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Where The Part-Time Holiday Jobs Are

With a seriously sagging economy and the unemployment rate at a fourteen-year high, it's no surprise that part-time positions for the holiday season are scarce.

On The Early Show Monday, financial contributor Vera Gibbons offered pointers to help you land one.

It won't be easy, she admits.

According to Gibbons:

The number of people looking for jobs is up 123 percent from last year, meaning there's a much larger pool of applicants in what's expected to be a decidedly bleak holiday sales season. Stores, like consumers, are pulling in the reins, with a resulting drop-off in holiday hiring. And teens, students, moonlighters, stay-at-home moms, etc. are being joined in the job-seeking market by older, perhaps more qualified workers, making for much stiffer competition. Some of these candidates have been let go from corporate jobs. Lots of people these days are looking for replacement income -- not just supplemental income, as in previous years.

But there are some places where prospects for job-seekers are better than others:

  • Discount retailers
  • Online, for sites' fulfillment/call centers
  • Shipping and packing companies
  • Tax preparation firms

    There are jobs. I wouldn't necessarily go looking for work at mid-level department stores. You would have better luck at stores where people are actually going, where crowds are, such as the discounters. Another bright spot is online shopping: This season, it's expected to increase by 12 percent, its slowest pace ever, but growth, nonetheless. As result, they'll need workers, for their fulfillment centers, call centers, etc. Also, shipping and packing companies -- UPS, FedEx, etc. And if you have a head for figures, this is time of year when tax preparation companies start training new hires for the tax season, which starts in January. They use the holiday season as a kind of audition period to see who they might want to hire into permanent jobs.

    What's the best approach to try to get an open position? Be aggressive: Network, network, network. Supplement your search online, at sites such as SnagAJob.com (a job board for hourly employees), Monster.com, and CareerBuilder.com. Use all tools at your disposal to stand out from pack. If there are three openings, for instance, companies aren't just going to take first three people who walk in door.

    Let your experience sell you. Special skills also help, such as the ability to speak more than one language. Another plus: being willing to work flexible hours (even if they're less desirable -- evenings; weekends, etc. -- if you're not willing to work them, someone else will!. Go in with a good, cheerful attitude, because that's what employers want. Also, act quickly: Staffs that areln't set yet are being put into place right now!

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