Top tips for seasonal temp jobs

Perhaps it was the slight chill in the air this week or the sight of Christmas stock already taking over my local garden centre that reminded me that the festive season is approaching fast. If you are interested in taking on a temporary job over the festive period, now is the time to start planning.

christmas hiring sign

Many employers will be looking for additional staff to help fulfil the additional demands of a busy festive season and the recruitment campaigns will be starting very shortly. There are a few reasons to consider taking on a temporary job at Christmas. Seasonal work can provide an opportunity to gain work experience or earn some additional cash to help treat family and friends. It can also provide a ‘foot in the door’ for more permanent employment in the new year although this is by no means guaranteed. Seasonal temporary positions can have a very high volume of applicants for each role, so how do you ensure that you stand out from the crowd?

Here are my top tips for securing a temporary job over Christmas:

Apply early – most companies will already be planning their resourcing and many start advertising jobs at the end of September / beginning of October with a view to having the positions filled well in advance of Black Friday at the end of October.

Focus your job search – retail, hospitality, delivery and customer service sectors are the industry sectors most likely to be recruiting. Use job boards and career sites to set up an account and save your details and cv. This will save time applying for multiple positions and any additional roles with each company.

Be flexible– accepting shift patterns and offering availability over as many hours as possible will be more attractive to employers who may not be able to predict where and when they will need to fill additional demand.

Make your cv stand out – tailor your cv to highlight your skills and experience relating to the job on offer.

Telephone screening – be fully prepared for a first stage mini-interview over the phone from a member of the recruitment team. You will be asked questions such as previous relevant experience, your availability for work or preferred hours and your ability to commit to the period of employment required. Ensure that you can take the call in a quiet environment with good reception. If you are caught out and about when the resourcer calls, ask for a direct line number to call back when you can discuss the role without interruption. Then make sure that you call back as soon as possible.

Use agencies– register your details with recruitment agencies that supply temporary staff to retail, hospitality, delivery and customer service sectors.

Bring your full documentation with you to your interview and make sure that it is recent and has not expired. Usually, you will be asked to bring proof of eligibility to work in the UK e.g. passport, proof of National Insurance, proof of address and, if it is a driving job, your driver’s licence photocard. Please be aware that if you are not a UK national and if you have been in the UK for more than three years, your national driver’s licence will no longer be valid and you will need to apply for a UK licence.

Temping can be a great way to try a variety of roles if you are not sure which direction you would like to take your career. You can supplement your income if you are available for work over the Christmas period and can help you make a return to employment if you have been out of work for a while. If you would like to discuss your own job search in confidence, please contact for further information on job hunting strategies, interview skills or cv help.



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