The employment numbers for Oct. 2015, released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Friday, are the year's best and well ahead of projections at 271,000.
October's hiring boom suggests a healthy holiday season to come, as the total employment nationwide has historically improved from October to December, dropping just twice in the last decade.
The DOL figures reflect positively on improved consumer spending since a summer downturn, which the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers rose by 3.6% from September to October. To that end, an increase in retail jobs of nearly 800,000 is expected in the months to come.
The CareerCast Retail Network offers a variety of opportunities for your consideration. But whether you are seeking employment in retail or another sector this holiday season, focusing your job search is crucial.
A bevy of openings means a deluge of applicants. There are certain keys to not getting lost in the fold to follow, starting with knowing exactly what kind of job it is you're applying for.
This may seem obvious, but understand upfront the possibility of retention beyond the holidays. Perhaps all you're seeking is extra spending money for gifts, travel or other expenses. However, if you're filling an employment gap temporarily, have a concrete understanding how your retention outlook. If it's not made clear initially, your job search continues even while you're on your current job.
Next, tailor your resume to highlight skills pertinent to the position. Lead with past experiences in the particular industry for which you are applying. If you lack job experience in the field, explain how your past (or current) work taught you skills necessary for the job you are pursuing.
If your holiday-season job search is more about finding a long-term career than short-run work, have patience. Hirers need vacations, too, so you might not land an interview for several weeks. Don't let this discourage you.
Employers not needing to meet a seasonal rush are more likely to hold off on filling a position until after the new year. Getting that process started before Thanksgiving and hectic weeks to follow can give you a leg up, however.