Adams & Garth Blog

3 Tips for Handling Resume Criticism

February 9th, 2016

Searching for a new job? Then you likely know you should ask a friend or colleague to review your resume before applying to any openings. They should be looking for any grammar or spelling mistakes, as well as inconsistencies.

But what if their feedback goes beyond that – and they offer some harsh criticism about your resume? Should you ignore them, or take it to heart?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows the stronger your resume, the better your chances of landing an interview. So it’s wise to put any feedback you get to good use. Here’s how:

Tip #1: Stay open minded.

It’s easy to get defensive when you’re getting critiqued. But take a step back and try to take your emotions out of the equation. Your friend or colleague isn’t trying to hurt your feelings. They’re simply doing what you asked.

That said, if they offer feedback you don’t understand or agree with, talk it through. Don’t simply dismiss it. Remember, you want your resume to stand out among the competition. Incorporating their input may just be the ticket to doing that.

Tip #2: Don’t take it personally.

Resume writing isn’t typically taught in high school, college or graduate school. That may be one reason that most people struggle with it. If you’re one of them, don’t get upset or take it personally. Even those who are strong in the writing department can have a hard time communicating about themselves and their career accomplishments on paper. So don’t look at any critique as an indication you have weak communication skills. Instead, take the advice being offered to you and use it to fine-tune your resume.

Tip #3: Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes.

Having a colleague or friend is a great way to not only catch any typos, but also ensure your resume will get the hiring manager’s attention. So be sure to share the job posting with the person reviewing your resume. If they have some comments about the relevance of the projects and accomplishments you’ve included, then listen to what they have to say.

Also, put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. There are certain areas of your background you may want to promote. But are those truly the ones that will impress a hiring manager?

Creating a great resume is a challenge. So when you get some less-than-glowing feedback about yours, don’t take it too personally. It may take a few drafts to get it just right. But when you do, it can help launch yourself into an exciting new job opportunity.

Would you like resume writing help from the experts? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville, we can help you craft a strong resume, prepare for interviews, and connect you with employers offering rewarding opportunities. Contact us today to learn more or search our Charlottesville jobs now.

Advice When You’re Hiring Employees Who Need to Relocate

February 2nd, 2016

Having to recruit outside the area to find the right professionals for your job openings can be a challenge. It’s a lot harder – and more expensive – to bring someone from a different location into the mix vs. hiring a local.

What’s more is that even the seemingly ‘perfect’ candidate can leave after a short time because they’re feeling homesick. So hiring an employee who needs to relocate can certainly feel like a big risk.

The good news? As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows there are steps to take ahead of time to ensure you hire right, even when you’re hiring from outside the area. Here’s a look:

Step 1. Be clear about the job.

Don’t fall into the trap of painting a rosier-than-what’s-reality picture for the potential hire. You owe it to them – and your company – to be clear about the job, and the potential obstacles and challenges that will come with it. Keep in mind, not only are you asking a candidate to change jobs, but uproot their entire life. So you have to be completely honest and direct.

Step 2. Get their spouse to buy-in.

Someone’s spouse is going to play a big part in the decision making process. So if you’ve got your eye on a particular candidate, it can certainly help to get their spouse to buy-in to your opportunity. How can you do that? Invite the candidate and his or her spouse into the company for a guided tour and lunch. Talk to them about the housing market, schools and the area’s culture. Getting a sense of whether a spouse is interested in the job and the area can also give you an indication of whether or not you could be wasting your time on a candidate.

Step 3. Offer relocation resources and support.

Changing jobs is a big deal no matter where you live. However, if someone has to actually move to a different location, it’s important to offer the resources and support that can help make the process a little easier. In fact, there are companies that specialize in getting re-located employees settled in their new locales. In the meantime, you should also introduce them to their new co-workers and set up socials and luncheons so they can get to know the team on a personal level

Step 4. Keep those communication lines open.

Always strive to communicate regularly with your new hire during the relocation process. Continue to do so in the first few days and weeks after the move, which are so vital to ensuring the employee gets engaged. Communicating with them openly and often can help nip potential issues in the bud before they become major issues.

Do you need help recruiting and hiring great employees for your team? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we have the knowledge and expert team in place to help you find and hire top talent, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.

