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Get festive with supermarket Christmas job vacancies

Even in an economic slump, Christmas shopping never slows down. Supermarkets and shopping malls are the most obvious places to search for Christmas job vacancies. If you were a little slow off the mark trying to secure one of those coveted Santa posts, there are still plenty of opportunities for seasonal work in retail.

All the main supermarkets gear up for their busiest time of the year by early November, and it's best to apply early to find the pick of the Christmas job vacancies.

Sainsburys (sainsburys.co.uk) recruit an impressive 15,000 extra workers for the Christmas season. Jobs involve a lot more than just stacking the piles of Christmas puddings, with posts available in customer service, check-out and deliveries.

Seasonal jobs at Sainsbury's can be an entry into more regular employment with the supermarket chain. In 2010, more than 2,000 Christmas part-timers were offered permanent jobs. The chain has more than 930 stores across the UK, employing 150,000 staff. Approach your nearest store directly for application forms.

There are similar opportunities for seasonal work at Tesco (tesco.com) and Asda (asda.com). Tesco encourages applicants to approach local stores directly. Asda's website has details of vacancies for hourly-paid workers in its stores nationwide.

The key to securing one of those Christmas job vacancies is to stress your willingness to work flexible hours. Many of the major stores become 24 hour operations in the lead-up to Christmas, and they need staff who are willing to work long, and often unsociable shifts.

Don't neglect the smaller stores when searching for Christmas job vacancies. The retail trade is very busy over the festive period and even small garden centres, greengrocers and high street butcher's shops might need a hand with deliveries, serving customers, counting turkeys or just keeping those Christmas decorations looking pretty.

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