Companies Hiring Right Now

Some companies are beefing up their payrolls. Here are a few tips on applying.

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Oh, for the thrill of a phone interview. That's the chorus of many job seekers wending their way through armies of sweaty bodies at job fairs and firing off résumé after résumé after résumé. Just getting someone on the phone—let alone getting in the door—has been a battle in this recession. Few sectors were spared the fallout from tight credit, and employers slashed workers to keep expenses down.

But, believe it or not, some companies are hiring. Wells Fargo, IBM, KFC, Booz Allen, Cingular, Books-A-Million, PetSmart, and Enterprise all have a good chunk of openings.

Here's a closer look at four places with needs to fill:

If you want to work for Uncle Sam: Check out the Commerce Department's Census Bureau jobs. While most of the hiring for address canvassing has finished, there are still positions available as the department embarks on the 2010 census. Regional office jobs can be found at the Census.gov page here. Starting in the fall, the Census Bureau will really ramp up hiring. Roughly 1.4 million temporary hires are expected to hit the streets next spring.

Another government office that's hiring is the Internal Revenue Service, which, not surprisingly, needs to fill quite a few internal revenue agent jobs. The IRS requires candidates to have 30 hours of accounting coursework for the positions. IRS openings are posted at USAjobs.gov.

If you're still in college (or if you have technical skills): Take a look at Lockheed Martin, employer of 146,000, the largest defense company in the world, and top information technology provider to the federal government. Lockheed has been hiring about 16,000 people annually, including 4,000 to 5,000 new college graduates. Mike Byrne, the company's corporate staffing director, says Lockheed is focused on filling technical jobs in IT, cybersecurity, traditional systems software and hardware engineering, and electrical and mechanical engineering. (There's no shortage of company openings at LinkUp, which ranked Lockheed among the top five companies in volume of openings at the end of May.) While the company says it has received 900,000 résumés already in 2009, candidates can differentiate themselves by knowing what the company is looking for. "If you want a very quick answer," Byrne says, "we are very focused on the technical skills. That is what separates folks going forward."

If you're still in college, Lockheed is planning to beef up its internship program by about a third to include nearly 2,000 students this year. The program helps students get a jump on developing the technical skills necessary to land a job after graduation.

If you've got Silicon Valley in your blood: Try Twitter. While the company has just about 45 employees today, it's getting ready to grow. (After all, Oprah just opened an account.) The company has said it needs to be "a lot bigger" to tackle its next steps but hasn't said exactly how much payrolls will be expanded this year. There were about a dozen open positions listed on Twitter's jobs page at the end of May. Most openings are for software engineers. A few operations engineers are needed, too. All of the jobs are in San Francisco.

The company touts its work environment—plenty of windows, sweet equipment, workspaces set up for collaboration—and perks that include free breakfast. Twitter says it is recruiting nationwide and is seeking candidates with qualifications and the characteristics that would meld with the company's unique culture.

If you want to move up a ladder: Consider Chipotle. This purveyor of Earth-conscious Mexican fast-casual food is making no small plans, despite the economy's slide. The restaurant chain has fared well in the recession, reporting sales of $1.3 billion last year, or about 21 percent more than a year earlier. The company plans to open 120 to 130 restaurants this year and estimates it will make 20,000 hires as a result of expansion and turnover. Most of the new restaurants will be opening in the second half of the year—especially the fourth quarter. New restaurants are to open this summer in such spots as Rochester, N.Y., Columbia, Md., and Cambridge, Mass.