October 2, 2008

Holiday Staffing as a Resume Builder

The beginning of October signals the beginning of the holiday staffing season for retailers. A temporary holiday position can add some much needed cash to your bank account while gaining some valuable work experience.
A temporary position usually lasts anywhere between 30-120 days allowing for an increased customer service presence to account for the additional customer traffic and increased sales during the holiday. Some big box retailers like Target and Wal-Mart will add anywhere between 75-150 temporary associates each to account for the increase sales during the busy season.

If you decide to broaden your horizons and experience the retail industry during the holidays, consider the following:
  1. Flexibility. The schedule you work and the numbers of hours you work will fluctuate each week depending on the retail locations projected sales and peak sales times. If you are working as a customer service associate, expect to work evenings and weekends when customer and sales volume is the highest.
  2. Temporary Gig. The holiday season doesn't last forever and neither will your newly found position. However, companies will keep a select few top performers if sales budgets permit. Make managers aware of your interest or ask for a referral or store transfer.
  3. Resume Builder. Retail affords a wide variety of experiences including inventory and budget management, cash control, and customer service. These are all skills you can use in most industries and are great skills to highlight in your resume.
  4. Store Discounts. Not only can you make a little green but you can save some green too. Retails companies like Target and Lowe's offer a 10% associate discount while higher margin retail clothing stores like Old Navy offer a 40% discount in addition to the fact that you have first pick of clearance and discontinued items.

Lastly, do not forget other seasonal industries. Companies like Williams Sonoma hires seasonal help for their catalogue call center. This company offers flexible scheduling and a substantial employee discount.

Seasonal work can not only be a great opportunity to expand your skill toolkit but it can lead to a great long-term career as well.