Stores need extra hands over the silly season. This means it’s a great time to get a job. Christmas casual roles are a good way to earn money, develop experience and to expand your resume. With a bit of luck and hard work, they can even lead to full-time roles.

With these points in mind, here are nine tried and tested tips that will ensure you’re making the most of the Christmas period when it comes to finding work.

1. Start looking now

It seems like Christmas comes earlier every year. Retailers used to put up their decorations at the start of December. Now it seems more like October, or even September.

Take advantage of this by applying sooner rather than later. Apply for Christmas casual positions in August, and you’re certain to be one of the first in the door.

2. Be persistent

As you apply for jobs, don’t be afraid to return and check up on the status of your application. For many smaller businesses, particularly in hospitality and retail, the hiring process can be very ad-hoc. Resumes are often lost or forgotten about, so it can sometimes pay to check in and see how yours is progressing.

3. Use your network of friends and family

Friends and family can be a great way to get access to job opportunities that aren’t listed online. They can also act as personal or even professional references. A quick and easy way to take advantage of this networking is through social media. Putting a quick post up on Facebook can be a great way to learn about job opportunities.

4. Look online and ask in-store

There are two main ways to find jobs these days: Through the internet, or by asking in-store. The internet is often the quickest way, as advertisements and job listings offer good insights into the needs and wants of prospective employers. You can quickly and easily decide whether or not you fit the criteria, write a cover letter, attach a resume and email it off.

But don’t underestimate the power of face-to-face communication, particularly in customer service roles. Print out a few resumes, and head out to your local CBD or shopping mall. When you present yourself to possible employers, you demonstrate initiative and a willingness to go the extra mile. In addition, you are able to demonstrate your professional demeanour and great smile!

The Christmas period is a great time to ask for jobs in-store, as employers are often struggling to fill positions. Take the time to hit the pavement and hand out some resumes, and you might be rewarded with a great new job in no time.

5. Have your resume looked over by a professional

Have your resume edited and reviewed by an experienced individual, preferably someone with relevant industry experience. It’s your first point of contact with a potential employer. It should be absolutely perfect in order to maximise your chances of getting hired.

If you don’t have access to a professional and need some help with your resume, the friendly WorkReady team at Ability Options can help you create and improve your resume.

6. Keep your resume on-hand

Keep PDF copies of your resume on your phone, laptop and thumb drive, in addition to a few physical copies. Having your resume readily available is particularly important during the Christmas rush. Employers don’t necessarily have time to spare, so it is often a case of first in, best dressed. Never miss a chance. Keep at least one or two copies on hand at all times.

7. Adjust your expectations with regards to rostering

The Christmas period is hectic. There really is no getting around that. As a result, there are often long, arduous shifts, particularly on weekends and public holidays.

Thankfully, employers often see this period as being a valuable proving ground for longer term hires. If you perform well as a Christmas casual, there’s a good chance that your boss will decide to try and keep you on for good!

Advertising yourself as having flexible and unrestricted availabilities is a sure-fire way to make yourself really stand out from the crowd.

8.Try new things

Unlike other times of year, the Christmas period is often a ‘sellers market’ when it comes to applying for jobs. There’s often a lower level of experience required for Christmas casual positions. With this in mind, it can be useful to try and branch out into other industries in which you may not have a great deal of experience. Never worked in hospitality? This Christmas, maybe try something new.

9. Sign up to job alerts

Many websites, including Seek, Gumtree and Jora, allow you to sign up for tailor-made email alerts to inform you of job opportunities. These can give you a significant advantage when it comes to applying quickly to job listings. Sign up with your relevant information and desired fields of employment, and you’ll be on the right track in no time.

If you need more support finding a casual job, for example if you have a disability, Ability Options, can work with you to develop your skills and connect you with the right job for Christmas.

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