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Retailers Beginning Process Of Hiring For Holiday Shopping Season

(AP File Photo)

(AP File Photo)

Mike Puccinelli Mike Puccinelli
Mike Puccinelli serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s September — not even fall yet, let alone Halloween or Thanksgiving — yet some stores already talking about hiring for the holiday shopping season.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli shows you how to get on the payroll for a seasonal job.

Danielle Barnes knows a thing or two about looking. That’s because, before she was hired in the electronics department at Target, she was looking for a job for eight long months.

“There were times, I think, if i didn’t have a support network, I don’t know what would have happened. It was very, very discouraging, but you just have to stay positive,” she said.

Barnes found work at Target’s new State Street store, and now the company has announced a national plan to hire 80,000 to 90,000 seasonal workers – many of them right here in Chicago.

Ray’n Baker, executive team leader of human resources at the State Street location, said Target likely would hire “a couple thousand” workers in the Chicago area for the holiday shopping season.

Also, Kohl’s plans to hire more than 52,000 holiday employees nationwide. Kohl’s has 48 stores in the Chicago area, so nearly 2,000 people will be hired here. Positions include cashiers, stocking, freight processing, and unloading trucks.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president at CareerBuilder.com, said, “A temporary job can become a permanent job. We’re seeing a lot of companies talking about using it as an extended job interview. So put your best foot forward. Even if you only think it’s for a month or two, it could turn into something longer.”

Baker said those looking for work at Target should apply now, either online or in person.

“I think the one thing it really boils down to for us is the attitude. Does that person come in with a fast, fun, and friendly attitude, really excited to work here?” she said.

Experts say you should put more energy into your cover letters.

“If you can really customize and tailor that cover letter, it’s going to be worth your time,” Haefner said.

Barnes said, no matter what you do, don’t stop believing in yourself.

“Don’t give up. I know it’s discouraging. I know that you feel like, this is ridiculous, but don’t give in,” she said. “Just continue to apply.”

In all, 36 percent of retailers plan to hire more seasonal workers this year than they did in 2011. That bodes well for the 9 percent of Chicago area residents who are still looking for work.