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Want a Holiday Job? Get the Ball Rolling Now

By Maurie Backman – Sep 15, 2019 at 10:36AM

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The holidays may be months away, but if you want to work during them, you'll need to apply in advance.

Whether you need extra money to boost your savings, pay down debt, or swing the vacation you've been planning, working a seasonal job during the holidays is a great way to boost your income and buy yourself some financial wiggle room. But if you're planning to go this route, the time to start moving is now. Though some businesses do hire holiday workers last-minute, it's not uncommon for them to line up extra staff well in advance of the holidays so that there's adequate time for onboarding and training. Here's what you need to do to secure that seasonal job.

1. See who's hiring

Your first step in finding a holiday job is knowing where to apply. You have several options in this regard. First, you can search online -- a simple Google inquiry could yield plenty of results. Job site Glassdoor also maintains a list of big-name companies looking for seasonal employees.

Female cashier scans clothing item at register while male customer looks on


Another option? Walk around your neighborhood and ask local business owners if they're looking for seasonal help. This way, you're more likely to find a job that's walking distance from your home, or close by enough to be convenient.

2. Update your resume

Just because you're applying for a seasonal position doesn't mean you don't need to impress prospective employers. That's why you'll need a clean, updated resume that talks up your experience and skills.

Furthermore, you may need to tailor your existing resume to make yourself more marketable for a holiday gig. For example, if your job experience to date hasn't involved customer service (say, you're a staff accountant who crunches numbers all day behind closed doors), you may have a hard time convincing a retailer to put you behind a checkout counter -- in which case you'll need to tweak that resume to indicate that you're capable of interfacing with other people.

3. Be clear about your schedule

If all goes well and you are called in to interview for holiday job in the coming weeks, be sure to go in with a clear idea of when you're willing and able to work. For example, if you only have time for weekend shifts, be up front about it. If there's a specific weekday that's off-limits -- say, you have a standing late meeting at your main job, or a personal obligation that needs to take priority -- say so. The good thing about applying for a holiday job early is that if an employer likes you, it may be willing to give you first dibs on open shifts, thereby reducing your likelihood of having to turn down an offer due to scheduling conflicts.

Though there's still time to prepare to celebrate the holidays, if you want to work during them, you'll need to start exploring your options in the coming weeks. The sooner you get moving, the greater your chances of snagging the job you want. And given how expensive the holidays can be, landing a seasonal position early on could take a load of financial stress off your mind.

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