as the right fit for a hard-to-fill position. Of course you'll need to actually be able and willing to work those hours or else you will quickly find yourself job hunting again.
Holiday Retail Job Search Tip #6
Show Respect For the Retail Profession
Working in a retail store may be your last resort, but hiring you is not a retailer's last resort. The retail sector has lost more than 800,000 jobs since the beginning of the recession, and many of those displaced workers actually want a retailing career. Retailing is a profession, not a pastime, and now more than ever retailers want employees who will respect and appreciate their jobs. Nobody likes to feel like the consolation prize.
See also these 2012 Christmas holiday shopping season articles…
- 2012 Black Friday Store Opening Times
- 2012 Holiday Shopping Season Predictions
- Retail Holiday Hiring Projections for 2012
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