“Why Do You Want to Work Here?” How to Answer This Common Interview Question

January 26th, 2016

If you’re searching for jobs in Central Virginia, then you know you’re eventually going to have to face the dreaded interview – and questions like “why do you want to work here?” As a candidate, it’s your job to persuade the hiring manager that you’re the person for the position – and the perfect fit for the company.

How do you go about doing that? Start with these quick tips:

Quick tip #1: Find out everything you can about the company.

You can’t tell a hiring manager why you want to work for ABC Company if you don’t know much about it. So it’s up to you to learn all you can – so you can offer a convincing answer.

Start by going to their website and reading through it, including the About / Mission, Services, Team, and News and Events pages. You want to know where the company’s been, but also where it’s going in the future. That information can give you some clues as to why the employer could be a good fit for you.

Beyond their website, use Google and sites like LinkedIn to read all you can about the company. Look for any news articles recently published about new product launches, key stakeholder moves, or other industry information that could impact the company. Be sure to check out the organization’s profile on LinkedIn, as well as any other social media profiles they may have. Research their executive team and try to get a sense of what skills and traits seem most valued there.

Once you’ve completed your research, you should have a much better sense of where you could fit in – and why you’d want to work there.

Quick tip #2: Craft your own answer.

When it comes to preparing your own answer to “why do you want to work here?,” there are plenty of resources online. But only look to them for inspiration, not to copy them verbatim.

Remember, you want to stand out during an interview, which means being unique and authentic. Beyond giving the interviewer a sense of why you do want to work for the company, your answer will also demonstrate to them that 1) you’ve done your homework and 2) you are enthusiastic about the opportunity.

Quick tip #3: Practice before your interview.

Once you have a good idea of what you want to say, write it down and practice it. Don’t just wing it. While you don’t want to come off as canned or too rehearsed, you also don’t want to forget to cover any key points.

So what should your answer sound like? Here’s an example:

“You know, Mike, I’ve done a lot of research about your company over the past few days and I have to say, I’m truly impressed. The organization has a reputation not only as a thought leader in the industry, but as an “employer of choice” among its staff members. That’s something I really want to be a part of: A company that places an emphasis on innovation, while still treating it’s people like part of a family.”

Want more help finding jobs in Central Virginia? Let Adams & Garth know. We partner with leading employers to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

What You Need to Communicate About Company Culture in the Hiring Process

January 19th, 2016

Throughout the hiring process, your goal is to find the candidate who is the best fit for your position. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows that goes beyond someone with the right skill set and experience to get the job done. It also includes identifying someone who will fit in with your company culture. In fact, statistics show that many new hires leave after just a few short months on the job due to a lack of cultural fit.

How can you communicate and promote your culture during the hiring process? So candidates get a clear vision of whether the opportunity is right for them? Here are some tips to help you get started:

Rework job descriptions.

When reviewing your job descriptions, make sure to promote the company culture. Some questions to ask yourself in the process include: If the company was a person, what would his/her personality be like? And what makes the company a special or unique place to work? When you are interviewing candidates, make sure to ask questions about why they think they’d be a good fit for the culture.

Give candidates a great experience.

You’re not going to hire every candidate who applies at your company. However, you can give each and every one of them a positive experience. That means offering a convenient and easy way to apply for jobs. Treating them with respect and consideration. And keeping them in the loop throughout the hiring process. You never know whether they could be a perfect fit for a job down the line. So you want to ensure your company makes the best impression possible on each of them.

Don’t just tell them; show them what the culture’s like.

Don’t just talk about your culture and what makes it unique. Show candidates so they can experience it for themselves. For instance, create an employee blog on your careers website and publish posts and videos highlighting your office and team members. Also, when a candidate comes in for an interview, give them an office tour and an opportunity to talk to your employees.

Ask new hires to share their experience.

Use social media to your advantage. For example, ask new hires to share their candidate experience on your employee blog and social media profiles. If you have a great hiring process, their experience will help you promote it effectively.

To land the best people, you need to promote your company’s culture. Top talent has a choice of where to work and will be looking for companies that best meet their career objectives and lifestyle goals.

