Rule #1: Know Thyself
You’ve probably already done all the hard stuff around looking for a job, you’ve figured out what you want to do and maybe even where you want to do it. Believe it or not, that is the hardest part about finding seasonal work. Knowing what you want to do is 30% of the battle, and knowing where you want to go is about 20% – so you’re already 50% done once you’ve nailed these two pieces down.
It might seem trivial, but that 50% is the crucial difference between successfully landing a seasonal job and wasting your time interviewing for jobs. Employers know when someone is really interested in a position and when someone is unsure. They don’t want to spend their time and resources training someone for a 3-month gig who is only going to quit after the first week because “I don’t like working morning shifts.” Know what you like (and what you don’t like) so you can save yourself a lot of trouble applying and interviewing for jobs that you just aren’t going to be happy doing.
What about the remaining 50% of the seasonal job search battle? All of the rules are important and contribute towards finding (and landing!) that perfect job, but if you are feeling impatient, skip to Rule #5.
Rule #2: Research is Key
Do your homework. Visit the Company’s website, read their online reviews, search for newspaper articles about them. You know who you are, but who are they? Can you vibe working for this company? Read the reviews and see if they match your vision of the place – could you turn customer’s negative attitudes around if you were working there? Share some of your positive findings during the interview and politely address one or two of the negative reviews, mentioning how you can use your skills to help customers have a more positive experience. This will show that you cared enough about the job to spend time researching and that you care about their customers’ experience. The hiring manager will notice and like that. A lot.
This is about 10% of the battle, and remember, battles have been won by less than 10%.
Rule #3: Apply Early and Follow Up
This might seem obvious, but it’s really important to stress that everyone wants to work at the beach for the summer. Like, the whole entire world. If you know that your preferred location is popular, make sure you submit your application ASAP – that quaint New England town has one grocery store and only needs one cashier and if you want to make sure that it’s you, you’ll need to get the application in immediately.
Once you’ve submitted your application, send an email or call and make certain that the application has been received. Also, ask what the timeline for hiring is, will they be hiring within a week or within a month? Get a sense of how quickly you’ll need to get organized to move.
This rule will get you about 15% closer to landing your dream job.
Rule #4: Be Patient After Applying
After you’ve followed up, wait. It takes time to find a job, and some of that time involves just waiting. It might take the employer a week to start reviewing resumes, or they might be reviewing the resumes every day. Either way, your job at this point is to wait at least one full week before reaching out again to ask if they have made a decision.
During this time, remembering our manners is super important. “Please, thank you, I appreciate your time” are the magic words that separate a pushy job seeker from an inquiring job seeker.
Let’s call this 5% of the challenge, it’s small but mighty. No one wants to hire a pushy person.
Rule #5: It’s the Recruiter for Me
No surprise here! Working with a recruiter is huge when looking for seasonal work. Recruiters do more than screen candidates, they screen employers too.
You are looking for a real seasonal job, not a seasonal internship where you work for free. Recruiters make certain that the hiring company is legit. Working with a recruiter saves you from applying for positions that somehow require you to buy a “training kit” that costs $250, or accepting a position that is seasonal, but no one mentioned that the season is only four weeks long. Recruiters help employers communicate their needs clearly and they ensure that the jobs you are applying for are the jobs you want.
This is easily 20% of the job-seeking battle. Having a recruiter in your corner is the ideal way to find the perfect seasonal job.