More than 1,500 seasonal jobs available in the area

‘Tis the season for hiring. A National Retail Federation survey shows this year Americans are spending more. That means there’s more shopping, shipping and jobs.

The Paducah-Mayfield Kentucky Career Center says almost 1,500 jobs are available within a 50 mile radius of the Mayfield career center alone. These include seasonal jobs in retail.

Stores like Kohl’s in Paducah, which is looking to hire 20 seasonal workers not including the ones that have already been hired. Paducah’s J.C. Penney has already hired 40 to 50 seasonal workers. 

It also includes delivery services like the U.S. Postal Service, which is hiring 30,000 workers nationwide for the holiday rush. It wants to fill 155 temporary positions throughout Kentucky, including 10 in Paducah. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the busiest for retailers like Hooper’s in Paducah.

"It gets so busy down here, especially the closer we get to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. We need that extra help," said Will Bell with Hooper’s in Paducah.

That’s where the seasonal employees come in. Hooper’s hired three this year to help staff like Bell assist the surge of customers.

"If they have questions, we’re there. If they need help finding something, we’re there," Bell said. 

Jonathon Pendergrass with the Kentucky Career Center helps people land those jobs.

"We have them from people who are in high school, from people who are of retirement age," Pendergrass said.   

He says recently he’s not only been helping people find jobs, but also helping employers find people to work for them.

"There has been an upturn in the job orders placed with us in general, not just seasonal," he said.

With the holiday’s approaching, he says there’s no doubt businesses need more people working for them, so his advice for people looking for that temporary job is:

"You’d hate to get stuck in a job you don’t like or hate showing up for. Pick something you might want to try out," he said.

He adds that people on the job search shouldn’t give up.

"You may have to put out multiple applications," Pendergrass said.

"Just apply. The worst thing that happens is you don’t get a call," Bell added.

The Better Business Bureau also advises job seekers polish up their resumes, research potential employers and apply right away. The following advice comes from the BBB.

Start your job search earlier rather than later. Retail, shipping, restaurants and catering companies are common sources of seasonal employment. This 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. 

Work where you shop. Try to identify seasonal employment opportunities at businesses where you shop. You will already be familiar with the company and its products, and discounts available to employees can mean significant savings when shopping for gifts. Discounts can range from 20 to 40 percent for seasonal employees. 

Put your best foot forward. Even if you are just picking up applications at stores in the mall, dress neatly and be prepared for an interview. This includes being familiar with the company’s brand and products. Retail job hunters need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skills because they may be dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long check-out lines and holiday returns. 

Be flexible. Full-time employees usually have first choice on preferred hours and shifts. As a seasonal employee, you can expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours, possibly including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. If this is a second job in addition to your day job, be upfront and clear with your new employer about your available hours. 

Be wary of classified ads for mystery shoppers. These ads are often scams that ask for money upfront or steal sensitive personal information.

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