Looking for seasonal work? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retailers added 625,600 jobs in 2018, and since companies like Target, Walmart and Macy’s will potentially add between 85,000 to 130,000 employees to each of their rosters, now is a great time for those who wish to supplement their income by taking advantage of the holiday season and beginning the application process.

The Better Business Bureau advises job seekers to apply early and research potential employers for the best chance at landing a job that fits your needs.

Although in most cases holiday positions are temporary, they could prove to be excellent opportunities to get your foot in the door. It’s important, however, for job seekers to make sure they’re applying at companies that have a solid reputation.

The BBB offers the following advice for job hunters this holiday season:

Start your job search earlier rather than later. Retail, shipping, restaurants and catering companies are common sources of seasonal employment. This is the time for job hunters to determine which job suits them best, identify companies they’d like to work for and then begin submitting applications and resumes. But you’d better hurry because many of them will be moving into training mode soon, if they haven’t already.

Work where you shop. Try to identify seasonal employment opportunities with companies where you do business. You will already be familiar with the company and its products, and discounts available to employees can mean significant savings when shopping for gifts. Discounts can range from 20 to 40 percent for seasonal employees.

Put your best foot forward. Even if you are just picking up applications at stores in the mall, dress neatly and be prepared for an interview. This includes being familiar with the company’s brand and products. Retail job hunters need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skills because they may be dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long checkout lines and holiday returns. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Keep in mind, seasonal employment could turn into permanent employment depending on the company’s needs and your performance.

Be flexible. Full-time employees usually have first choice on preferred hours and shifts. As a seasonal employee, you can expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours, possibly including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. If this is a second job in addition to your day job, be upfront and clear with your new employer about your available hours.

Be suspicious of “too-good-to-be-true” job offers. Many consumers use online classifieds to search for local job openings. Unfortunately, scammers flock to these sites, posting job scams aimed at stealing money or the identities of job seekers. Never pay for a background check, a job application or for anything else before you are hired.

For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer or to share your experience with a business, go to bbb.org. To report a fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB at 903-581-5704 or report it via BBB Scam Tracker.

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