Many college students prefer to work during holiday season to make some extra money and acquire work experience. Seasonal jobs are typically the best option because they require night shifts as well as weekend hours and they often serve as a good start to build a strong resume. Moreover, seasonal jobs are a good way to earn extra cash.
Here are some useful tips on how to apply for seasonal jobs as a college student:
a) Decide on the seasonal job you want to do
Seasonal jobs are not much different than any type of permanent job, excluding the benefits that seasonal workers are not entitled to. Before start applying for a seasonal position think of what type of job you would like to do, why, where, how many hours you will be required to work and for how much money. All these questions need to be answered before you start applying as you would do if you were looking for a full-time position in retailing or in a financial-based position. Even if you don’t get a seasonal job that meets all your requirements, still you will have a job in such a turbulent financial environment and you will be making some extra cash.
b) Know your strengths and weaknesses
It is very important to know what you have to offer an employer and what kind of skills you have. If you have already worked in a seasonal position you are able to identify the areas that you are better and the areas that still need improvement. Although employers are not extremely demanding because you are still a college student and, therefore not an experienced worker, it doesn’t mean that they don’t expect you to apply what you have learned at school, but also to show initiative and build your own character at work.
c) Create a strong resume
When sending out a resume for a seasonal position your goal is to limit the knock-out factors of the HR manager that will review your resume. Typically, these factors include, but are not limited to, a career objective that is irrelevant to the job posting; work experience that is irrelevant to the job posting; or a resume with poor grammar. As you would do if you were to apply for a permanent position, make sure you use clear language and include the most important aspects of your job description in the first sentences of each job description. This valuable information will attract the interest of the HR staff because, typically, HR people identify key words in a resume and keep it aside to review it again. Moreover, if you already possess work experience make sure you include enough information, such as past employer’s names, addresses and phone numbers. The less information you disclose, the less reliable your resume will look like.
Let everyone know you are looking for a seasonal position. Talk to your friends and family, to your teachers and tutors, to your friends’ parents, and to other adults you may be related to. Let them know you are interested in getting a seasonal job and specify what type of job you’re looking for and why you are interested in this particular type of job. Give them a copy of resume and let them introduce you to their network of contacts. By networking, you increase your opportunities of landing your ideal seasonal job.
e) Apply early for a seasonal position
Employers hire for seasonal positions in October and November. This means that you have to start your job search early September and apply early for seasonal positions. You may contact recruiters to help you determine which jobs suit you best and identify companies you would like to work for. In any case, you should keep in mind that employers have to check a pile of resumes right before the holiday season begins to fill in their open positions. So, the earliest you apply for a seasonal position the better chances you stand to be interviewed and land a job.
Keep in mind that employers are looking for highly-driven individuals who are ready to work Saturdays and Sundays, Christmas Eve and the day after Thanksgiving. They also appreciate candidates who are not too interested in employee-discount, but rather look for having money to buy gifts for their loved ones. So, the idea is: commit to the holiday season and show reliability, flexibility and professionalism. If you stay positive and keep on looking in an organized way you are more likely to find seasonal positions that you like and you could fit.