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Job seekers: Now is the time to apply for holiday jobs, and here’s who’s hiring

It may seem early to be thinking about Christmas shopping, but if you’re looking for a temporary job for the holidays, act now.

Much of the hiring happens in September. That gives companies lead time to find and train the right workers before the busy months start.

All kinds of jobs are available, not just folding sweaters at the mall.

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“Everybody thinks retail,” said Sean Akin, branch manager of staffing company PrideStaff. “That’s not true here in Fresno. We have a lot more than just retail here in Fresno.”

The jobs companies are looking to fill may surprise you, like accountants, for example. All sorts of businesses have work that needs to be finished by the end of the year, including manufacturing and food processing companies, he said.

When you do apply, consider these tips from Akin.

Apply online first, but take it a step further.

“If you’re interested in working for a company, apply [online], but reach out, call,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of people apply, but very few call.”

Also ask people you know if their employer is hiring, even if they don’t work for a place you’d typically associate with seasonal jobs.

“Ask your friends,” he said. “Referrals are the strongest thing.”

Who’s hiring

To find specifics, you’ll need to get on the company’s website and click “Careers” or “Jobs,” usually in small print at the bottom of the page.

Here is a quick, not comprehensive, list of the types of companies that are hiring:

Macy’s is hiring 1,700 people from Fresno to the East Bay. has openings in Fresno for customer service jobs, including security guard positions and jewelry and cosmetics sales people. Some jobs start as early as 4 a.m., with shifts that start in the evenings for people who already have day jobs.

All Macy’s stores nationwide have two hiring events next week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. Apply online before going to the event.

Best Buy’s distribution center in Dinuba is hiring people to unload trucks, move merchandise around the warehouse and pack it into smaller boxes for shipments to stores. See Best Buy stores in Fresno and Clovis are also looking for seasonal workers.

Target is hiring 100,000 people nationwide at That’s 30,000 more than last year. Stores in the central San Joaquin Valley are looking for people to work all kinds of jobs, including as security guards, managers, in its electronics department and at in-store Starbucks.

Target will host nationwide hiring events at the stores from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 15.

Employees get a 10 percent discount on most merchandise and 20 percent off fruits and vegetables.

Thinking about applying at Walmart stores? Don’t bother. The company is having its current staffers bump up their hours instead of hiring seasonal workers, a move that was popular among employees last year. However, the distribution center in Porterville is looking for freight handlers.

The Gap distribution center near the airport in Fresno is hiring seasonal workers at The center has a wide range of jobs, including merchandise handlers, maintenance mechanics and a human resources position.

Although the Gap no longer has a store in the Fresno area, the company owns Old Navy and Banana Republic. Those stores are hiring and come with a big perk: a 50 percent discount on all its brands.

Employment agencies like PrideStaff have an uptick in openings at the end of the year. Akin says he has 100 job openings right now. They include forklift drivers, maintenance mechanics, administrative positions, accounting and finance.

Call them at 559-432-2022. Or, attend its weekly job fair from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday. The office is at 585 W. Nees Ave.

Food-based businesses selling products given as gifts often beef up their workforce at the holidays. Think of wine stores or places that sell gift baskets filled with nuts and chocolate. Call or check their websites for job openings.

Fashion Fair mall lists many job openings in one place on its website, Right now, stores like Charming Charlie, Gymboree, Swarovski and The Body Shop are hiring.

Shipping companies like UPS and FedEx typically ramp up hiring at the holidays. UPS, for example, hires driver helpers in big cities and small towns like Lemon Cove and Caruthers. No drivers license is needed to be a helper. See

Craft stores Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores hire workers to handle the increase in shoppers buying decor and supplies for making their own gifts.

Jobs at Michaels, at, include floral designer, art framer, cashier and teachers (for Michaels classes, which range from cake decorating to jewelry making). Stocker jobs that involve unloading merchandise from trucks and stocking the store start as early as 3 a.m.

Michaels gives employees a 25 percent discount.

Jo-Ann also has jobs available in the area and gives employees a 20 percent discount. Jobs are listed at

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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