How to Find Seasonal Work (Step-By-Step Guide and Job Ideas)

Updated June 15, 2023

Many companies hire employees on a short-term basis during certain times of the year. Known as seasonal work, you can often find this type of employment across many industries and geographic locations. Understanding the jobs available and the steps to take to find a job can help you get an interview and secure seasonal employment. In this article, we define seasonal jobs, explain how to find seasonal work, review the benefits of these jobs, and list some seasonal positions you can pursue.

What is seasonal work?

Seasonal work is a job type that recurs during certain parts of the year rather than continuing year-round. These temporary roles typically last for a certain duration, with seasons typically dictating the length. Several industries offer seasonal jobs, such as customer service, labour, or outdoor work, which are often based on your geographic location. For example, golf courses may only employ turf maintenance employees during their open season throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Many retailers and warehouse fulfillment centres hire additional help during the busy holiday season to help accommodate the rapid increase in customers during these times.

Here are the different types of seasonal work you can pursue:

  • Temporary: Many employers hire temporary employees year-round, though specific needs may vary based on the industry. Some companies use temporary agencies to hire employees to help their clients and customers during the holidays, including tourist destinations and facilities.

  • Retail: Depending on the type of products sold, many retail stores hire seasonal employees during busy times of the year, such as the summer or winter holidays. You can often find seasonal retail positions at different times of the year within your town or community.

  • Delivery: Food delivery companies may hire additional employees during the holidays. People may have busier schedules or more guests during this time, leading them to order more food from restaurants or food services.

  • Outdoors: Ski resorts, amusement parks, beach resorts, and landscaping businesses may hire more help when they have additional clients. Farms may also hire extra help during the harvest season to prepare their food for sale.


  • What Is Seasonal Unemployment? (Examples and Tips)

How to find seasonal work

Here are the steps you can take to learn how to find seasonal work:

1. Look for jobs before the season begins

Start your job search early by looking for open positions before the season begins. For example, if you want a summer job, start looking for a position in the spring. This ensures you have plenty of time to find seasonal work and continue pursuing your options if one prospect doesn't work out. Many seasonal employers host job fairs for several positions at once, so it may be helpful to research the positions and create resumes specific to those you're hoping to secure.

You might also find seasonal employment at the beginning or middle of the season, since some employees may leave their positions, giving you the opportunity to fill their roles. For some positions and times of the year, there may be an additional opportunity closer to the end of the season to find seasonal employment. For example, golf courses may lose student employees when school begins, so you may fill those vacant roles, as the golf season continues into the fall in many places.

Related: Everything to Know About Working as a Temp (With Benefits)

2. Use general job search sites

You can look for seasonal work on a variety of job search sites. Use advanced search settings to filter by the type of job you want. For example, you can often narrow your results for geographic locations, type of employment, and the company. You can also filter your search results to jobs with seasonal hours. Using terms such as temporary or seasonal can help you refine your search. Many job search engines also let you submit an online application for consideration.

Related: 10 Job Search Tips to Use If You Need Help Finding a Job

3. Try seasonal job sites

While general job search engines can provide you with a wide range of employment opportunities, a job site specific to seasonal employment can help you find temporary positions. This may save you valuable time, as these sites have already narrowed down the search for you. Keep in mind that other candidates may also use these sites, which can increase your competition for these positions. Ensuring your resume reflects the accurate experience and skills required for the position can help your resume catch the attention of hiring managers.

Related: Where to Find Summer Jobs for High School Students

4. Look on local community boards

If you're looking for local seasonal work, it's helpful to review community boards, both in-person and online. Many local employers may post available job positions on community forums, bulletin boards, or social media sites. Depending on the size of your community, it may also be helpful to post your own listing to let community members know you're looking for seasonal work. This may catch the attention of employers who may invite you to apply for open positions.

Related: What Are Job Boards? (With Tips on How to Use One)

5. Check with local career centres

There are many career centres that can inform you of job openings in your area, including any seasonal positions you might want to pursue. You can find job placement centres on a school campus or within your community. Many of these centres also have good relationships with local employers and can send your resume to their network if there's an opening that suits your experience and abilities. The career centre staff can also help you prepare an effective resume and cover letter to impress hiring managers, and can inform you of local job fairs you can attend.

Related: The Most Common Employment Types in Canada (With FAQs)

6. Ask your professional and personal network

Consider asking your professional and personal contacts if they know of any seasonal job opportunities. They might be able to inform you of short-term openings at their work or connect you with other opportunities in the workforce. They can advocate for you to their hiring managers and also give you insight into the open positions to see if it's a good fit. Even if they don't know of current opportunities, they can share job details if they hear of any openings in the future.

7. Prepare your resume

Once you have found a position for which you want to apply, you can prepare your resume according to the specifications outlined in the job posting. Consider the experience and skills required for the position to ensure you highlight your suitability for the job. It can be helpful to feature your skills and abilities if you don't have specific experience in the role for which you're applying. If going to a job fair, you might also prepare some answers to common interview questions, as you might get the opportunity to sit with a hiring manager.

Related: Resume Resources for Writing an Effective Job Application

Popular seasonal jobs you can pursue

Here are some common seasonal jobs you might be interested in pursuing:

  • Customer service representative: These employees help answer customer questions, provide information on merchandise, and respond to complaints.

  • Inventory stocker: Stockists help maintain levels of inventory for a number of retail locations, with many offering various shift options.

  • Golf course employee: There are many seasonal positions at golf courses you might be interested in pursuing, including turf maintenance, cart managers, food service staff, and pro shop employees.

  • Landscape labourer: Labourers of many skill levels can explore positions in landscaping, including entry-level and highly-experienced positions, all of which may involve physical strength and stamina.

  • Truck loader: A truck loader uses heavy machinery and equipment to load and unload items for delivery at a warehouse or shipping facility.

  • Tree planter: Tree planting is a popular seasonal employment option in many provinces throughout Canada, which typically involves strenuous physical activity and good stamina.

  • Financial services: Accountants and other financial professionals may look for temporary employees during busy seasons like tax time, requiring additional bookkeeping or customer service people.

Read more: 13 Interesting Jobs in Golf

Advantages of seasonal work

Here are some of the benefits of pursuing seasonal work:

  • Gain new work experience. Seasonal jobs can give you additional experience to add to your resume, especially for students. This experience can help you develop your skills, try out a new industry, or work for a company before pursuing full-time employment.

  • Earn additional income. Seasonal work can be helpful for supplementing your income or gaining short-term work during a period of unemployment. For students, seasonal jobs can be useful for earning money while in between study periods.

  • Expand your experiences. Pursuing seasonal work can help you explore different types of jobs, meet new people, and travel to new places. If you're interested in trying something new, exploring a temporary position is an effective way to experience a new job.

  • Attempt to pursue a full-time position. In some instances, you may be able to transition from a seasonal position to a full-time one. Pursuing seasonal work helps you prove your value as an employee and determine whether the organization and position are a good fit for you.

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