Observing job market trends is a must when searching for employment. Often people look at long-term trends or new markets but overlook short-term shifts caused by seasonal trends.
For example, I'll bet this recent heat wave has caused a surge in the need for HVAC technicians, and that might continue throughout the summer.
That's just one of what's always a series of seasonal shifts for some industries in the summer. After all, summer is a time for vacations and outdoor fun, so temporary jobs traditionally can be found at employers such hotels, restaurants, parks and recreation sites, camps and many more.
There are several reasons a job seeker might want to find seasonal employment, which sometimes can be the ticket to a new job, career or lifestyle.
You could be looking to get your foot in the door in hopes of landing a more permanent position. You might need the cash flow until your next gig turns up. Or you could be a person who likes the variety that seasonal work affords.
I've known of a number of people who have a particular passion for something that is only seasonal, such as being a ski instructor who works at a restaurant in the off-season.
There also are teachers who work for parks and recreation departments during the summer. Others do tax preparation in the spring or work retail during the holiday season to supplement their incomes.
Whatever your reasons for seeking seasonal employment, here are some strategies and tips to make it work for you.
Use your passions and experience: Think about things you do well and are knowledgeable about.
Employers seeking temporary help want someone who can hit the ground running without a lot of training.
You will want to highlight any relevant experience, even if it's unpaid, on your résumé and cover letter.
Do your research: You have to know the industry you're considering. For instance, if you have a passion for do-it-yourself projects and want to work in home improvement retail stores, apply early in the spring. Why? Because it's their busiest season.
Also, use your personal network to target the busiest or most reputable landscaping or remodeling businesses.
Be flexible: First, if you find seasonal employment, the company probably will want you to be able to start immediately. If you wait, you might miss the prime hiring opportunity.
You might have to be willing to work odd hours or inconsistent schedules to fill in for staff vacations and such. The more flexible you can be, the more likely they will consider you an asset rather than a burden.
Model yourself after a permanent employee: If you are interested in turning this opportunity into a permanent position, you will want to model the behavior of an exemplary employee.
Be dependable, hardworking and agreeable. Whenever possible, help the business solve everyday problems and make sure you connect with the higher-ups so they see what you've accomplished.
Once you've demonstrated that you are the kind of employee they don't want to let go, tell them you are interested in being hired on a permanent basis.