Beating competition for a holiday job

By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Are you looking for a holiday job? The good news: there are more jobs and higher pay this year. The bad news: with so many people out of work, it's still going to be extremely competitive.

Before the holiday shopping season, it's the holiday hiring season. Saxon Shoes is already starting. Said owner and CEO Gary Weiner, "We just hired five or six people that just started this week. We' e in the market to maybe bring in another five or 10 people for the busy time."

Great news this year: the national average for holiday wages are up from $10.40 to $10.60 and there are more jobs available.

Said Amanda Richardson with, "We are seeing that its better than last year, which was better than the year before, so we're not back to pre-recession levels."

The experts at SnagAJob say look beyond retail, look for jobs you might not think of. Said Richardson, "There are warehousing jobs and delivery jobs. Someone has to get all those presents under the tree. There are also jobs in restaurants. The malls fill with people who are really hungry for lunch between package shopping."

Don't forget hospitality, catering, even babysitting. So how do you stand out from the other applicants?

Said Richardson, "Going in with a smile on your face, be willing to do the dirty work, and willing to work the tough shifts."

Adds Weiner, "Be on time, dress appropriately, be polite and friendly. We're in sales. This is outgoing."

And while you're looking for a seasonal job, don't forget to keep your eyes open for permanent positions. While we were at, we found the company is doing some permanent hiring.

Said Richardson, "We are in need of sales folks, some engineering people and a lot of marketing help."

Be sure to contact former employers. About 50 percent of holiday jobs are filled by people who worked for the company before.

You can find holiday jobs listed on websites like SnagAJob, SimplyHired, Monster, and VAEmploy.

(c) 2010. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.