Seasonal jobs for the holidays

Want to know where and how to earn extra money during this busy time of the year? We have the answers.

Seasonal jobs for the holidays

Seasonal jobs will bring you some cheer.

The end of the year is fast approaching, and that means it’s time for many industries to make their big seasonal jobs push. But don't be fooled into thinking that means only retail and holiday-related jobs. A lot of companies are preparing for year-end events such as open enrollment or tax season, or gearing up for their big tourism push.  

All this means there are a variety of seasonal jobs ready and waiting for you. You just need to now when, how, and where to find them. Monster experts weigh in on how to build a seasonal job search strategy. 

How to find seasonal jobs

Start early

According to a recent Monster poll, 80% of respondents are looking for a seasonal gig, but nearly 30% of respondents were planning to wait until sometime in October to find one. Seasonal hiring typically begins in September. Many employers know months in advance how many people they'll need. In fact, Kohl's announced their hiring plans back in July. That means, start looking today. 

Be prepared

If you're stopping into an establishment to shop for seasonal work, be prepared to fill out an application and participate in an impromptu interview. Bring your own pen, necessary documentation to prove you can work in the U.S. legally, a resume, and all contact information for your professional references. Be sure you block off enough time to meet with a few supervisors should the opportunity arise.

Be professional

Although 32% of respondents to the Monster poll said they're looking for a side gig, don’t walk in to apply for a position and treat it like it’s not going to be a “real job.” Dress nicely for any interview to show that you're serious about your part-time or temporary work.

You want to look like everyone else on the job so you appear and feel like you fit in, says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide. “Seasonal work can become permanent work,” he explains. Case in point: Over the last three years, 35% of UPS's seasonal hires were moved into permanent positions after the holidays. So for the 24% of poll respondents hoping to turn a seasonal gig into a full-time position, remember that Cohen advises “dressing professionally for an interview demonstrates your respect for the organization,” and will set a great first impression.

Know what you want

If you're applying for seasonal work, know precisely what you offer to a potential employee—and what you want in return. Determine what hourly rate is acceptable to you, what hours and days you're available, if you've got the wherewithal for a particular position (some may involve lifting heavy boxes or standing for the greater part of your shift), and if the location is viable in terms of fuel costs and transportation options. (Will you always have access to a reliable car or a convenient subway or bus line?)

You don't want to make a commitment only to leave an employer in the lurch during the hectic holidays.

Be flexible

The best way to make sure you stand out from other seasonal talent is to present yourself as flexible—but only if you really are. Demanding a specific schedule from prospective employers is a sure way to walk away empty-handed. 

Business might be frenzied no matter what industry you’re looking to work in, so show that you can multitask, handle different duties, and switch gears in an instant. Employers want workers who can jump in wherever needed when things heat up. 

Industries hiring seasonal workers

When you think about seasonal jobs, retail naturally springs to mind, but there are lots of other industries that ramp up hiring efforts in anticipation of the holiday rush. From food service to tax prep, opportunities to cash in are plentiful.

Retail

Holiday shopping is the major driver for the need for additional retailer help. Seasonal employees may cover for vacationing regular employees or may help out with heightened demand. Think cashier jobsretail manager jobsfloor associate jobsgreeter jobs, and the like. Customer service positions may be in call centers or on-site, Hosking says.

Find seasonal retail jobs on Monster.

Delivery companies

Thanks to all those online orders, deliveries go up during the holidays, which requires delivery companies to make major seasonal hires. UPS and FexEx ramp up delivery helpers who may ride with drivers to help deliver packages, or they may meet up with the driver on the route and deliver packages on foot in neighborhoods.

Find all delivery jobs on Monster.

Packaging

Package handlers load, unload, and sort packages for delivery companies. These are typically flexible, part-time positions that may have odd hours. Think of them as the elves of the holiday workforce.

Find all package handler jobs on Monster.

Truck driving

Both delivery truck drivers and tractor trailer drivers are needed on a seasonal basis, says Susan Rosenberg, former public relations director at UPS. “In both cases, drivers need a commercial driver’s license, and tractor-trailer drivers need to already have a Class A certification.”

Find all truck driver jobs on Monster.

Restaurants

Holiday seasons are busy with larger parties, and restaurants look for seasonal hires to fill in during peak, busier hours on nights and weekends. The holiday season in the restaurant industry runs from late November through New Year's Day. All shifts need coverage including weekdays throughout December, which are typically busy with work functions and events. Waiter/waitress, bartenders, catering workers, and buspersons are all needed to serve the influx of diners.

Find all restaurant jobs on Monster.

HR administration

Fall is open enrollment season for many offices, and human resources managers may be looking for people to help out. They may assist with the open enrollment process and answer benefits-related questions.

Find all HR administration jobs on Monster.

Hospitality and tourism

Travel is off-the-charts busy during the holidays. Hosking says hotels and other businesses in certain areas see an influx of customers during this time and need additional hands on deck. “In-demand roles may include front-desk coordinators or receptionists,” he says.

Find all hospitality jobs on Monster.

Tax preparation

As end of fiscal year and tax season approaches, companies will seek assistance with paperwork, answering calls, scheduling appointments, entering data, and other administrative tasks. Experience in accounting or tax preparation can be helpful for people looking for these kinds of positions.

Find all tax preparation jobs on Monster.

Temp work

A company's permanent employees may take vacations or unexpectedly fall ill this time of year, so companies may establish a “bench” of seasonal employees who can step in on call or on short notice when they’re needed. Administrative and front-desk work is often in demand, he says.

Find all temp jobs on Monster.

Here's a free gift: a great resume

Your best odds of beating the rush of candidates looking to secure seasonal employment begins with getting your resume in shape. Need some help making it merry and bright? Get a free resume evaluation today from the elves, er, experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service. You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. Don't delay, either. Just like holiday shopping, the sooner you get going, the better the pickings.