Adams & Garth Blog

Do You Need a Video Resume?

October 28th, 2014

Making an impression on hiring managers is an important part of finding a new job in Central Virginia. After all, they get dozens if not hundreds of resumes from applicants – so standing out among them is critically important.

But does that mean you need a video resume?

Unless the job listing specifically requests that you submit one, the answer is “probably not.” If you have a solid background with the right skill set for the opportunity, then that’s what’s going to sell you as a strong candidate for the position…not a video resume.

In addition, a video resume can actually harm your chances of landing an interview. For instance, if a job listing does not call for a video resume to be submitted, a hiring manager might be frustrated by yours because they want to simply scan cover letters and resumes, not commit a lot of time to watching a video resume.

So when it comes to applying for positions, stick with the tried-and-true cover letter and resume. Spend ample time polishing and customizing yours for each opportunity you apply to. When you do – and your skill set is a match for a position – you will stand out to a hiring manager, all without a video resume.

That said, when a job listing does call for one, how can you develop a video resume that’s professional?

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Dress for success in the video. That means wearing what you would to a job interview.
  • Make sure the room you record in is quiet and neutral so there are no visual or audio distractions.
  • Make eye contact with the camera.
  • Start off your recording by stating your name and the job opening you are applying for. Segue into discussing your background and why it’s a good fit for the opportunity and the company.
  • Don’t ramble on. If you get an interview, you’ll have plenty of time to talk about all your accomplishments. Just focus on a few keys ones that are truly relevant for the job you are interested in.
  • Be mindful of your pace. You don’t want to talk too quickly or too slowly. Instead, try to keep a natural pace.
  • Once you’ve completed your video resume, upload it to a site like Vimeo or YouTube so you can share the link with employers. Be sure to include it too on your LinkedIn profile.

And if you need help standing out to hiring managers – and landing a new job in Central Virginia, please contact Adams & Garth. We’ve partnered with leading employers throughout the region to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields.

Do You Have A “Healthy” Office?

October 21st, 2014

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Culpeper – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows that in today’s culture, health and a person’s well-being are important to workers. Is your workplace set to help with that? If not, here are a few tips for improving your office:

Tip #1: Add Plants to Your Office Space.

There are plenty of benefits to adding some green to your indoor space, including the fact that indoor plants have been proven to reduce stress and many actually clean pollutants out of the air. That said, unless you want to spend a lot of time tending to said plants, look for varieties that are hardy and require minimal care.

Tip #2: Use Natural Lighting.

According to studies, natural light reduces stress and fatigue. It’s also ideal for improving mood and enhancing productivity. So try to minimize the use of overhead fluorescents and take advantage of windows and skylights instead. If you can, hold meetings and brainstorming sessions outdoors.

Tip #3: Make Sure Everyone Has Comfortable Seating.

Ensure all your staff members have ergonomically correct chairs with adjustable heights and arms. This kind of seating has been manufactured after years of research into body movements, skeletal stress and postures that lead to pain and ache. The end result is maximum comfort, improved health and higher productivity.

Tip #4: Encourage Breaks

Everyone needs a break during the day. But some office cultures seem to reward those who work around the clock. While this might offer short-term gains, in the long run, it will lead to burned out employees.

That’s why it’s so important to encourage your staff to take breaks throughout the day. Whether it’s getting up to stretch and grab a beverage, or going for a 10-minute walk outside, your employees will have a chance to decompress, clear their minds and renew their energy. In addition, stepping away from work can actually provide some much-needed clarity about a challenging problem or project.

Tip #5: Offer Healthy Snacks

Keep snacks on hand for staff members to munch on during busy days and long-running meetings. Think nuts, dried and fresh fruit and trail mix. Not only are these delicious and nutritious, but they also help your employees keep their energy levels up.

Your employees spend most of their time at work. The environment they operate in is therefore critically important and can impact their overall success on the job. To benefit the health of your employees – and your company – be sure to develop a culture that is conducive to good health and well being.

Need help hiring for your company? Contact Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Culpeper – and 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 the ones who are a great fit for you.

 

14 Questions Every Candidate Must Ask During a Job Interview

October 14th, 2014

As Lynchburg’s job search experts, Adams & Garth knows that too often candidates go to interviews expecting to be interrogated. But when it comes to determining whether or a not a potential job is right for you, it’s vital that you conduct your own cross-examination. The last thing you want is to accept a position that isn’t at all what you thought it would be – just because you didn’t ask the right questions during the interview.

