Adams & Garth Blog

Should You Give Your Boss a Gift This Holiday Season?

December 9th, 2014

To gift, or not to gift? That is the question when it comes to your boss this holiday season.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows that some employees buy their bosses gifts each year, while others are on the fence about whether or not to do so, or how much to spend. If you fall into the latter category, then you’re certainly not alone. It’s tricky because if you don’t buy a gift and your co-workers do, you may look unappreciative. On the flip side, if you get too big of a gift, then your boss and colleagues may think you’re sucking up.

To help you decide what to do, consider the following:

  • Employers should typically be the ones giving to their employees during the holiday season to thank them for their dedication and hard work. So don’t feel like you need to get your boss a gift just to keep your job or look good.
  • That said, you might feel truly grateful for the opportunities your boss has afforded you and want to get them a gift to show your thanks. If that’s the case, then avoid being overly extravagant. Oftentimes, the best gifts aren’t the biggest. So consider something small, like a hand-written note with a gift certificate to your boss’s favorite lunch spot or a basket of treats. Avoid gifts that can be seen as too personal, like perfume or jewelry, or too pricey. You don’t want to offend your boss or make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Another option for gift-giving is to join forces with your co-workers and purchase one large gift for your boss. Ask your colleagues to contribute as much as they are comfortable with and then make a group decision about what to get your boss. That way, everyone feels included and on equal footing.
  • If you’re a new employee at the company, ask around for what is typical this time of year. You may find out most of your co-workers don’t purchase gifts for the boss, or that everyone pools their money to purchase one gift. Whatever the case, when you know the precedent, you can follow it.

Looking for a new boss this holiday season? 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.

Help! I Love My Job, But Hate My Boss

November 25th, 2014

Love your job? Can’t stand your boss? As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows you’re not alone. There are countless employees out there who loves their positions, but hate those they report to. If you’re in this situation, what should you do? Jump ship, or try to make it work? To help you, consider the following:

Check yourself.

Consider your role in the problem. For instance, your boss may have issues with you because you’re not performing well on the job. So if you’re five minutes late every day, behind on your work, and not reaching productivity goals, then strive to improve and better meet your boss’s expectations.

Become an ally.

Your job is to work for your boss and support his or her initiatives. So be proactive to learn about your boss’s expectations and priorities, then get to work helping them achieve their goals. A boss who knows that you are actively supporting their best interests will come to view you as an ally, improving your relationship in the long run.

Set up regular status updates.

On a regular basis, check in with your boss and bring him or her up to date on the projects you’re working on. These conversations will not only keep your boss in the loop, but also facilitate a more positive working relationship.

Go over your boss’s head.

If your boss is creating a truly toxic environment no matter how hard you work to rectify the situation, then you may want to talk to their boss or go to HR. Before you do so, though, document the offenses in writing for a certain period of time (for instance, a week, a month, or a quarter), then discuss the issue with your boss’s supervisor and/or Human Resources.

Move on.

If you’ve made attempts to change the working relationship with a bad boss and have still come up empty handed, it may be time to move on. That said, you should try to stick it out until you find a new opportunity. Here’s why:

  • It’s much easier to find a new job when you’re employed. If you aren’t, hiring managers will wonder why you aren’t working. And fair or not, hiring managers place a higher value on those who already have a job than those who don’t.
  • Finding a new position can take a long time. In today’s employment marketplace, it can take up to a year – or more – to find a new job. Are you financially prepared to be unemployed for that long? If not, then keep your job until you find a new one. The last thing you want is to accept a bad fit job just because you’re under financial pressure.
  • It’s easier to explain why you don’t want your current manager contacted as a reference. If you’re searching for a new job while employed, it makes sense that you don’t want prospective employers contacting your manager. However, if you’re unemployed and don’t want them to contact a former manager, they’ll wonder why.

If you’d like professional help with your job search, 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 Job Search Help From Your Network

November 11th, 2014

When you’re searching for a new job, one of the first areas to look to is your network of colleagues, friends and family. As one of Charlottesville’s leading employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows that many times, job opportunities aren’t posted or advertised, so you won’t learn about them unless you’re referred by someone you know. That said, there’s a right way – and a wrong way – to leverage the power of your network to help you find the job you want. To help you, here are a few tips:

Contact people individually.

Don’t send out a mass email to everyone in your address book. Instead, think of those individuals who work in industries that are most likely to need people like you. Then call or email each one of them separately. They’ll be much more likely to respond and help you when you communicate directly. Why? Because when people are a part of a group email, they’re going to assume that someone else on the list will respond and help you.

Don’t be generic.

