5 Tips to Landing a Seasonal Job

Are you looking to earn some extra spending money over the holidays through a seasonal job? You aren’t alone. Retailers are expected to add 755,000 temporary jobs this holiday season, and restaurant owners are preparing for high-volume traffic as shoppers wallets start to loosen for the holidays. This means the race is on to land a seasonal job!

While the “old way” of applying is still around, via paper applications and walk-in interviews, many companies have taken to mobile to streamline their apply and hiring processes (which is where we step in).

If you are looking to land a seasonal job, you’ll need to know what seasonal employers are looking for. Here are some things to add to your ZippyApp application so you can stand out from the pack and land the seasonal job you are looking for!

  1. Be flexible with your schedule.Are you able to work extended holiday hours and weekends? Hourly employers are on the lookout for you! A flexible work schedule is one of the first things a seasonal employer will look for on your application, so be sure to include the days, times, and hours you are available to work. But don’t say you are available certain days and times when you really aren’t – a tactic used by some just to land a job. Your employer will soon find out you are not as available as they initially thought, and could quickly find a replacement that offers a more flexible schedule.
  2. Play up your previous experience. Busy holiday hours means less time for training, so seasonal employers will be on the lookout for experienced workers. But just because you haven’t worked in a retail or restaurant setting before doesn’t mean you will be passed over. Do you have any customer service or customer support experience? Highlight those on your ZippyApp application.
  3. Show off your personality and attitude.Dealing with stressed out shoppers and diners is not something everyone can handle. Utilize our video resume feature to show off your positive attitude and bubbly personality. Then, give examples of how you have been able to turn a negative situation into a positive guest experience.
  4. Highlight your ability to multi-task. Seasonal job descriptions don’t mirror regular ones because oftentimes, seasonal workers have to wear many hats. Seasonal employers want to get the most they can out of each worker rather than have each worker do one set job. Include on your ZippyApp application all of the tasks and duties you have performed in past jobs, and include keywords such as “multi-task” and “fast-paced” to show you can handle busy holiday crowds.
  5. Demonstrate you are a fast learner.Showing you have exceled in past jobs can demonstrate to seasonal employers that you are quick learner. As we mentioned previously, seasonal employers don’t have much time and resources to train you during busy holiday months, so you will need to prove you can hit the ground running in your new role. Some ways to do this? Include that promotion you received after only a few months at your last job, or when you took on other duties that were not a part of your initial job description.
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Knock Em’ Dead: Phone Interview Etiquette

Congratulations! Landing a phone interview means you most likely have the necessary skills and requirements for the job. Your mission during a phone interview is to explain more about your skills to earn an in-person meeting — and to ultimately land the job. Companies usually conduct phone interviews because they don’t have enough resources to manage in-person interviews with every qualified applicant. It is a screening technique that saves the company time, which is why companies refer to them as “phone screens.”

Your mission during a phone interview is to earn an in-person meeting, and to ultimately land the job. Preparing is similar to that of an in-person interview, except you will want to keep these pointers in mind:

Set up in a quiet area, one that is in a controlled environment with no background noise and outside influence. Keep your area pet free, as these noises can be distracting. It is best to use a landline during your call, but if you need to use your mobile be sure the battery is charged, you have good reception, and the volume is turned up.

Dress up just as you would to an in-person interview. Dressing up and sitting in an upright position will put you in the right mindset and keep you focused. Trust us, dressing in pajamas slouched in bed or on the couch will only knock you off your focus — and translate through to your voice!

Print out your ZippyApp application and have it in front of you during your call. The interviewer will most likely ask about the details you included on your application, like your past work experience and skills. You will want to have a copy so you don’t get caught off guard or stumble on a question. It is also good to have one just in case your Internet connection crashes.

Prepare yourself by researching the company and the job description just like you would for an in-person interview. We discussed this in detail in last week’s Blog.

Check your body language. Even though the interviewer won’t be able to see you, your body language can be reflective in your enthusiasm and excitement during your call. Be sure to smile, as it will bring energy and excitement to your voice. Sit up in an upright position and stay in one place – don’t move around and pace from room-to-room.

Don’t mention pay or benefits just yet. In fact, leave that conversation time and place up to the interviewer. Even though these are important factors, you don’t want to come across like these are the only things you are interested in.

Follow up with a thank-you email to the interviewer after an hour or two. Following up so soon after is perfectly OK, since the phone interview process is shorter (you usually want to wait a day or two after an in-person meet up to follow up). If you don’t already have it, be sure to ask the interviewer for their email address before you hang up.

Be Ready for out-of-the-blue calls, a tactic some hiring managers use to see how prepared you are. Be wary when answering unfamiliar numbers, and if you do answer the call and are asked for an interview, it is OK to tell them you need to call back, which will give you time to prepare and organize yourself.

Have any phone interview etiquette tips to share? Our job seekers would love to hear from you!

Knock Em’ Dead: Ace The Interview and Land the Job

Now that you have mastered pre-interview etiquette and understand the importance of your punctuality, greeting, and attire, lets get you prepared to ace the interview! Here are some common interview questions and answers that will land you the job!