Asking questions can help you dig deeper and learn more about the culture, the company leadership, their management style and employee retention. These are all critical factors when it comes to deciding whether the opportunity is a good match not just for your skill set, but for your personality and lifestyle as well.

To help you assess your next potential job, be sure to ask these questions:

1. How long did the last person who held the position stay?

2. Why did they leave?

3. What are some of the obstacles of this job?

4. What constitutes success in this position?

5. Can you tell me more about the team I would be working with?

6. Can you tell me about my potential boss’s management style?

7. What kind of person meshes well with it?

8. How would you describe the company culture?

9. What’s one thing you would change about the culture if you could?

10. What do you like most about working here?

11. What do you like least?

12. What types of people tend to thrive within the company?

13. What types of people wouldn’t fare as well in it?

14. What are the company’s plans for new products or growth?

Also, before the interview ends, be sure ask the interviewer about the next steps in the hiring process, as well as when they expect to make a hiring decision. If you don’t, you’ll spend the next week agonizing about your performance in the interview, whether you got the job, and when you’ll get a call about it. When you ask about next steps too, it gives you an opening to follow up with the interviewer if you don’t hear back within the allotted time. So, for instance, if they told you they’d make a decision by Friday and it’s now the following Tuesday, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to follow up.

Looking for a great new job in Lynchburg? Call Adams & Garth. As Lynchburg’s job search experts, we can offer you a variety of services to help you find a new job and advance your career. Contact us today to learn more or search our Lynchburg jobs now.

How to Spot Resume Lies

October 7th, 2014

The unemployment rate is still high and, as one of the leading Lynchburg staffing agencies, we know that some job seekers are getting desperate and feeling enormous pressure to get noticed by employers. As a result, they’ll do almost anything to land a position – including creating a resume sprinkled with lies. Whether it’s a phony degree or an exaggerated job title, the bottom line is that the job candidate is being less-than-honest.

So how can you spot half-truths and outright deception? Here are some tips to help you:

Be on the lookout for resumes that lack specifics.

It can be challenging to spot resume lies. However, one warning sign is a resume that is vague and doesn’t offer specific information, from fuzzy employment dates to unclear job duties to the inability to back up the claims made on the resume in a job interview.

Know the red flags.

If a candidate has unexplained employment gaps, doesn’t want to explain the reason for leaving their last job, and has unusual periods of self-employment, then they could be conjuring up a fake employment history.

Scrutinize unlikely job jumps.

For instance, if a candidate went from an entry-level position to a management one within a couple of years, ask yourself: is this realistic? If you bring the candidate in for a job interview, be sure to question them as to how they made so much career progress in such a short amount of time.

Use LinkedIn as an investigative tool.

Beyond networking, sites like LinkedIn can help you dig a little deeper into the background of a candidate, as well as check for inconsistencies on their resume. If you get a feeling an individual isn’t being truthful, then see if they have a LinkedIn profile and compare employment titles and dates.

Test for skills.

For example, if a candidate is a strong contender for the job, don’t just take their word for it that they’re literate in a certain computer program. Test for it.

Conduct a background check.

Make it a point to conduct a check on your top-pick candidates. This will help you verify the information they’re providing you. Checks should include evaluating the authenticity of degrees and colleges and making sure previous employers actually exist. For a relatively small price, you can avoid the hefty cost of hiring a dishonest employee.

Hiring is already hard enough, even when candidates are being completely honest. If you’d like some professional help with the process – including conducting background checks – call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Lynchburg staffing agencies, we can give you access to talented individuals who can increase productivity and deliver the solutions you need. Contact us today to learn more.

Do You Believe These 5 Job Search Myths?

September 23rd, 2014

When you’re searching for a new job, everyone has tips they swear by. But should you believe them all? As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we can tell you the answer is a resounding “no!” What are some of the biggest ones we’ve heard over the years – and what’s the fact behind the fiction? Here’s a look:

Myth #1: You will find your next job online.

You might, but chances are, you won’t. Most people find the greatest job search success by using a variety of different tactics. This certainly includes looking to online job boards. But it also includes working with a Charlottesville employment agency, networking with colleagues, attending association meetings and making an effort to forge new connections each day.