Don’t tell your network that you’re looking for “anything.” They won’t be able to point you in the direction of jobs that are a good fit for you. Instead, be as specific as possible when it comes to the kind of position you want and the type of company you want to work for. For instance, let your network know you’re looking for “a full-time job as a bookkeeper at a small to medium size company.”

Reach outside of your field.

Even if you work within a certain field, don’t limit yourself to only networking inside it. Otherwise, you may miss out on a great opportunity. Connect with those outside your industry too because they may know about jobs or hiring initiatives at companies you hadn’t initially considered.

Be tactful.

It’s annoying when someone you reach out to doesn’t get back to you. But don’t take offense. They could be incredibly busy, don’t think you’re a good fit for the position, or have a personal crisis on their hands. You never know what an individual is going through. So if you contacted someone a couple times and they haven’t returned your call or email, don’t get aggressive. Simply cross them off your list and focus instead on those who can help you.

Looking for jobs in Charlottesville? Get help from 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.

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.

14 Questions Every Candidate Must Ask During a Job Interview

October 14th, 2014

As Virginia’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 Virginia’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 Virginia jobs now.

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.

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.

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.

How to Deal When You Get Turned Down for a Promotion

August 12th, 2014

You’ve been working extra hours. Giving your job all you’ve got. Vying for the attention of your boss. But alas, when it comes time for promotions, you get looked over. What can you do about it? Here are some tips to help you overcome a tough situation and come out ahead:

Take a step back.

Rather than getting emotional, take a step back and look at the situation logically. For instance, while it might be hard to swallow, was the person who secured the promotion more qualified than you? If they were, then determine what you need to do in order to obtain those same qualifications so you get the promotion the next time around.

Ask why you didn’t get the promotion.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows that at first glance, it might not be clear to you why someone got promoted over you. If that’s the case, then ask your boss why they were promoted and what you need to do in the future to get a promotion, as well.

When you have this conversation with your boss, you may find there are specific areas that need improvement or new challenges you need to take on to prove yourself before you earn a new spot. If they’re able to give you clear cut reasons as to why you were passed over, then consider yourself lucky so you can work on turning their “no” into a “yes.”

Consider the situation.

Once you learn more about why you were passed over, assess the overall situation. Do you agree with your boss’s decision? Or do you feel underappreciated and ill-treated? Is there a way you can move forward in your current position, or do you feel ready to move onto a new opportunity?

Take action.

What steps do you need to take in order to achieve your goals? For instance, if you agree with your boss’s assessment, what specifically are you going to do to ensure you don’t get passed over for a promotion next time?

If, on the other hand, you feel their final decision was unfair, are you ready to start looking elsewhere for different opportunities? If you are, then what do you need to do – e.g. polish your resume, start networking, and looking for jobs online? Whatever your final decision, you need to take specific action steps in order to achieve your ultimate career goals.

Ready to learn about new job opportunities? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, 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 Lynchburg jobs now.

What to Do When You Make Mistakes at Your New Job

July 22nd, 2014

If you’re like most employees, you want your first few days and weeks on the job to go off without a hitch. The trouble is, you’re new to the position and the company – and therefore bound to make some mistakes along the way. To help ensure errors don’t get the best of you, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Learn From Mistakes 

As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth can tell you that mistakes are expected. But it’s when you make the same mistake over and over again that it becomes a problem.

So learn from your errors. Determine what you didn’t do correctly, why you didn’t, and how you can ensure you don’t make the same mistake again. Going forward, make sure you incorporate what you learned from your mistakes into your work.

Don’t Dwell On Them 

If you made a mistake, learn from it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Continually dwelling on a mistake doesn’t improve the situation and it will only hurt your confidence in the long run.

Take Notes to Avoid Mistakes

To help avoid making mistakes, always keep your laptop or a notebook handy for you to take notes on. Your boss or a co-worker may offer details about office procedures or project deadlines and you don’t want to have to ask for the information again.

Check Your Work…Then Check It Again

If you’re just starting out in a position, then chances are you’re not super familiar with the work. Mistakes are more likely to happen, so be sure to double check your work before submitting it to your boss. It’s better to take a little extra time to hand in an assignment – and have it be correct – then to hurry through the work in order to submit it early.

Ask for Feedback

If you’re worried about the mistakes you’re making on the job, ask your boss for feedback on how to improve. While you don’t want to pester them every day for input on your performance, asking how you’re doing in the first few weeks of a job is completely reasonable.

A new position can be daunting enough without having to worry about mistakes. But everyone makes them – because no one is perfect. The trick is to put forth an effort to avoid mistakes and to learn from them quickly if you do make one.

Looking for a new job in which to showcase your skills and abilities?  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.