Seasonal jobs for the holidays

Want to know where and how to earn extra money during this busy time of the year? We have the answers.

Seasonal jobs for the holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and that means it’s time for many industries to do some seasonal hiring. But it’s not just the holidays that put pressure on hiring in the cooler months: Companies may be preparing for year-end events such as open enrollment or tax season, or gearing up for their big tourism push.

All this means there's a bounty of seasonal jobs ready and waiting for you. Get out there and make that merry money!

How to find seasonal jobs

Start early

Seasonal hiring typically begins in September. Employers already know how many people they'll need, so start searching for seasonal jobs on Monster today. Even if a job doesn't begin for another month, it's best to lock in an opportunity sooner rather than later.

Be prepared

If you're stopping into an establishment to shop for seasonal work, be prepared to fill out an application and participate in an impromptu interview. Bring your own pen, necessary documentation to prove you can work in the U.S. legally, a resume, and all contact information for your professional references. Be sure you block off enough time to meet with a few supervisors should the opportunity arise.

Be professional

Don’t walk in to apply for a position and treat it like it’s not going to be a “real job.” Dress nicely for any interview to show that you are serious about your part-time or temporary work.

You want to look like everyone else on the job so you appear and feel like you fit in, says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide. “Seasonal work can become permanent work,” he explains. “Dressing professionally for an interview demonstrates your respect for the organization.”

Know what you want

If you're applying for seasonal work, know precisely what you offer to a potential employee—and what you want in return. Determine what hourly rate is acceptable to you, what hours and days you're available, if you've got the wherewithal for a particular position (some may involve lifting heavy boxes or standing for the greater part of your shift), and if the location is viable in terms of fuel costs and transportation options. (Will you always have access to a reliable car or a convenient subway or bus line?)

You don't want to make a commitment only to leave an employer in the lurch during the hectic holidays.

Be flexible

The best way to make sure you stand out from other seasonal talent is to present yourself as flexible—but only if you really are. Demanding a specific schedule from prospective employers is a sure way to walk away empty-handed. 

Business might be frenzied no matter what industry you’re looking to work in, so show that you can multitask, handle different duties, and switch gears in an instant. Employers want workers who can jump in wherever needed when things heat up.

Industries hiring seasonal workers

When you think about seasonal jobs, retail naturally springs to mind, but there are lots of other industries that ramp up hiring efforts in anticipation of the holiday rush. From food service to tax prep, opportunities to cash in are plentiful.

Retail

“Holiday shopping drives the need for additional retailer help,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, which helps provide temporary administrative employees. Seasonal employees may cover for vacationing regular employees or may help out with heightened demand. Think cashier jobsretail manager jobsfloor associate jobsgreeter jobs, and the like. Customer service positions may be in call centers or on-site, Hosking says.

Find all retail jobs on Monster.

Delivery companies

Thanks to all those online orders, deliveries go up during the holidays, which requires delivery companies to make major seasonal hires. UPS and FexEx ramp up delivery helpers who may ride with drivers to help deliver packages, or they may meet up with the driver on the route and deliver packages on foot in neighborhoods.

Find all delivery jobs on Monster.

Packaging

Package handlers load, unload, and sort packages for delivery companies. These are typically flexible, part-time positions that may have odd hours. Think of them as the elves of the holiday workforce.

Find all package handler jobs on Monster.

Truck driving

Both delivery truck drivers and tractor trailer drivers are needed on a seasonal basis, says Susan Rosenberg, public relations director at UPS. “In both cases, drivers need a commercial driver’s license, and tractor-trailer drivers need to already have a Class A certification.”

Find all truck driver jobs on Monster.

Restaurants

Holiday seasons are busy with larger parties, and restaurants look for seasonal hires to fill in during peak, busier hours on nights and weekends, says Michelle Burke, marketing supervisor at WyckWyre, a hiring tool specialized for the restaurant industry.

“The typical holiday season in the restaurant industry runs from late November through New Year's Day," she says. "Weekends are busiest with families, and weekdays in December are typically busy with work functions and events." Waiter/waitress, bartenders, catering workers, and buspersons are all needed to serve the influx of diners.

Find all restaurant jobs on Monster.

HR administration

Fall is open enrollment season for many offices, and human resources managers may be looking for people to help out, Hosking says. They may assist with the open enrollment process and answer benefits-related questions.

Find all HR administration jobs on Monster.

Hospitality and tourism

Travel is off-the-charts busy during the holidays. Hosking says hotels and other businesses in certain areas see an influx of customers during this time and need additional hands on deck. “In-demand roles may include front-desk coordinators or receptionists,” he says.

Find all hospitality jobs on Monster.

Tax preparation

“As tax season approaches, companies will seek assistance with paperwork, answering calls, scheduling appointments, entering data, and other administrative tasks,” Hosking says. Experience in accounting or tax preparation can be helpful for people looking for these kinds of positions.

Find all tax preparation jobs on Monster.

Temp work

A company's permanent employees may take vacations or unexpectedly fall ill this time of year, Hosking says, so companies may establish a “bench” of seasonal employees who can step in on call or on short notice when they’re needed. Administrative and front-desk work is often in demand, he says.

Find all temp jobs on Monster.