Secrets to landing a temporary Christmas job

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In the run up to the festive season, businesses take on thousands of extra temporary staff to cope with increased demand. Here’s how to make sure you land yourself a Christmas job.

Apply in the autumn 

It’s never too early to start focusing on snagging a seasonal job. Sifting through applications, organising interviews and then training successful candidates takes time, so most employers start the recruitment process in early autumn.

Try not to wait until the closing date to apply - it’s worth getting in there quickly. There’s plenty of competition for Christmas jobs so if your potential boss has enough interest to fill the roles they might not consider applications that come in later.

Target busy sectors

Certain industries experience their busiest periods in the lead up to Christmas. The retail sector is the most obvious one here, with a big influx of festive shoppers in-store and online. More workers are also needed for delivery, customer service and warehousing, and Christmas parties mean the hospitality sector sees a huge hiring boost too.

It’s worth targeting your seasonal job search by focusing on those industries, setting up searches using keywords on the job sites.

Make your CV Christmas-friendly

What makes an ideal Christmas temporary worker? Soft skills like being a good team player and an effective communicator figure on the list. Being able to stay calm in a very busy workplace also count.

And depending on the type of sector you’re aiming for over the festive period, certain hard skills also pack a punch - think cash handling and experience with certain machinery.

As well as making sure you include these kind of transferable skills, pick out any key words or phrases on the job advert and try to weave them into your CV and application.

Be prepared for an on-the-spot job offer

OK, it’s rare to be offered the job during an interview if you’re going for a permanent role. But for seasonal roles it could well happen.

Businesses are often keen to fill vacancies fast - and get new workers started as soon as possible - so make yourself an even stronger candidate by being prepared for a job offer. That means taking along your passport, National Insurance number and proof of address just in case.

Be honest about when you can work

To cope with the Christmas rush, many businesses stay open later than normal in the lead up to the big day. So if you’re willing and able to work overtime - think late nights, early mornings, or even through the night - it’s worth highlighting that when you apply.

At HR GO, we fill multiple temporary vacancies with candidates who want to work in the lead up to every festive season. We know that temp employers value flexibility, but that reliability is even more important.

So be honest. There’s no point saying you can put in antisocial hours just so you land the job, only to cry off work because there are parties you can’t miss.

Our advice? Some companies use the busy Christmas period to try out potential full-time staff, so don’t be tempted to trash your reputation as a decent member of the team in the long-term.

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