Myth #2: Human resources is your ticket to a new job.

Those who work in the human resources department are simply gatekeepers to the decision makers. They recruit candidates, screen resumes and conduct preliminary interviews. But at the end of the day, the decision to hire often rests in the hands of a manager or company executive. That’s why when you’re networking – whether online or in person – you should try to connect with those in management roles at companies you want to work for. They’re the ones asking human resources to start the hiring process and they’re also ultimately the ones making the hiring decisions.

Myth #3: You’ll hear back soon after you apply for a job.

You might. But chances are, you probably won’t. In fact, it might take a proactive approach – by following up – for you to get on the radar of the person doing the hiring. So don’t be afraid to reach out and ask whether your resume was received and what the time frame is for filling the job. Also, always ask when to follow up and whom to follow up with.

Myth #4: Your LinkedIn profile is just an online resume.

Don’t just cut and paste your resume into your LinkedIn profile. Sure, it should list your past jobs and accomplishments. However, you need to get a little more creative than that if you want to get noticed. Include any samples of your work, video presentations, ask connections to recommend you and write a testimonial, and share articles of interest with your own thoughts on the information offered.

Myth #5: Your resume needs to include all your experience.

Your resume doesn’t need to be your career autobiography. Instead, you want to list those experiences and accomplishments that are most relevant to each position you’re applying for. Showcase the strengths and features you think would be most attractive for each potential employer. Don’t tell them about every job you’ve held since high school.

Need more help finding your next great job? Contact 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.

5 Signs of a Potential Hiring Mistake

September 16th, 2014

Face it. A bad hire can cost you a lot more than just time lost on recruiting. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows it can also kill morale, productivity and your overall bottom line. The best approach is to try and avoid potential bad hires in the first place. So if you interview candidates displaying the following kinds of behaviors, run – don’t walk – the other way:

Sign #1: They give vague answers.

You ask a question. Instead of a direct response, the candidate gives you the runaround. They ramble, are short on details and don’t answer anything you’ve clearly asked about. Regardless of the position you’re hiring for, good communication skills are probably an important component of it. If a candidate displays poor ones, don’t ignore it. This is the kind of communication you can expect from them once on the job.

Sign #2: They offer you a family member as a reference.

When a candidate gives you references – and it quickly becomes clear they’re either family members or co-workers, not managers – it should give you cause for concern. If a potential hire doesn’t want you to talk to their former bosses, there’s a reason why.

Sign #3: They behave unprofessionally.

There are many different behaviors that fall under the “unprofessional” category during a job interview – dressing sloppily, showing up late without a good reason, treating the receptionist with disrespect, or coming across as arrogant, to name a few. If a candidate showcases any of these – or any kind of conduct you find inappropriate – you can thank your lucky stars they showed you their true colors in the interview…not once on the job.

Sign #4: They bad mouth former employers or bosses.

Not speaking out against a former boss, employer, or colleague is interviewing 101. When a candidate makes disparaging remarks, it’s a sign that a) they lack tact and loyalty and b) they lack good judgment. After all, they have know idea whether you know the person in question.

Sign #5: They don’t have a clear record of success.

You need someone who can deliver results. If a candidate can’t offer you a track record of their accomplishments or successes, then don’t expect them to produce great results once on the job. You should be on the lookout for candidates who can succinctly and effectively explain the value they bring to the table – in the form of real achievements, not hypotheticals.

It is possible to spot a bad candidate before you make the mistake of hiring one. Just follow the tips above – and if your gut is telling you that someone isn’t right for the job, listen to it. You’re better off continuing your search then hiring the wrong person.

Need help hiring for your company? 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 to “Wow” a Hiring Manager in the First Few Minutes

September 9th, 2014

As Harrisonburg recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that job interviews typically last a lot longer than a few minutes. But you never know when you could run into someone who could impact your career advancement – at a coffee shop, in the elevator, or at an industry event. And the impression you make can leave a lasting mark, good or bad. What can you do to ensure you “wow” a manager and set yourself up for an interview? Here are some tips:

Speak the Right Body Language

Whether you’re walking into a job interview or networking at an industry event, keep your posture straight, smile at the person you’re talking with and offer a firm handshake. Likewise, when you sit, don’t slouch or fidget. Even if you’re nervous, suppress the urge to drum your fingers or tap your foot.

