The festive hustle: Finding Christmas temp jobs as a student

Discover how to find and maximize Christmas temp jobs for students with our guide on job hunting, budgeting tips and managing your hard-earned cash.

The Festive Hustle: Finding Christmas Temp Jobs as a Student

The smell of gingerbread in the air? Check. Holiday decorations blinding everyone in the neighborhood? Check. Incessant marketing around must-have gift deals? Check. Christmas is here, just in time to empty your wallet 💸

Chances are you’re already balancing studying, a side hustle and generally keeping yourself alive. But if you want some extra cash to get that fire gift for your bestie or just to enjoy a couple of extra nights out, we got you.

As a student, Christmas temp jobs are a great way to bolster your resume - and fund your Christmas-themed little treats ✨ Keep reading to find out how to bag one and ways to manage your budget more effectively during the holiday season.

2023’s Christmas temp job market

The beauty of a temp job for students is that they can work around your schedule - and hey, when the festive season comes around, it might even involve a fun elf costume.

Luckily for students, the holidays are big business for many companies. Retailers, restaurants and hotels are often looking for extra hands to help them in their busy season. For instance, Amazon wants 250,000 extra workers to help at warehouses and delivery.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted 410,000 seasonal jobs would become available this year. It’s less than in previous years due to ongoing uncertainty in the market, but it’s not impossible to land a decent temp job in the holidays.

Employers looking for temp staff during Christmas are after people who can adapt quickly, handle a fast-paced environment and contribute positively to their team. If you’re not enjoying it, remember - it’s just for a little while.

Where to look for seasonal temp jobs

So you’re sold on getting some extra money to survive the holidays, but where do you start looking? Knowing where to find Christmas temp jobs is half the battle won. Here are some key places and platforms to find seasonal work to boost your December budget.

Online job portals

Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn are treasure troves for job seekers. They list a wide range of temp positions and have precise filters to tailor your search to seasonal and part-time roles. Sign up for job alerts to get the latest listings daily during the holiday rush.

Community boards and career centers

Don't underestimate the power of local resources. Online and IRL community boards often have postings for local temp jobs. Similarly, college career centers can be a goldmine for student-friendly temporary roles. Some roles might even be exclusive to your university - ka-ching.

Social media

Traditional jobs will head over to the traditional routes of advertising a new role, but entrepreneurs and small local businesses might turn to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram instead.

Follow companies you’re interested in working for and join local job groups. Often, employers post temp job openings on their social media profiles before anywhere else. But use common sense - social media scams are rife these days 👀

Festive pop-up markets

If you live somewhere particularly picturesque, there may be some local Christmas markets, festivals and events looking for seasonal temps. Bonus: you get to soak in the festive spirit while you’re working. What could be better?


Sometimes, it’s not what you know - it’s who you know. Let friends, family, and acquaintances know you’re looking for a temp job. Word-of-mouth can be a powerful tool in your job search arsenal.

Preparing your application

Finding a job was already hard enough before you saw those labor stats 💀 If seasonal temp jobs are thinner on the ground this year, then your application needs to step up to find student work.

Your resume should be concise yet impactful. Highlight any previous work experience, even if it's not directly related to the job you're applying for. Employers value transferable skills like social skills, time management and adaptability - everything you’re learning at school, right?

If you’re super limited on work experience and think every job needs a degree and ten billion qualifications these days - chill. Emphasize relevant coursework, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate these skills instead.

Soft skills like effective communication, teamwork and a ✨ positive attitude ✨ are valued by employers. Find ways to demonstrate these soft skills in your application to show you’d be a good fit for the team.

And don’t sleep on cover letters. A thought-out letter with keywords from the job description and why you’d be a good fit can go a long way. This shows that you’ve read the job listing carefully and helps your application get past automated resume screening tools.

Leveraging your temp work experience

For the Type A’s out there looking for advice on how they can use a random three-month stint in a temp job to their advantage, stop here. These experiences are valuable assets that can be leveraged for long-term success. 

Here’s how to make the most of your temp job experience.

Build out your resume

No matter how temporary, every job role adds to your professional experience. Use your temp job to fill gaps in your resume and showcase new skills. Be specific about your responsibilities and achievements, like if you exceeded sales targets one month or mastered a new point-of-sale system.

Networking opportunities

Even temporary positions can provide networking opportunities. Connect with colleagues and supervisors for potential future job prospects or references, especially if your temp job is in an industry you’re keen to progress into after graduation.

Understanding the industry

Temp jobs can offer a unique perspective on a sector, helping you decide if it's a field you’d like to pursue further (or 100% swerve in the future). Use this time to observe and learn about the industry's work culture, challenges and career paths.

Budgeting and financial management with Cleo 💅

Effective money management is key for the hustlers juggling temp jobs this holiday season. That’s why Cleo’s here to help whip you into financial shape - so you don’t end up spending your earnings on Black Friday sales 🤡

Budgeting is crucial, especially when your income is temporary. Cleo can analyze your earnings and help you set realistic spending limits, ensuring that your cash is allocated wisely between savings, expenses and some cheeky festive treats.

Don’t miss out on Cleo’s budgeting goals feature. Whether it’s saving for next semester's textbooks or funding a spring break getaway, Cleo can help you set and track financial goals on a timeline that suits you.

Cleo’s your new financial bestie. Want to put her to the test? Type ‘roast me’ for some shady AF assessments on your latest spending. If you need a gentler method, try ‘hype me’ instead for some financial TLC.

Master your money this Christmas

The real magic lies in what you do with your earnings. Designed with you in mind, Cleo’s the perfect tool to help you manage and save your holiday income.

Still have questions? Find answers below.
What are the best temp jobs for students during the Christmas season?
How can students balance a temp job with their academic responsibilities?
Are temporary Christmas jobs worth it for students?
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