Seasonal jobs

Yes, it's only temporary. But a seasonal job will give you skills you can use all year round.

Yes, it's only temporary. But a seasonal job will give you skills you can use all year round.

Man serving coffee in a cafe

Why do a seasonal job?

Your Summer or Christmas job might be in a different industry to the one you want to work in. But you’ll still meet people and learn new skills.

Aside from putting money in your pocket, any job you do means experience for your CV.

You’ll meet new people who could help you in the future – and maybe provide a reference. Temporary jobs show that you’re keen to work. If you impress your employer, it could turn into something permanent.

While you’re working, keep a note of the skills you’re learning and what you’ve done with them. They’ll make great examples for your next CV, application form or interview.

Where to look: Winter

Looking for a job over Christmas? We’ll keep you updated on where to find one. Recruitment can start as early as September, so don’t wait too long.

Use the Getting a job search and check back on this page for the latest vacanies and events in your area. Try adding the words 'Christmas', 'festive', 'temporary' or 'seasonal' to your search to improve your results.

You can follow the Job Centre Plus account on Twitter for vacancies, too.

Retail, delivery and hospitality businesses are all busy from November to January. You might be dealing with shoppers, serving Christmas dinners or delivering presents.

You'll find links to employers who are advertising for seasonal staff on this page. But remember sometimes the best thing to do is take a bundle of CVs, go in to town or to your nearest shopping centre, and ask.

Hospitality jobs

​​​​​​​And as more people start to go out around Christmas time, it's the perfect time to secure a job in hospitality.  

Whether you're a waitress, a barman or working in facilities - these sites can point you towards the perfect seasonal job. 

There's also a huge intake of retail employees around Christmas time, so you could secure a part or full-time job that'd earn you extra pennies and important work experience. 

If you're interested, there are plenty of vacancies on 

Delivery jobs

Royal Mail is often one of the first companies to start Christmas recruitment, and they're busy right through the festive period. 

Where to look: Summer

Depending on what you want to do during the summer, deadlines can fall early. Make sure you don’t wait until July before you apply.

Think about what you want to get out of it. You can use a summer job to top up your bank balance, explore a career, or travel somewhere new.

Use the Getting a Job search to find vacancies – try adding ‘summer’ or ‘seasonal’ in your search. You can also ask local businesses or check your local paper. Look up companies on Twitter and Facebook to see if they're posting about vacancies. 

There's also links to resources and some employers who may be hiring below.

Jobs at home and abroad

  • The British Au Pair Agencies Association has links to agencies which place au pairs with families in the UK and abroad
  • European Youth Portal has information and advice about working in other EU countries
  • Employment 4 Students has summer job vacancies
  • Picking Jobs has vacancies for seasonal and harvest jobs around the world
  • Natives has vacancies at resorts in the UK and abroad
  • Season Workers has vacancies in the UK and abroad and you can chat to other workers on the message boards
  • Smaller Earth places people with work, gap year and volunteering opportunities abroad
  • TUI Travel Jobs has resort, airline and camp jobs with First Choice and Thompson. You can sign up for their alerts so that you don't miss recruitment dates

Festivals for free

​Want to see your favourite bands or get in to shows for free? Work or volunteer at a festival. Check in with local events to see if they need a hand, and keep an eye out on these sites for some of the bigger opportunities:

  • Festaff has voluntary and paid roles at summer music festivals
  • Flair Eventstaffing has opportunities at large events across Scotland
  • Creative Scotland often has ads from venues looking for staff during the Edinburgh festival
  • Edinburgh Festival city advertises jobs during the festivals - you should also keep an eye on individual venues, bars and restaurants in the city

Top tip: Big charities often recruit volunteers for festivals like Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds. Check their websites to find out how to apply.

What can I do?

There are rules about how long you can work, and what hours you can do, depending on your age. It's important to know before you start applying. We've got information and advice about employment law which will help.

How to apply

Here are some of the skills employers are looking for in a temporary employee. Think about how you can show these skills on your CV:

  • Following instructions – you’ll need to pick things up quickly
  • Time management – showing up, and showing up on time
  • Coping with pressure – hours can be long and unsociable
  • Working as part of a team – you'll need to work well with other temporary and permanent staff
  • Paying attention to detail – especially if you’re in a stock control role

Remember, a good dose of enthusiasm for the job never hurts, either.