Can you use an extra $1,000 or so when end-of-year holidays arrive? More to the point, are you looking for the job that can net you the extra cash? Any one of more than 35 retailers in the Ocean County Mall in Toms River might have just what you need - and vice-versa - at the 18th annual Holiday Job Fair, this Saturday, September 23.

Ocean County Mall

The fair, said to be the Mall's largest in 19 years, runs from 12 to 3 PM at center court. Early birds can be sure to capture attention by registering ahead of time in the County Connection inside the mall. Learn more at 732-244-8200.

Shopkeepers have a broad range of spots to fill, including managers, cashiers, sales associates, stock clerks, food service employees, loss prevention professionals and security guards. They promise flexible hours to fit most schedules.

Participating stores are:

  • Auntie Anne's Pretzels
  • Bahama Breeze
  • Boscov's
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop
  • Casino Jewelry
  • The Children's Place
  • Forever 21
  • fye
  • GameDay Sports
  • H & M
  • JC Penney
  • JC Penney Portrait Studio
  • Justice
  • L'Occitane
  • Macy's
  • New York & Company
  • Old Navy
  • Pandora
  • Personal Touch Engraving
  • Picture People
  • Piercing Pagoda
  • Precision Time
  • Rita's
  • Sears
  • Skechers
  • Spencer Gifts
  • Stewart's
  • Sunglass Hut
  • Swarovski
  • Things Remembered
  • Venzio Jewelers
  • The Walking Company
  • Wolf Fine Jewelers
  • Zales

It's co-sponsored by the New jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Spokesperson Christine Karaska tells us that there will be full-time as well as part-time opportunities. Most positions are geared toward job-seekers age 18 and up, but there is a limited number of spots for 16- and 17-year-olds.

One of the perquisites, of course, is the employee discount that's applied to purchases, which stretches your buying power. But the benefits also extend to the experience of interacting with customers, managers, and other employees in a business setting, and polishing skills that can enhance your ability to transform seasonal work into an occupation, at the Ocean County Mall, or anywhere.

First impressions speak loudest and last longest, so be sure to be attired as though it's the first day of the new job instead of simply an interview. In many instances, employers will hire on the spot.

Bring hard copies of your updated resume, and tailor it to highlight the skills that will give you the best chance of topping your job competitors. If you're a high schooler, with little practical job experience, compile information about your grade point average, fields of study, career aspirations, and extracurricular activities.

Above all, bring a winning smile and the kind of congeniality and enthusiasm that illustrates your ability and willingness to succeed. Go get 'em!