Would you like more help with the hiring process? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, we’ll work with you to learn about your company, your culture, and your key staffing pains. We’ll then get to work sourcing, screening and interviewing candidates so we can find one that’s a great fit for you – and then help you retain them. Contact us today to learn more.

Create a Great Cover Letter for Your 2016 Job Search

January 12th, 2016

Do you want to find a new job in 2016? If you do, then an important tool in your job search process is the cover letter. In fact, as one of Charlottesville’s leading employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows a great cover letter be make the difference between getting called in for an interview, or getting passed over.

So if you want to create a cover letter that gets results, here are 7 quick tips to follow:

#1. Don’t regurgitate your resume.

Your cover letter gives you an opportunity to stand apart from other job candidates and show just what you can do. That’s why it’s important not to just restate what’s already on your resume. Instead, your cover letter should be the place where you show some personality and write something new about yourself, like your work habits or why you want to work for a particular company.

#2. Avoid hype.

Avoid statements like “I’m the best person for the job.” First, you don’t know that’s true and second, it makes you sound arrogant. While your cover letter should demonstrate overall why you’d be a great fit for the job, avoid these kinds of exaggerated statements and other fluff. Instead, tell a story, or talk about specific facts and details.

#3. Demonstrate your interest.

Companies want to hire someone who’s enthusiastic about the position and the company…not someone looking for any old job. So show you’re excited about the opportunity by explaining what you like about the company, what piques your interest, or why the culture and your background are a great match.

#4. Describe what you bring to the table.

At the end of it all, hiring managers want to know about what you can bring to the table that’s unique. In other words, what positive impact you can make at the company. Describe how your personality, skill sets, or strengths are relevant to the particular position and how you will help make a difference. Get specific too. For instance, if you work in sales, describe what you’d do to improve sales performance, along with your past track record of success.

#5. Explain any career gaps or other issues.

Do you have any gaps in employment or other issues that could stand out on your resume? Or are you over- or under-qualified for the job, but really believe it’s the right one for you? Then your cover letter is the perfect opportunity to explain the situation. If you don’t offer clarification about such issues, your resume might get overlooked.

#6. Don’t be overly formal.

The best received cover letters are warm and conversational, not overly formal. That said, don’t be too casual or use slang, abbreviations, or pop culture acronyms (LOL!).

#7. Avoid templates.

Don’t simply take a boilerplate resume you’ve found on the web and cut and paste your information into it. Hiring managers can spot these in an instant. Instead, take the time to craft a custom resume for each position you’re applying to, so you can stand out and get noticed.

It’s not easy writing a great cover letter. If you need help with the process – or with any other aspect of your job search – call the employment experts at Adams & Garth. As one of Charlottesville’s leading employment agencies, we partner with top employers throughout the region to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Search our Charlottesville jobs now or contact us today.

How to Boost Trust With Your Staff in 2016 – and Beyond

January 5th, 2016

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows that trust plays an important role in every workplace. It impacts employees’ well-being and job performance, as well as a company’s productivity and retention rates. But unfortunately, for many organizations, it’s on the decline.

In fact, according to a study by the American Psychological Association (APA), more than half of employees feel like their employer isn’t open and upfront, a third feel that their organization isn’t always honest and truthful, and one in four say they don’t trust their employer at all.

So how exactly do you define workplace trust – and how can you improve it in your office?

Dr. David Ballard of the APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence says, “Trust is really the expectation that workers can count on and rely on their organization. That involves a lot of things, including past interactions with their company, whether they feel like things are done fairly, openness in communication, whether their values are consistent with the company’s values, the reliability of the company, and their perceptions of their company’s motives.”

Building trust certainly takes time. However, there are steps you can take today – right now – that will help you boost workplace trust in 2016 and beyond:

Be clear.

A lack of clarity about one’s job can quickly lead to distrust and disengagement. That’s why it’s so important to ensure all your employees have clear goals and expectations set forth for them. It’s also important to monitor progress and get feedback from your team members with regular check-ins.

Be fair.

Treat all your employees fairly. That means avoiding favoritism and offering competitive compensation. It also means following through on your promises by staying true to your word and enforcing rules across the board for all your employees, not just for certain ones.

Be transparent.