Make Sure Your Hands are Dry

You don’t want your nerves to betray you with a cold, clammy handshake. Make sure your hands are warm and dry before offering it to someone.

Use Color to Stand Out

While you should always dress professionally for a job interview, that doesn’t mean you can’t stand out with a pop of color. Hiring managers are so used to seeing blacks and grays that a red tie or blouse can make you more memorable.

Focus on One Great Story

What’s one professional accomplishment or achievement that really showcases your skill set, experience and passion? Whatever it is, try to focus on it when you’re talking to the hiring manager. When they ask you the inevitable “tell me about yourself” question, you can relate the story and how it sums up the value you bring to the table.

Don’t Ramble

One of the easiest ways to undermine yourself is by rambling on and on when answering a question. Not only does it show you’re losing focus, but you’re probably also losing the attention of the hiring manager in the process. Instead, practice some common interview answers ahead of time to ensure your answers are clear and concise.

Follow Up

Whether you chatted for 10 minutes with a hiring manager at a conference, or had an hour-long formal job interview, you should always follow up afterward to thank them for their time and reiterate why you’re a good fit for the job.

Need more help finding a new job that’s a great fit for you? Call Adams & Garth. Our Harrisonburg recruiters will work with you to learn about your career goals and background, and then match you with job opportunities in which you can thrive.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

How to Build a Better Wellness Program

September 2nd, 2014

A recent RAND Corporation study found that over 85% of U.S. businesses employing 1,000 people or more offer some sort of workplace wellness program. That’s great. Until you consider the fact that only 60% of employees are aware that their employers offer a wellness program – and only 40% of those who are aware actually participate in it, according to Gallup research.

As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows wellness programs can be expensive. However, when done right, they can help offset the rising cost of health insurance while boosting employee morale and productivity.

So if your company has a wellness program with lackluster results, here are a few ideas that can help you improve it:

Create a Communications Plan

Support your wellness program with a strong communications plan. According to a white paper – “Well on the Way: Engaging Employees in Workplace Wellness” by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. – barriers to engagement can oftentimes be overcome through championship of the program by the CEO and co-workers who are identified as health ambassadors by their enthusiastic participation in wellness initiatives.

In addition, the paper also points out that enhancing communication via one-on-one benefits counseling can also help drive participation in a company’s wellness program, as well as improve understanding and appreciation of the entire benefits package.

Invest in Incentives

Employee incentive programs provide rewards – financial or otherwise – for those team members who engage in healthy behavior. A growing trend is to cover an additional percentage of a worker’s health insurance premiums for achieving certain health goals, such as lowering blood pressure or losing weight.

Go Beyond the Physical

According to Gallup and Healthways, which have developed a comprehensive source of well-being measurement, the five essential elements of well-being are:

  • Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

When employees are thriving in several of the above elements, it becomes simpler for them to achieve things that are in their own best interest, such as maintaining good physical health. For instance, if an employee has strong financial well being, they are less likely to be stressed out and fall into bad habits (such as overeating and smoking) that undermine physical health.

Many businesses simply focus their wellness programs on physical well-being. However, by focusing wellness programs on all five elements above, companies can enhance their bottom line.

Other tips for strengthening your workplace wellness program include:

  • Find out what the top drivers of healthcare costs are for your employees and create incentives for wellness initiatives to help deal with those risks.
  • Incentives should be determined based on the demographics of your team members. For instance, what appeals to a workforce that skews older may not be as effective for a company with a younger workforce.
  • Make sure that the incentives are attainable by your employees. They won’t participate if criteria for earning incentives are unrealistic.
  • Make the incentives and what the employee has to do to earn them easy to understand and easy to communicate. 
Communicate early and often about what participants need to complete to earn the incentives.

Need more help recruiting and retaining top employees? Contact Adams & Garth. As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, we can take the hassle out of hiring for you, so you can focus on managing your team. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

Silence Isn’t Golden When it Comes to the Job Interview

August 26th, 2014

You landed an interview for a terrific opportunity. You nailed it and know you’re in the running. But now it’s a week later and you still haven’t heard anything from the employer.

Sound familiar?

If it does, you’re certainly not alone. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows this scenario happens far too often to job candidates all over the country – regardless of profession, experience level or abilities.

