Adams & Garth Blog

When Your Boss Doesn’t Show You Any Love

January 27th, 2015

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is on everyone’s mind. But when your boss doesn’t show you any – in the form of respect, warmth, recognition, or kindness – it can be tough to handle. Is it time to move on for greener pastures? Or should you stick it out with an ill-tempered or detached boss?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can tell you: It depends.

First, think about where your boss is coming from. He or she could be under a lot of pressure and stressed out, while you’re interpreting their attitude as a problem with you individually. Ask around and see if other co-workers are experiencing the same treatment. If they aren’t, then dig a little deeper to find the root cause.

Here are a few possibilities:

Your boss has a problem with your performance.

Are you often late, unprepared, or do you miss deadlines? Does your boss assign the important or more challenging tasks to others? Have you had performance problems in the past? Then those issues could be the source of your boss’s frustrations. If they are, then it’s up to you to change his or her mind by building a track record of positive performance and good behavior.

Your personalities don’t mesh well.

You may do good work, but perhaps your personality and your boss’s simply don’t blend well. Part of the problem is likely the two of you have different communication styles. Whatever the case, there are a few ways you can open up the lines of communication, including:

  • Being calm. Don’t get angry. Your boss doesn’t have to share your opinion and the two of you don’t need to be best friends.
  • Ask your boss for advice and guidance on your performance. For instance, you may have a habit of just pointing out problems and he or she may want you to offer solutions instead.
  • Don’t demand, instead suggest. Aim to solve problems and attain a productive and professional relationship, rather than be argumentative.

Your boss feels threatened by you.

If your boss treats you inconsistently – for instance, you’re having a good conversation and then you present a fact they didn’t know and they get defensive – then it’s a sign they’re insecure around you. If that’s the case, they can then use the power of their position to make your life miserable at work.

So how do you deal with this sticky situation?

Start by always being constructive and aiming to collaborate. Look for ways to help your boss and make their job easier. If you find a mistake they made, don’t bring it up in front of others. If problems persist, talk to your boss and ask for clarification about the issue.

Ready for a new opportunity – with a new boss? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we will work to get to know you, your background, skills and personality – all so we can match you with job opportunities that are a terrific fit. Search our Central Virginia jobs now or contact us today.

 

7 Secrets to a Cover Letter That Gets Results

January 13th, 2015

Is one of your resolutions for 2015 to find a new job? If it is, then your cover letter is a critical component of the process. In fact, as one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows your letter can be the difference between getting a call for an interview or not. To help you write one that gets results, follow these tips:

#1. Don’t offer the same details that are on your resume.

Your cover letter is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition and showcase your personality. It should not just be a summary of your resume. Instead, it should add something new to your candidacy, such as work habits, why you want a particular job, or references or positive comments from a previous boss.

#2. Stick with facts, not hyperbole.

Avoid fluff and exaggerated statements such as “I am the best qualified candidate for your opening.” Instead, focus on facts, figures and details, like why you’re a good fit for the job. That’s the kind of information that will help you stand out to a hiring manager.

#3. Show personal interest.

Make the case as to why you’re the best person for the job in an enthusiastic way. If you’re applying to a company you’ve always wanted to work for, then explain why you’re a fan. If there was something in particular that resonated with you in the job description, discuss that. If there’s a certain aspect of the job that aligns exactly with one of your strengths, highlight it in your cover letter.

#4. Describe how you can help.

Your cover letter shouldn’t be all about you. When writing one, think of it from the perspective of: how can my skills and experience help this company? If you’re in sales, for instance, describe how you’d go about increasing revenue. If you work in customer service, highlight how you’d enhance the company’s service process.

#5. Offer explanations.

Your cover letter is the place to explain issues such as gaps in employment, or if you’re over- or under-qualified for the position. If you don’t address situations like these upfront, the hiring manager may simply overlook your resume. It’s up to you persuade them as to why you deserve a second look.

#6. Be conversational.

While you don’t want to be too casual, or use slang, don’t go overboard and be too formal either. The best cover letters use language that is warm and conversational in tone.

#7. Don’t cut and paste.

When sending a cover letter, don’t use a form letter. Hiring managers can quickly tell which candidates spent time crafting a custom letter and which ones simply cut and paste from the Internet.

Your cover letter is typically the first impression you make with a hiring manager. That’s why it’s important to spend the time to get it right. Still, cover letters can be a challenge to write. If you need help, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we can help you with the process. We also 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.

New Year’s Resolutions When You’re Looking for a New Job 

December 23rd, 2014

Is “finding a new job” on the top of your to do list for 2015? If it is, then be sure to set these 4 resolutions ahead of time so you can achieve job search success:

Resolution #1: “I will network more.”

As Harrisonburg recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that networking is the fastest path to a new job. To leverage all it has to offer, commit to attending at least one networking event each week, whether it’s in person or online. Also, try to meet at least one new person each week and re-connect with old colleagues and business contacts.

In addition, leverage the power of social media and online forums to reach out to those in your field. Keep in mind too, just because someone doesn’t work in your industry, doesn’t mean they can’t help you in your job search. So keep an open mind when networking. You never know where it can lead.

Resolution #2: “I will apply only to positions I’m qualified for.”

When searching for a new job, it’s tempting to apply for every job under the sun. But in doing so, you’re wasting your time – not to mention the hiring manager’s time – because you’re applying for jobs you’re not really qualified for. When it comes to job hunts, quality trumps quantity every time. Focus only on those few positions you’re really qualified for and tailor your resume and cover letter for each one.

Resolution #3: “I will spend ample time preparing for interviews.”

You spent the time and energy creating a great resume and cover letter. But if you don’t invest that same effort in preparing for interviews, you’re not going to get the job. When you do schedule an interview, be sure to:

  • Research the company (including mission, vision, key players, and competitors) and the position.
  • Spend some time preparing your answers to common interview questions.
  • Be ready to talk about why you’re a good fit for the job with specific examples of your strengths and accomplishments.
  • Have a list of questions ready that will help you assess whether the job and the company are the right fit for you.

Resolution #4: “I will work with a recruiter.”

Recruiters are another great source for finding out about job opportunities. Many times, companies don’t advertise positions they’re looking to fill; one way to find out about them is through a recruiter. So work on finding one you trust and leveraging their contacts and experience to help you find the job you want.

If you’d like to learn more about how a recruiter can help you in your job search, 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.

 

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.