Here's the bad news for holiday job seekers: there are more of you competing for fewer jobs. The tightening economy has retailers planning for slower sales, which means they will hire fewer people. At the same time, there are 2.2-million more unemployed people than there were at this time last year. Still, job seeker, don't despair. Retailers will still likely hire more than half a million seasonal workers. But now is not the time to be timid. If you want to score one of those elusive holiday jobs, you need to get going. Here are some tips to help you in your search. Raleigh News & Observer
As in, start yesterday. You should already be filling out applications, trying to score interviews and knocking on doors.
Score some face time
Try to have a face-to-face conversation with the store manager. Be enthusiastic and express genuine interest. Tell them if you are able to work flexible hours (it will help if you can). Meeting them in person could move your application to the top of the stack.
Use your common sense
Conventional wisdom says that discounters such as Wal-Mart will likely be among the most popular retailers this Christmas. Retailers that expect crowds will likely have the largest number of available jobs.
Pick stores you like
If you apply for a job at a store you actually like, your enthusiasm for the chain will likely show during your interview. Plus, you may be able to demonstrate knowledge of the products that will set you apart from other applicants.
Pick stores near your home
One of the valued assets of a seasonal employee is the ability to be called upon if the store needs help. Point out that you could get to work quickly in an emergency, say, if someone else called in sick.
Toot your own horn
Even if you've never before worked at a store, stress any experience you have in customer service or any position where you dealt with people. Managers are looking for employees who are good with people and can handle a variety of situations, such as irate shoppers. That kind of work experience could snag you a job.
Consider other positions
Remember that retailers also hire people for stocking inventory, shipping and other types of jobs. And retailers aren't the only ones hiring for the holidays. Companies such as UPS also add workers to get through the holiday rushes.