‘Tis the season for seasonal jobs. BBB advises start early and watch out for fake job offers

As the holiday season approaches, many retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, will start gearing up for the shopping crowds by hiring thousands of seasonal workers. Although the jobs are temporary, this is good news for so many people who have had a hard time landing a steady job in recent months, or perhaps years.

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday spending is expected to increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion and retailers are expected to hire between 585,000 and 625,000 seasonal workers this holiday season.

BBB recommends applying early and taking a few simple steps to increase your chance of landing a seasonal job.

· Do research ahead of time. Figure out what job suits you best and then identify companies you would like to work for. Check with bbb.org to find trustworthy companies that might be hiring seasonal staff. Many companies direct applicants to their website to apply for a job, so make sure to apply there instead of through a third party Internet site.

· 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.

· Work where you shop.  Employers want applicants who know their products well. So, if you shop at certain stores frequently, chances are you know a lot about the company and the merchandise they sell. This will make you an attractive choice because they won’t have to spend as much time and money training you.

· Be available and flexible. Holiday hiring managers are drawn to candidates who will be available and have a flexible schedule. Seasonal employees will likely find themselves working long, sometimes inconvenient hours and even holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

· Put your best foot forward. Job hunters need to dress their best and be prepared for the interview. This includes being familiar with the company’s brand and its products. Retail job hunters in particular need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skill set – which is a must when dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long check-out lines and day-after-Christmas returns.