The ability to put your best foot forward in the face of hordes of desperate shoppers is no small task, but it's a quality employers look for in an applicant. "One of hiring managers' top pet peeves is a lack of enthusiasm," Jennifer Grasz, spokeswoman for CareerBuilder.com, an online job site, said in a phone interview. If you can't muster a show of energy for the interview, how will you do so when fielding calls from irate customers?
There is reason to smile in 2012.
Holiday retail sales were expected to increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation's 2012 projection. That's the best total since the Great Recession.
Retailers are expected to hire 700,000 employees in the final three months of the year, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement firm. That's better than the 660,000 hired last year and the highest since the Great Recession, but not quite the 722,000 average in the 2004-07 period.