Mt. Vernon Register-News

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October 16, 2013

7 tips for landing and keeping a seasonal job

More retailers are looking to add additional staff this holiday season, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.

"Thirty-nine percent of retail hiring managers reported that they plan to hire seasonal workers this year, up from 36 percent last year and 29 percent in 2011," CareerBuilder reported Wednesday.

Not all seasonal jobs are temporary, however, as some employers plan to transition holiday staff to permanent roles.

“Nearly half (49 percent) of U.S. employers who are hiring seasonal workers plan to transition some into full-time, permanent staff," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. "This is up 10 percentage points over last year and indicative of a growing trend where employers are test-driving candidates before committing to a long-term hire. Seasonal work is a good way for job seekers to network, showcase their abilities and secure a permanent position in a variety of industries.”

CareerBuilder provided this list of dos and don'ts for securing a holiday job and turning it into a permanent position.

DO apply early. While some employers will hire seasonal employees in November (27 percent) and December (10 percent), the majority of employers stop accepting applications by the end of October.

DO provide good customer service. Fifty-nine percent of employers said proactively offering help instead of waiting to be asked for it is a great way to differentiate yourself.

DO go above and beyond. If you want the employer to consider you for a permanent job, two in five hiring managers recommended asking for more projects (46 percent) and offering up ideas (44 percent).

DO let the employer know your intentions. More than half (53 percent) of employers said that you should let the hiring manager know up front that you are interested in a permanent role with the company. It will set you apart from other candidates.

DON’T come in unprepared. One-third (33 percent) of employers tend to dismiss candidates who know nothing about their company or products. Make sure to check out the company’s website and recent news announcements.

DON’T focus on the discount. Thirty-nine percent of employers are turned off by candidates who seem more interested in the discount than the job opportunity. Wait for the employer to bring up the discount if one is available.

DON’T show up in a competing brand. One of the biggest pet peeves for 18 percent of hiring managers is a candidate who comes to the interview wearing clothes or other merchandise from a competitor’s store.

It's also important to remember that retail stores aren't the only employers of seasonal help. Other industries include customer service, shipping/delivery, inventory management, administrative/clerical, non-retail sales, marketing and accounting/finance.

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