The Search for Seasonal Work
My job is being inundated with potential new hires for the holidays. But, as a result of the recession and layoffs that have happened, my employer has learned that we actually improved productivity with fewer workers. We've been running a skeleton crew for months and profits have gone up because the most efficient workers, in most cases, know what to do and do it without having to be micromanaged. We have been working it out and making lots of money. In fact, my job site had the best period ever (a 4 week period) in the history of our store and we did it with what is technically an insufficient number of staff.
Last year, we hired 125 employees for seasonal work and we kept a good chunk of workers after the new year started. This year...the plan is to bring in 24 people for 8 weeks only. There is no chance to become a permanent employee. Why should my employer retain lots of staff, when we've learned that we can be more productive with the right folks on board?
There's a lot of competition out there for seasonal work. People of all ages are competing for the work that's coming up. People of all experience levels are competing for the same jobs. Here are some tips for seasonal work:
--Spell check your resume and look for typos;
--Always include a cover letter tailored to that job;
--Be outgoing, but not over-the-top, during your interview. This is especially true if you are looking to work in retail. Employers want to know they are hiring someone personable to interact with their guests;
--If you're looking for part-time work, check out sites like Snag-a-Job, which list only part-time jobs;
--Check out retail jobs, there are bound to be opportunities at your local stores and malls;
--Don't forget to look at jobs with mail carriers, such as UPS;
--Ask friends if their jobs are hiring and submit your resume through that individual. It's always better to be referred for a job;
--Work hard, once you are hired seasonally. There may be a possibility for a permanent full-time or part-time opportunity at the end of your job stint;
--Don't blow off work. Arrive on time, take your breaks/lunch properly, and follow the rules. Even if you don't plan on staying at a job, you may want to use that employer as a reference in the future;
--Don't get into fights with the regular staff. Some folks are threatened by seasonal workers because they think they are out to steal their jobs. Don't antagonize the staff. Just do what you have to do and do it right; and
--Even if you aren't given a permanent position at the end of the season, go ahead and submit a thank you note to a key invididual describing a positive experience working at the company and any other sincere thoughts you may have. A simple gesture like that could get you a phone call down the line, when the company is looking to fill positions in the future.