The question for you is: Should you continue to wait, give up or reach out?

You should absolutely follow up after a job interview. But before you rush to the phone to call the hiring manager, read these tips for how to go about it:

Call or Email, It’s Your Choice

It doesn’t make a difference whether you call or email the hiring manager to follow up. Just make sure you do it in a timely manner. Don’t let weeks slip by before reaching out. Otherwise, it will be perceived that you’re not interested in the job.

Likewise, don’t be too eager either. If the hiring manager told you they’d have a decision by Friday afternoon, don’t call him or her at 8 am on Monday morning. Give them a few days leeway time so you don’t appear desperate.

Be Polite & Professional

If you were promised a decision by a certain date – and that date has come and gone – you’re probably annoyed. Rightfully so. But don’t let your emotions show in your email or phone call. Be polite and professional at all times. A hiring manager may or may not remember you if you’re gracious. If you’re rude, on the other hand, they’ll certainly remember you for the wrong reasons.

Word your message along the lines of:

“I know you mentioned you were going to be making a final decision by the end of the week. I just wanted to follow up with you to see where you are in the process.”

Follow Up Twice

Follow up once. If you don’t get a response, then follow up again a few days later. If you hear nothing back, don’t take it personally. You never know what’s going on inside the company.

Reach Out to Your Connections

If you still haven’t heard anything back, check your social networking connections to see if you know anyone who works at the company. If you do, ask them if they’ve heard anything about the status of hiring for the position.

Understand That Silence is an Answer

If a hiring manager hasn’t responded to multiple follow up attempts, then you need to read between the lines. Realize that “no answer” is your answer. Also, if you don’t hear back from the hiring manager, don’t attempt to track down his or her home phone or cell number, or personal email address. Instead, refocus your energy on other opportunities.

Need more help landing a new job that’s just right for you? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, we work with some of the top employers throughout Central Virginia and we can connect you with opportunities that are oftentimes not advertised.

Contact us today to learn more or search our Lynchburg jobs now.

Does Your Job Ad Sound Like Everyone Else’s?

August 19th, 2014

You’re looking for “passionate employees,” offer “competitive compensation” and provide “tremendous opportunities for growth.”

Guess what?

So does every other company out there. In fact, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Culpeper – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows if you’re including these kinds of statements in your job ads, then the top talent out there won’t be able to tell you apart from your competition. In addition, when you write generic job ads, you attract generic job candidates.

How can you write better job ads – ones that don’t sound like everyone else’s? Here are some tips to help you:

Ask Yourself These Questions

Too often, job postings focus on a laundry list of duties and responsibilities. But if you’re hiring an administrative assistant, for instance, then qualified candidates already know what an administrative assistant does. Don’t focus solely on duties. Instead, before you begin writing the job posting, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What business problem will the right candidate help us solve?
  • How will we measure their success?
  • Why would someone want this job?

Answer these questions – and craft your job posting around your responses and it will be much easier to attract ideal candidates.

Be Precise in Your Language

You don’t want to get bombarded with resumes from people who simply aren’t qualified for the job. Otherwise, you’ll spend hours wading through candidates who aren’t a good fit.

To avoid this, you need to be as precise as possible in your language. If you need a financial planner with a CFP designation and experience working with teachers, then don’t simply state you need someone who “knows financial planning.” Precision takes a little more work on the front end, but the final result is you’ll cut down on the number of applications you get from unqualified candidates.

Focus on Attitude

A candidate can have strong skills and extensive experience, but if they don’t have the right attitude for your culture, they’re not going to be successful. So think about the hard and soft skills your top performers share. Are they independent thinkers or highly collaborative? Do they love risk taking and adventure, or focus more on certainty and security? Do they seek recognition for their work, or do they like to avoid the limelight?

For instance, if you need to hire a new manager, rather than saying you’re looking for “candidates with management experience,” instead consider: “We’re looking for a candidate with an educator’s heart, one that can not only manage their team members, but coach and mentor them as well.”

If that doesn’t sound good to a candidate, then they won’t apply. For you, that means less time focused on the wrong people and more time to find high performers that are a fit for your culture.

Need more help attracting high quality candidates? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Culpeper – and Central Virginia, we can connect you with top talent in and around the area. Contact us today to learn more.