Can you tell us about yourself? By asking this, your interviewer will want to determine how friendly and personable you are. Talk about things they would not be able to Google about you — throw in any sports or extracurricular activities you participate in, especially those that are relative to the job. For instance, saying you take cooking classes because you aspire to become a chef one day is a great thing to include when applying to a restaurant.

What excites you about the job? Research and understand the job description under the company’s Hiring Portal on ZippyApp prior to your interview so you know the duties and requirements of the position. Getting an interview means you likely have the necessary experience and requirements needed to get the job — the interview is a better way for you to showcase your skills, rather than just having them on a piece of paper. Explain your experience with each of the duties the job requires. For instance, if you are applying to a Host position, explaining you have experience working in a fast-paced environment (like a mall) is a great way of showing you have the ability to take care of multiple customers at one time. See any skills you don’t have? Think about experiences you have had that are non-work related – like group projects or team sports.

Why do you think you are a good fit? Hiring managers usually are interested in seeing if would be a good fit for the team or not. Picture yourself in the company environment and ambiance, and explain how you are a good fit with that. Mentioning you play sports and enjoy a team environment is a great way to demonstrate you are a team player.

Why our company? Understanding what makes the company unique from others will score you points in the interview. Research their menu and/ or merchandise; then tell them you embrace their concept and explain how you would bring value to that. Demonstrating your knowledge about their products and offerings will convey your desire to work for them.

Come prepared with questions to ask of your own. Remember, you are interviewing the hiring manager just as much as they are interviewing you. Going in to an interview prepared with questions of your own will show the hiring manager you are serious about the position. Some good questions to come prepared with are:

  • What will a typical workday look like?
  • What are some of the challenges someone in this position would face?
  • What are the opportunities for growth for someone in this position?

Have any interview questions to share? We would love to hear from you! Post your comments here.

Knock Em’ Dead: Pre-Interview Etiquette

The job interview: You hope to get one, but you dread going to one. There probably isn’t a more uneasier situation than walking into a room full of strangers and keeping your composure while you’re every move and word gets scrutinized!

Before you head out the door to your next interview, remember the most powerful skill in business: Etiquette. Manners and respect are the foundation of good relationships, and good relationships translate to business success. Your etiquette is a reflection of your personal brand and reputation, and possessing proper etiquette can make all the difference in nailing the interview and getting the job or going back to the ZippyApp Job Board. Master the pre-interview with these etiquette tips.

If you decide the job isn’t for you or you have taken a position elsewhere, be sure let your interviewer know as soon as possible that you will not be attending the interview. Email is good, but a phone call is better. It may seem like common sense to do, but you’d be surprised to find out the number of people who forgo this vital step. Not doing this can tarnish your reputation and burn a bridge before you even got the chance to build one. Keep in mind in any industry you get into, people know people — and they talk. You don’t want to be known in the industry as someone who is unprofessional, irresponsible, and unreliable.

Your punctuality says a lot about you as a person, and even more as an employee. Punctuality demonstrates that you are professional, dependable, and respectful of other people’s time. It gives the interviewer a sense of your time keeping skills, which is a further indication of your organization skills and your ability to meet deadlines. It can also tell them whether or not you are more likely to show up for work on time. A good rule of thumb is to arrive five to 10 minutes before your interview, but never before 10 minutes (remember to be respectful). Give yourself plenty of time to travel, with extra time for unforeseeable circumstances. If you do end up running behind, call right away and explain the situation with the new time you will arrive.

Your interview begins as soon as you walk into the building, even if the hiring manager is not your first point of contact. Before going in, be sure to turn your cellphone off (keeping it on vibrate can still be distracting if it goes off) and leave any unnecessary belongings behind. Smile and greet the first person you see with a strong handshake, stating your name and who you are there to interview with. An example greeting to practice: “Hi, my name is Bruce Bowers. Nice to meet you! I’m here to speak with Kamyar Faron about your open Host position.” If the person who escorts you to your interview is different than the first person you spoke with, stand up, shake hands, and introduce yourself in the same manner before they escort you into your interview.

The way you dress is a factor in how people perceive you, and can be a deciding factor in whether or not you land the job. In fact, 65% of hiring managers say they will select the candidate who dressed appropriately for the interview over someone who did not if all other factors were the same. So what is appropriate dress attire? It can really depend on the company and the position you are applying to. Your interviewer is going to look at you and assess whether or not you would be a good fit, so you will need to make sure you look like a good fit. An easy way to do this is to check out the companies social media profiles to see how their employees dress — Facebook and Instagram are great channels to do this. If all else fails, dress up and conservatively to give a positive impression.

* ZippyApp Tip: You can get a leg up in this area if you upload a photo or video to your ZippyApp application, since the hiring manager(s) will already have a good perception of you in their minds.

In our next Blog we will  discuss the questions most likely to be asked in your interview, and impressive ways to answer them. Stay tuned!

* Statistics taken from collegeatlas.org