Advice on How to Find a Seasonal Job

seasonal job
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Most seasonal hiring takes place during the summer and the winter holidays. Companies—especially those in retail, transportation, and tourism—hire workers for the busier months during the summer and around Christmas, and many resorts hire workers for both ski season and the summer. Tax preparation firms sometimes hire additional staff just for tax season. There are many examples in many industries.

What Is Seasonal Employment?

Employment that does not continue year-round but usually recurs is generally referred to as seasonal. Many positions are only necessary during certain times of the year, so workers will be employed only during that time.

Seasonal jobs are temporary and short-term by definition. Some work is seasonal based on geography. For example, there is a large boating and fishing industry in the Great Lakes region during the warmer months, but it pretty much shuts down for the winter. Some professional in such an industry make work in a northern climate during the summer and shift operations to someplace further south and warmer for the winter.

For retail hiring, Christmas is the busiest season of the year. Employers usually start hiring in the fall for additional staff to ring the cash registers during the holiday shopping rush.

Retail

Many stores have help wanted signs in their windows, and your best bet—if you're interested in a seasonal retail job—is to walk around a mall or your town and stop in and fill out applications. Macy's, Target, and Walmart, among others, accept online applications.

Also, check out the local job searching resources for your city or state. Many of the employers who hire extra help for the holidays are the same employers who hire part-time help. So, be sure to check the part-time job sites.

Temporary

Temporary agencies often seek additional staff for their clients during the holiday season.

Kelly Services, Snelling & Snelling, and Manpower all provide searchable databases of temporary positions. Temping is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the country, and the range of available positions has increased significantly. One of the big pluses of temp work is that you can do it on your schedule. The IRS and state tax departments need help in processing tax returns starting in early January. The Government Jobs site has links to federal, state, and local governmental agencies.

Delivery

Package delivery services add staff, including drivers and handlers, to help them deal with the deluge of holiday boxes. FedEx has a searchable database of jobs and you can apply for online. DHL also has employment information available online. Food delivery and food service is another area where more jobs may be available during the holidays. With busy schedules and visiting guests, people order more pizza and other delivered food and often eat out more frequently.

Outdoors

Does the outdoors sound more attractive? Ski areas and resorts hire extra help for the holiday and winter season. Typical positions include ski instructors and patrol, snowmaking, and hotel and restaurant staff. Some facilities include housing and discounted lift tickets.

If you’re passionate about skiing and want to share your knowledge with other people, working as a ski instructor can become your regular seasonal job. Many ski resorts bring back the same staff year after year. 

You’ll find summer seasonal employment at beach resorts, amusement parks, and historic and national attractions. Also review hospitality, travel, and outdoor job listings so you're viewing a broad range of options. You'll find that many of the jobs in these career fields are seasonal by nature.

Finding Seasonal Jobs

Job search engines are a good way to find seasonal job listings. When you use advanced search options, you'll be able to search by type of position and narrow the results to include only job listings with seasonal hours. Here's how to search for seasonal jobs on the top job search engines.

Most job sites, such as Indeed.com, LinkUp.comSimplyHired.com, and CoolWorks.com offer advanced search features where you can search by keywords like "seasonal," "seasonal holiday," "seasonal retail," "seasonal ski," or "seasonal summer," etc. Include your location in the search to find jobs in your area.