Better Business Bureau 10 tips for holiday season job hunters

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JOB hunters are in luck during this year’s holiday season as retailers and package delivery services are expected to increase the number of temporary and seasonal workers they hire. Seasonal or part time job positions can be a great way to gain experience and make some extra cash during the holidays for young people seeking work after school hours, but you have to also be on the lookout for dubious job offers.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers 10 tips for holiday time job hunters:

1. Start your job search today. The key to landing a seasonal job is to start searching early. Now 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.

2. Research companies prior to submitting applications. Always check out the company’s BBB Business Review for free at  www.bbb.org to see if the company has received a good rating from the BBB and a record of taking care of consumers and employees.

3. Work where you shop. Try to identify seasonal employment with businesses you actually shop at or frequent. You will already be familiar with the company and its products and discounts available for employees may mean significant savings when shopping for holiday gifts.

4. Put your best foot forward. Even if you are just picking up an application at stores in the mall, dress your best and be prepared for an interview. This includes being familiar with the company’s brand and its products, as well as reviewing the store’s website. Retail job hunters in particular need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skills-which is a must when dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long check-out lines and day-after-Christmas returns.

5. Be flexible. Full-time employees usually have first dibs on the preferred hours and shifts. As a seasonal employee, expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours that may include Christmas Eve. If this is a second job in addition to your day job, be upfront and clear with your new employer about your availability.

6. Know what type of work you are getting into. If you are involved selling door-to-door ask the company for sales scripts in advance so you understand what you are selling and avoid companies asking you to pay upfront for inventory. If you are dealing with a company providing an after school youth work program, get to know more about the training provided, and if it this type of direct selling is allowed within your municipality. If it is employment ensure that you are at least paid minimum wage and have the required break times. Visit the Employment Standards Branch for more information: http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/esaguide/

7. If you are going to a job fair put your best foot forward. Bring resumes customized to business you want to target, practice your elevator pitch about your strengths as potential employee, and dress and look professional.

Avoiding suspicious job schemes

1. Job offers out of nowhere from strangers. If they offer you a job without getting an application from you, meeting you, or doing an interview, it’s probably a scam. Don’t hand over your personal information, especially your Social Insurance Number or credit card information to such people. This could lead to identity theft.

2. Avoiding suspicious job schemes. If someone wants you to make an advance payment to partake in a new business opportunity – especially if it’s a big investment, or you don’t have much information about the deal – this is a red flag.

3. They ask you to wire the money. If you wire a payment to somebody, it’s gone forever. Wire transfers of money are a convenient and perfectly legitimate service. But scam artists often ask you to wire payments that they are requesting (especially to destinations in other countries) because they know you won’t be able to get your money back.

For more tips you can trust, visit www.mbc.bbb.org  and for the latest, follow BBB on Facebook and Twitter.