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Holiday commercials keep popping up earlier, but instead of thinking about how much gifts will cost this year, see these ads as an opportunity to get into the game early for the seasonal job rush.

Retail jobs make up the brunt of these positions and applying now and offering flexible hours will look good to a prospective boss hoping to train new hires before the mad rush of customers.

Follow our application guidelines to show your boss your interest and history in the industry. If you are currently out of work, emphasize your availability during the holiday rush, showing that you can work a double shift if necessary, unlike teens vying for the same position.

Major department stores like Macy’s (Stock Quote: M) and Nordstrom’s (Stock Quote: JWN) will typically start retailers at $7.50-$10 an hour based on cost of living in the area and individual experience. Companies like Wal-Mart (Stock Quote: WMT) pay somewhere in the $7.25-$8 range.

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The transient life of the unemployed can lend itself to the seasonal job search if positions as a ski instructor or slope-side caffeine slinger sound appealing.

Check out for a frequently updated list of outdoor-oriented work around the country to make some extra cash during the holiday season. A new ski or snowboard instructor will earn an average of $7-$8 per hour, but the wage can vary greatly based on other perks like the potential for free housing. A certified, experienced instructor can earn up to $15 per hour.

During the holidays, all offices struggle with filling the void of vacationing employees, so temp jobs and temp agencies experience a temporary boom. Visit Web sites like and to get hooked into these temporary positions. But get your resume and name out there early before others catch on to the trend.

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