Seasonal workers will see more jobs, higher pay this holiday season

Whether you're planning to get a temporary job during the upcoming holidays to pay down debt, boost your savings, or help cover all those gifts you'll inevitably be buying, here's some good news: The average hourly wage for seasonal workers is projected to climb from $11.70 in 2017 to $15.40 this year. That's the latest data from Snag, which also found that the retail industry is likely to offer the most generous pay increases, followed by hospitality and then restaurants.
Not only that, but 84 percent of employers expect to need extra hands on deck later this year, which means there's plenty of opportunity to score a decent seasonal job. And here are a few things you can do to land one.

1. Get the ball rolling in advance

You might think you have plenty of time to line up a job for the holiday season, but remember, employers don't tend to wait until the last minute to fulfill their staffing needs. In fact, Snag reports that the number of companies that started recruiting for the holiday season in August or earlier more than doubled compared to the previous year. If you know you want a seasonal gig, start looking around now, before all of the good spots get filled. Keep in mind that companies often advertise their seasonal roles on social media, so if the standard job boards are too overwhelming, figure out where you'd enjoy working and see if those businesses are in the market for more help.

2. Polish up your resume

Just because you're looking for a short-term role doesn't mean you won't have to prove you're worthy of being hired. As you gear up to apply for a seasonal job, review your resume and make sure that it's not only up to date but also clean-looking and grammatically correct. You might even enlist the help of a friend to edit it for you, as an outside set of eyes is more likely to spot errors than you are. Additionally, make sure your resume lists skills that pertain to the jobs you're looking for. If you're a full-time bookkeeper but want to work weekend shifts at a retailer, for example, it'll help to play up your strong attention to detail.

3. Prepare to be interviewed

Just as you probably won't land a permanent role without having an interview first, so too will you generally need to sit down and meet with prospective employers before getting hired on a seasonal basis. That's why it pays to brush up on your interview skills now. Prepare answers to some of the tougher questions you're likely to get, and if you're the type who tends to panic on the spot, do some practice runs so you're less nervous later on.

4. Reach out to old employers

An estimated 37 percent of employers expect to rehire workers from the previous holiday season, according to Snag. Therefore, if you had a positive experience working someplace last year, it pays to see if they're hiring again, especially if you left on good terms. Even if your last seasonal employer doesn't have an opening, your former manager might know of an opportunity elsewhere, so it never hurts to reach out and see what the story is.
The holidays are a great time to put a little extra cash in your pocket. If you're eager to snag seasonal work, start exploring your options sooner rather than later. And who knows? You might come out a bit richer this time around.
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