It’s true that you can’t share every detail with your staff. But communicate as much and as often as you can, even when the news isn’t good. Otherwise, you’ll constantly be up against the rumor mill of misinformation. Sharing information – whether it’s providing a financial outlook or decisions about company policies – demonstrates that you trust your people, which, in turn, will help them trust you more.

Be grateful.

Be appreciative towards those who deliver exceptional results; don’t take them for granted. Make sure you recognize them for their contributions and reward them for great work. Not only will you inspire them to continue working hard, but you’ll motivate others to do the same.

Do you need help hiring top performers for your team? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we have the knowledge and expert team in place to help you find and hire top talent, the first time. Contact us today to learn more.

7 Steps to a New Job in the New Year 

December 22nd, 2015

As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth can tell you if you’d like to find a new job in 2016, then you need to start planning now. To help you in the process, here are a few steps to take:

Step #1: Get your resume ready.

Before you begin the job search process, break out your resume and get to work polishing it. Start by identifying the achievements, experiences and skills most important to highlight. Also, be sure to ask someone you trust to review and proofread it to catch any errors or inconsistencies.

Step #2: Carry business cards with you at all times.

Every time you step out your door, there’s an opportunity to network. One way to make a strong first impression on new people you meet is to have business cards with you at all times. That way, if you’re at a holiday party and make a great connection, hand them your business card and ask them to keep in touch.

Step #3: Start networking.

Networking can seem like an overwhelming task. But make it easy by committing to attending at least one networking event each week. It can be either in person or online. You can check your local chamber of commerce, or online for local meetups that would be of interest to you. Also, reach out to colleagues you’d like to stay in touch with and schedule a lunch date or go for drinks after work.

Step #4: Increase your visibility.

Make sure you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. Reach out to your network and ask for recommendations. Also, make sure the skills and experiences you list are still relevant to the type of job you’re looking for. Don’t forget to include samples of your work, as well.

Step #5: Make sure you have a pitch.

Create an elevator pitch so you know what you’re going to say when someone asks you what kind of job you’re looking for. You should also be able to talk about your strengths and the value you can offer a potential employer. That said, don’t practice your pitch so much that you sound too rehearsed.

Step #6: Inform your network.

Let your network of friends, family, colleagues and fellow alumni know you’re looking for a new opportunity. Even if someone doesn’t work in your field, they may be able to connect you with those who do. Keep in mind, networking is the fastest way to a new job.

Step # 7: Be realistic about your expectations.

Be realistic about your career goals. If you don’t have a ton of experience in your field, then applying for a management role is likely not attainable. Instead, look for those opportunities that will help you gain the skills and experience you need to reach your ultimate dream job.

If you’d like expert help finding a new job in the New Year, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we partner with top employers throughout Central Virginia to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more or search our Charlottesville jobs now.

How to Get Your Employees to Love You

December 15th, 2015

As a manager, you know you need good people to run a successful company. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, job satisfaction is at an all-time low.

In fact, according to the Conference Board, a New York-based non-profit research group, 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work. What’s more is that the group has run this job satisfaction survey every year since 1987. And nearly three decades ago, 61% of workers said they liked their jobs!

So what can you do to ensure your employees are happy at work – so you can keep them engaged and retained? Here are some tips to help you:

Be kind.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adam & Garth knows it sounds simple enough. But too many managers think they need to be aggressive or emotionless in order to gain respect. That couldn’t be further from the truth! While you don’t need to be best friends with your staff, you do need to get to know them personally, and be respectful and caring toward them.

Define expectations.

If you don’t meet frequently with employees to talk about goals and expectations, then chances are, you’re not on the same page. One way to find out? Ask each employee what they think your goals and expectations for them are. If their answers and reality aren’t a match, you need to do a better job communicating with them about their job.

Tell the truth.

Don’t promise one of your workers something when you know you might not be able to deliver. If you can’t give out raises, promotions and bonuses, for instance, explain why. If you tell them one thing, and then do another, it’s going to impact their level of trust in you.

Praise often.

Don’t be stingy with praise! When employees do well, let them know. Thank them for their contributions and the impact they are making in the company. Likewise, offer constructive criticism, too. Your employees won’t grow and learn if they don’t know which areas need some work.

