Connecticut Better Business Bureau Helps Seasonal Job Seekers

Tips to find holiday employment in a competitive job market.

Wallingford, CT, October 30, 2008 --( In light of the current downward trend in consumer spending, retailers are expected to create fewer seasonal jobs this year than last. All of this means fewer opportunities for consumers looking to bring in some extra cash to supplement their holiday spending.

The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday retail spending will increase by a slim 2.2 percent, the slowest rate of growth in six years, so your BBB has some advice for seasonal job-seekers:

Start your search now.

According to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Hotton Scarpetti, people looking for holiday jobs need to work harder this year than in the past to find a position.

“The slowdown in consumer spending and high fuel costs has been changing the retail marketplace. The U.S. retail sector eliminated 20,000 jobs in August, and according to Manpower Incorporated, 52 percent of retailers surveyed said they plan no seasonal hiring this year.”

Connecticut BBB recommends seasonal job seekers give themselves an edge over the competition in a number of ways:

Start the job search sooner, rather than later:
Considering there will be fewer jobs and more people competing for them, start your search now. Identify companies you’d like to work for and which positions your skills are best suited for, and then begin sending in applications.

Work where you shop:
If you apply to a retailer with whom you do business, then you are already familiar with the company and its products, and you may be entitled to employee discounts, which in turn can ease the heavy financial burden of the holidays. These discounts can range from 20 to 40 percent.

Make your best first impression:
Even if you are simply picking up employment application forms at the mall, dress for the occasion and be prepared for an interview. This also means doing some research about the company and its products. Retail job hunters need to underscore their customer service skill set, such as dealing with long check-out lines and day-after-Christmas returns. Impress upon the interviewer that your skills make a good fit when dealing with stressed-out shoppers.

Be Flexible:
Understand that you will competing with existing full-time employees looking to work overtime, so they will have first pick of preferred hours and shifts. Seasonal employees may find themselves working long, sometimes inconvenient shifts, and even holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. If you are taking this work on as a second job, be up front with the new employer about your available hours.

You may find more trustworthy advice on job searches as well as other holiday tips for people on a tight budget at

Better Business Bureau CT
Howard Schwartz
203-279-2700 ext. 103
94 South Turnpike Rd
Wallingford, CT 06492