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What Students Need to Know About Seasonal Work

Posted On11/29/2019

ContributorSheri Pepper

by Catherine Tansey

Many students want to make extra money by securing seasonal employment during the holidays. But when academic finals are wrapping up, conducting a job hunt is about the last thing you want to do. If you’re a college student or teen looking for a seasonal job, we’ve got you covered.

How to Find Seasonal Employment

Start your search early. Many people think seasonal employment equates to December work, but employers often start hiring in October or November. During your search, regularly visit job sites aimed at flexible work and make a point of applying every week. Diversity is key to a successful job hunt, so reach out to your personal and professional networks as well. Tailor your cover letter and resume to seasonal work and make a positive first impression. If you showcase your strong work ethic as a reliable employee, you the open the option for an extended contract or more part-time work in the future.

Types of Jobs Hiring for the Holidays

Retail is not the only industry that needs extra help around the holidays. Restaurants get busy with holiday parties and shoppers and often need additional hosts, food runners, and servers. Courier and logistics companies need extra hands to handle the increase in holiday cards, online orders, and packages shipped during this period. In your own neighborhood, friends and families rely on babysitters to get their holiday shopping done sans kids.

The 5 Best Seasonal Jobs for College Students

  1. Holiday Driver

Many organizations need delivery drivers during the holiday season more than any other time of year. You might be able to find a driving job if you have a clean driving record and are willing to work early mornings, nights, and weekends. Some companies pay up to $18 per hour and not all require a commercial driver’s license.

  1. Retail Worker

For retailers, the months leading up to the holidays are the busiest time of year. Many companies scramble to prepare for the increased demands taking place on Black Friday and during the month of December. During this busy time, teens and college students can find work as cashiers, floor associates, stock room workers, and more.

  1. Restaurant Jobs

Restaurant jobs are the holy grail of work for many students. They offer flexible hours and decent pay, plus they’re fun. To land a restaurant job, bring a pen and a few copies of your resume and visit restaurants in person between 1-3 p.m. You’re likely to catch managers during this sweet spot after lunch but before dinner service has started yet. Restaurant experience is great to have on your resume and can help you get a part-time job when you’re back at school or in the summer months.

  1. Online Work

Another viable option is online freelance work in social media management or as a virtual assistant. Check out job boards or drop by local businesses to find out if they’re happy with their current social media management. The best part? This kind of work can be done from anywhere—even your dorm room or school library.

  1. Babysitter

Babysitting is a tried and true seasonal job option for teens and college students. Sign up for an account on or hit the streets of your neighborhood. If you have previous experience, collect referrals and share them with potential new clients.

See Beyond Seasonal Work

Part time seasonal work is great for students looking to make extra cash, but it doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. Keep the door open for more work over school breaks and the summer by making a positive impression on your employer. And remember, there’s no better time to start building your career than today. Seeking work or internships in your field of study during the holidays is a savvy way to work toward securing your first job after college.

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