Student Tips: Finding a Christmas Job

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Above: Dundrum Town Centre during the Christmas rush.


As the Christmas season finally arrives, you may find yourself wondering how your bank account will cope with the many parties, gift buying, and other festivities taking place in the coming weeks. Laura Addie shares her tips on finding a Christmas job.


  • Don’t be shy
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Wherever possible, avoid applying for positions online. Most likely, dozens of other applicants have done the same and it decreases your chances of success. Make sure to put yourself out there, handing out CVs from door to door may seem nerve wracking, but it allows the employer to put a face to your application. When you go in, make sure to ask for the manager, as staff will often throw away or misplace your CV if they are busy. First impressions are everything and personality is key here!

 

  • Where to look

Christmas time is the easiest time of year to pick up a part time job. Most restaurants, bars, hotels and stores are hiring extra help for the busy period, not to mention multiple festive events such as ice rinks and funfairs in need of staff. You will find most of these advertised on websites such as Jobs.ie.

Social media is also a popular platform for casual job adverts, one example of this is a Facebook page called “The Dublin Bartender Exchange”, where management of popular bars advertise new positions to fellow bar and waiting staff.

You won’t see the position available on sites such as Jobs.ie as their aim is to dilute the number of applicants. Ask around and see if any of your friends are wise to these kinds of pages!

 

  • No experience?

Don’t worry too much about having no experience! Seemingly, every employer is looking for someone with 3+ years experience. How can we gain experience if no one is willing to hire us in the first place? It might seem obvious, but honesty is the best policy here.

Many people lie about having experience and are soon caught out. Don’t insult your employer, they will immediately recognise if you’re lying. For example, if you mentioned working in a pub last summer but can’t pull a pint on your first shift, this will raise a few questions

It’s better to explain in your interview that you don’t have any experience, but emphasise how you’re a quick learner and work on your own initiative. It is true; employers hire people with experience, but what they look for first is a positive attitude.

 

  • Ask around

Often, it’s not what you know but who you know.

When a position comes up in a workplace, the staff are usually the first to know. Most of them will have a relative or friend who’s looking for work and the job goes to them before the company advertise the position.

Ask anyone you know who is working in a sector you’re interested in. Tell them to keep you in mind if any positions come up. This can be a great way to break into the workforce.

 

  • Keeping your job into the New Year

In most cases, Christmas jobs are usually temporary. Most companies will already have full time, permanent staff who will be fighting for hours in January. This means new staff will be pushed to the bottom of the list. If you plan on keeping your new job, show your new boss they can’t afford to lose you.

Stand out from the other part timers. You can simply do this by showing a keen interest, asking your employer how you could improve or offering to stay and help clean up. Being friendly and being on time will also stand to you. If they still can’t afford to keep you on in January, you’ll come out with a fantastic reference which you can use to find another job!

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