Get creative to land a holiday job

By Kimberly Lankford
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Sunday, November 15, 2009

Q: How can I find a job for the holidays, and when and where should I start looking?

A: Many companies beef up their staffing during the holidays, providing a great opportunity to find a temporary job if you're out of work or to earn extra holiday cash. Plus, a seasonal job can help you get your foot in the door for a permanent position. Here are tips to help land a holiday job.

Apply now. Most employers -- especially retailers -- do the bulk of their hiring by mid-November so they have time to train new hires before the holiday rush begins at Thanksgiving.

Be creative. "When you think about seasonal employment, you automatically think of retail," says Jennifer Sullivan Grasz of "But you can also find administrative and clerical work, IT jobs and accounting and finance positions as businesses wrap up 2009 and ramp up for 2010."

Even retailers offer a wide variety of seasonal jobs, including positions in sales as well as customer service, shipping, security, greeting, merchandising and receiving. Also check out jobs with delivery companies. UPS is hiring 50,000 temporary workers, primarily as part-time drivers' helpers, as well as loaders and sorters in package operations.

Some manufacturers need help with shipping and customer service; hotels, restaurants and catering companies have to staff holiday parties.

Research your options. Check Web sites such as and that you search by location and job category. Or look at general sites, such as (and its niche site, and, and find local listings on

Be flexible. You'll be most likely to get the job if you can work flexible hours. The work shifts can vary significantly at a round-the-clock firm, such as UPS. "And we have several different spikes of sorting activity throughout the day and evening," says UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg, "so the opportunity could be from 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. to 2 a.m."

Look toward the future. A holiday job can be a great way to eventually land a full-time position. UPS, for example, is hiring only part-time temporary workers during the holiday season, but those workers will be given the opportunity to apply for permanent positions after Dec. 31.

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