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5 Coolest Winter Jobs for College Students

Winter break is your last chance to fatten your wallet before the holidays. Luckily, hiring is up for seasonal help says Courtney Moyer, public relations manager at Snagajob.com, a job posting site for hourly and part-time positions. Snagajob research [3] shows that 24 percent more managers will make seasonal hires this year over last year with the average winter job paying $10.70 hourly. That means opportunities abound if you act fast.

Check out these five great winter break gigs.

Retail Positions

“…anybody who’s selling a good that can typically be purchased as a gift is going to see an uptick during the holiday season,” Moyer says.

Simplyhired.com reports that seasonal sales associates earn $13.94 per hour on average, but that varies by company, location and how much experience the worker has.

The problem with retail gigs is that they’re obvious choices for students. To up your chances of landing one, apply early. According to Snagajob, 57 percent of seasonal hiring managers will choose their winter help by the end of October.

Restaurant Staff

Fast food and full service restaurants hire holiday help but the best server jobs usually go to those with prior experience.

“If you don’t have that restaurant experience, think about positions like a hostess or a busser,” Moyer says.

Candidates without experience can stand out by offering to take early morning and late night shifts other workers may not want Moyer adds. Do so and you’ll be rewarded. Average pay for seasonal servers is $14.42 per hour reports Simplyhired.com.

Baby and Petsitting Gigs

“Consider babysitting, especially if you’re only going to be in town let’s say for two weeks,” says Moyer. “It might be tough to find an employer who wants to make that hiring investment for just two weeks.”

Holiday parties and visits to out of town relatives mean a greater need for child and pet care, but candidates will have to job hunt early through their personal networks and sites like Snagajob, Sittercity.com and Care.com. The babysitter booking site, Urbansitter.com, reports that the average rate for babysitting one kid ranges from $9.50 to $15.50 per hour depending on location. Rates may also increase if you’re sitting for more children, cooking or providing housekeeping services. Petsitting services range from $10 to $20 per visit according to Sittercity.com with additional fees for more pets, overnight sitting and pet taxi services.

Temp Agency Work

Filling slots for employees who are taking holiday breaks, temp agencies are good options for students with little experience who only have a few weeks to work.

“…if you’re looking at hiring during other times in the year, previous experience tends to be one of the most important aspects,” Moyer says. For holiday hiring, experience counts less than availability and a willingness to learn.

One way to showcase that, Moyer adds, is by including a cover letter that highlights your strengths and personality with your job application. “…[a cover letter] shows that not only do you have good communication skills, you’re taking it a step further by showing that you’re really interested in that position,” she explains.

Call Center Jobs

College students without a wealth of real world experience “…need to start thinking about jobs that wouldn’t require a ton of training, that you can kind of step into and start doing right away,” says Moyer.

Since call center service representatives oftentimes use pre-written scripts to answer customer questions and place orders, training is minimal and pay can range from minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Regardless of what kind of winter job you’re seeking, a major mistake students make is not applying enough says Moyer.

“You might need to be putting in an upwards of 10, 15, 20 applications,” she says. “…if you stay persistent and treat finding a job like the job itself, you’re going to stand a pretty good chance of finding one this year.”