Be open to feedback.

You shouldn’t be the only one giving out feedback. Your employee should feel comfortable coming to you with issues, concerns and questions.

Set your employees up for success.

Determine out what your people need to be successful and then provide it, whether it’s through training opportunities, upgraded equipment, or other resources.

Would you like expert help hiring for your team? Contact Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, we know hiring can be a hassle. But we’ve got the knowledge, experience, and proven processes in place to assist you. Next time you need to hire, contact Adams & Garth. We can help.

How Many Questions Should I Ask an Employer in a Job Interview?

December 8th, 2015

Part of being prepared for a job interview is thinking about the questions you want to ask. But is there a rule about how many you should be asking?

First, as one of the top employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows it may vary depending on where you are in the hiring process. For example, if you’re just having a quick phone screen with the hiring manager, you don’t want to keep them on the line with 20+ questions. Ask a handful – three to five – that will help you best discern whether the job is something you’d be interested in learning more about. Keep in mind: if you’re invited in for a face-to-face interview, you can ask more questions then.

Second, once in an interview, there is no hard fast rule about the number of questions you should be asking. It’s more about quality, not quantity at this point. Remember, your goal in asking questions is to get the information you need to find out whether the job and the company are a good fit for you. Some tips:

  • Ask questions such as “what are the short-term goals and expectations to meet for the person in this role?,” and “describe the company culture to me.”
  • You can also ask questions that demonstrate your awareness of the company and initiatives, such as “I recently read an article about the company acquiring a new business. Will this impact the role I’m interviewing for in any way?”
  • At this point, avoid asking questions related to benefits or perks unless the interviewer brings them up.
  • If it seems like the interviewer is ready to wrap up the interview or has to go to another appointment, simply say something like “I do have more questions moving forward, but don’t want to take up more of your time. Can I email the rest to you?”
  • If you are offered the position without having your questions answered, don’t accept it blindly. Let the hiring manager know you need more information before you can make a decision.

When it comes to interviewing, it’s not about asking a certain number of questions. It’s about asking the right questions that help you learn about the job and the company so you can make a great career decision.

Do you need more advice on interviewing and other job search activities? Call the experts at Adams & Garth. As one of the top employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth can help you polish your resume, prep for interviews, and give you access to rewarding jobs in your field!

Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

How to Make a Job Offer That Doesn’t Get Turned Down

December 1st, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows the hiring process isn’t over once you’ve found the ideal candidate. You still have to make the offer – and the approach you take can be the difference between your top pick candidate accepting the job or turning it down. How can you ensure you put your best foot forward in your next job offer? Here are a few steps to take:

Step #1: Act Quickly

Once you know you want to hire someone, don’t sit on your decision. You need to act quickly. The best candidates are in demand by other companies, so you need to make an offer to ensure you don’t lose someone out to the competition. Even a day or two can make all the difference.

Step #2: Make Sure Your Compensation is Competitive

Now that you know how much experience the candidate brings to the table, make sure the compensation your company is offering is fair and competitive. If you low-ball a candidate in the hopes of saving some money, they’ll likely decline your offer rather than counter. So before you make an offer, make sure you do your homework and know what’s competitive for someone with their skills and expertise.

Step #3: Give the Candidate a Call

Once you make a hiring decision, give the candidate a call to discuss the offer. Make sure you outline not only compensation, but also perks and benefits, like retirement options and flex scheduling. Your goal here is to get the candidate excited about the opportunity at your company so they accept the offer.

Step #4: Put It All in Writing

Of course, you can’t keep an offer verbal. You need to put everything in writing so ensure both parties are on the same page. Be sure to include details like job title, start date, salary and benefits, and full or part-time status. Don’t forget contingencies, such as signing a confidentiality agreement or passing a background check. You may also want your company’s legal counsel to review the document to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything.

Step #5: Be Patient

Once the offer is on the table, make sure you give the candidate some time to digest it and make a decision. They may need a few days before signing on the dotted line, which is completely reasonable. However, to keep the process moving, give them a date by which you need decision.

Do you need more help attracting great candidates to your company? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we have the knowledge and expert team in place to help you find and hire the talent you need, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.