Start your seasonal part-time job search now!

The traditional holiday shopping season is shorter again this year. There are only 26 days between Black Friday and Christmas (last year there were 25). That means retailers and other companies that thrive on holiday shoppers must start their season sooner.

Which means the search for seasonal employment opportunities starts now.

Even though the jobs may not begin right away, start researching job openings over the next few weeks. Consider the following tips for finding a part-time position during the holiday season.

Start with the big box stores. They are more likely to increase their staff than smaller stores and boutiques. Target, Wal-Mart and Kohl’s typically direct applicants to apply online through their website.

But don’t ignore the mom and pop shops. The main street shops may not hire as many seasonal employees as the big box competitors, but it can’t hurt to ask.

Look outside retail. Other organizations notice an increase in traffic over the holidays, too.

  • Restaurants, catering businesses, floral shops and shipping facilities are some examples.
  • With many people traveling during the holidays, opportunities may also exist with companies that cater to travelers, like hotels and even pet sitting businesses.
  • What jobs exist solely because of the season? Think Christmas tree lots, gift wrappers and Santa’s helpers!

Dress appropriately when inquiring or interviewing. When you walk into an establishment to ask about job openings, don’t be surprised by an impromptu meet-and-greet. It’s likely the manager or assistant manager will speak to you, so wear business casual attire to make a good first impression.

Be prepared. In addition to proper dress, bring all the necessary documents when you visit businesses to ask about job opportunities. Examples include:

  • A pen, in case you’re asked to complete a written job application.
  • Your resume.
  • When necessary, appropriate documents to show your eligibility for employment within the U.S.
  • List of references.
  • Time: Allow enough time for conversation if the supervisor or manager wants to talk with you.

Practice your interview skills. This may not be the full-time job interview after graduation, but it’s still an interview and you still want this job. Smiling, maintaining eye contact, delivering a proper handshake and solidly answering (and asking) interview questions are just as important. If you don’t take this seasonal job interview seriously, the hiring manager has no reason to seriously consider hiring you.

Know your schedule. One of the first questions you’ll be asked is your availability. Be honest. Know how many days per week and hours per day you can work. When establishing a start date, keep in mind important items like your class schedule and final exams.

Work hard and seasonal may become permanent. While companies reduce their staff after the holiday season ends, manager recognize solid employees when they see them. Don’t overlook the possibility that this seasonal job may last well into next year.

Career Services can assist your seasonal job search through:

  1. Resume and interviewing preparation;
  2. Job postings through our frequently updated job board (employmeNC);
  3. On-campus recruiting (check our website to see which companies are visiting campuses to speak to students about job openings);

Additionally, this year Career Services is hosting a Seasonal Job Fair at the CPCC Cato campus. Mark your calendar for Tuesday October 28 from 10 am to 12 pm. Local employers hiring for seasonal jobs will be on campus to recruit candidates and collect applications.