The Christmas job market is an important time for employers and employees alike, as demand surges for seasonal workers, often on very short-term temporary contracts.
If you are looking for employment in this seasonal jobs market, it’s important to recognise that not all vacancies are equal – some may offer different numbers of hours, different rates of pay, or even the opportunity to remain in the role after Christmas.
These five tips will help you to recognise some of the unique characteristics of the Christmas job market and prepare your application to make sure you land one of the best roles available.
- A candidate’s market
First of all, with high demand for seasonal workers, it’s definitely a ‘buyer’s market’ for candidates, which puts you on the front foot when making applications – but don’t let that make you complacent.
You need to make sure that in any application you put forwards, you are the stand-out applicant, bearing in mind recruiters are likely to be very busy trying to make a large number of placements in a short time.
- Short-term vacancies
Most vacancies in the Christmas job market are short-term to meet seasonal demand. As such, gear your application towards this so it is clear you are committed to the role even if only for a few weeks.
If you have worked in short-term employment in the past, make sure this is a feature of your cover letter or CV, so it does not get overlooked in amongst longer periods of work.
- Part-timers and second jobs
A Christmas job doesn’t have to be your primary employment, as many people will look to take on a few extra hours at evenings or weekends, to boost their spending money for the holidays.
Make sure any jobs you apply for are suitable for this kind of working, and that you can physically get from one job to the other without being late – there’s no point applying for a job you can’t possibly do.
- Fill in the gaps
If seasonal work is the bulk of your employment, make sure your CV doesn’t just leave gaps in your employment history where you were out of work.
Where possible, make clear that these were as a result of short-term contracts reaching their planned end, or that you were engaged in activities or training during those periods that did not require you to hold down a job at the same time.
- What happens next?
Once you’ve found a vacancy you like the look of, give some consideration to the total income you will earn from it – the hours worked, the rate of pay, and any likely opportunities for paid overtime in the run-up to Christmas itself.
You might find one short-term vacancy offers a surprising amount more than the other when you do the analysis, and you should also think about whether there are any long-term employment prospects, or skills you can take from the role to add to your CV when making more permanent job applications in the new year.