Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Applying for and Managing Seasonal Opportunities

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It might not seem like it, but now is actually the right time to be looking for an applying to seasonal opportunities. For people looking to supplement their income, test-drive a new job, or add experience to their resume, seasonal opportunities are a convenient option. And because the businesses that offer them usually hire new batches of employees every year, jobs are reliable and relatively easy to find. Here’s how to go about it:

Be early. Inquire about position openings six to eight weeks in advance of busy season. Approach store owners or receptionists and ask for applications, and keep an eye on local press for advertised opportunities.

Be flexible. Your willingness to adapt to scheduling needs is your greatest asset to seasonal businesses. But be honest; if you can only work two days a week, or you’re hoping to transition to full-time, tell them upfront. If a business can’t offer as much money or as many hours as you’d hoped, you might consider taking two temporary jobs. If that’s the case, keep your schedule transparent to both employers and establish your respective time commitments immediately.

Be smart. Shopping malls are an obvious option for seasonal employment, but think about all the other places, services and events that are more popular during certain times of the year (weddings, ski resorts, snow removal, delivery services, ice cream shops, amusement parks, landscaping, moving, school supplies, etc.). Anticipate these businesses’ needs. Also keep in mind the traits they’re looking for. Since most seasonal jobs tend to include customer-facing roles, good communication skills are essential. They’ll also want team players who are comfortable in a fast-moving environment, so market yourself accordingly.

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