by Cathy Rajtar, contributing writer~

Need money for presents?  Want to catch up on some bills?  Save money for a winter vacation?  Able to work part time in the next few months?  Everyone is hiring, especially in retail.

Seasonal retail jobs typically last from October to the end of December or early January.  Be prepared to work evenings, weekends and the retail holidays, such as the day after Thanksgiving.

According to the United States Department of Labor “for many retailers, the holiday shopping season is a ‘make or break’ period which can define their bottom lines for the entire year.”

Temporary and part-time employment spikes as retailers and other businesses increase staffing to accommodate their seasonal increase.

How do you start looking for one of these seasonal jobs in retail?

Good question.  Looking at the Sunday paper want ads is a thing of the past.  These days, most employers post jobs and take applications online.

However, large department stores often will take applications in person for seasonal jobs.  Stores encourage people who want sales positions to apply early to get the job in the department that you are interested in working.

Some retailers are also hiring staff to work on the dock unloading merchandise, and onto the sales floor after hours.

I discovered that the easiest way to start finding openings is just open a search engine and type “seasonal jobs” and your location, such as “St. Paul, MN”.  It’s easy to do on any computer or cell phone with an Internet connection.

>> Tips for Using Job Ads <<

Seventh Floor of a department store with shoppersWhen I called one department store near me, I was told to come in to any one of their locations, go to their Customer Service Center, and fill out an application.  Check the store’s website links to find their online applications, or to connect with the store’s Facebook page for hiring information.

During your next shopping trip, ask the clerk in the store or at the Customer Service Center how you can apply for a seasonal position with them before the holidays.

Another place I visited was a temporary employment agency.  When I spoke to their staff about seasonal retail employment, I was told that they do not hire for seasonal jobs.  They only had jobs that are full time or long-term, part-time assignments that last for three months or more.  This may not be the case everywhere, but your best bet is to go directly to the source.

However, temporary staffing agencies are also a good source for other types of part-time and full-time jobs, such as warehouse or manufacturing work, and various types of office positions.  Some companies hire temporary office support people to cover the permanent staff who take vacation over the holidays.

>> Make Your Seasonal A Year-Long Gift <<

Perhaps the best reason to get a seasonal retail job: the employee discounts, which typically are about 20%!  Working a seasonal job is also a great way to start your Christmas shopping early, and save money on those presents.

NOW is the time to apply!


Featured image, State Street by Ian Freimuth, is used under Creative Commons 2.0.

7th Floor, also by Ian Freimuth, is used under Creative Commons 2.0.

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