Adams & Garth Blog

When Your Boss is a Family Member or Friend

August 25th, 2015

Working for a family member or friend may sound like a great career move. They know you and how you work; likewise, you understand their personality. You also have a chance to add value to their company through your contributions. What could go wrong?

Plenty. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows when you’re working for a friend or family member, there are several pitfalls to avoid. It’s vitally important because not only is your job at stake, but your relationship as well. So before you begin your new job, make sure you keep these tips in mind:

Know your role.

Even though you’re working for someone you know, you still need to have clear goals and expectations. This can be a challenge at times, especially if the business is a smaller one, where people wear a lot of hats. But when you’re unclear about what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re not going to get the kinds of results your boss wants. Instead, start on the right foot by insisting you have a clear role and responsibilities at the company.

Use what you know.

Since you’re working for someone you already know, then you have an understanding of their personality. If they tend to be sarcastic or a little too direct, don’t expect them to act any differently on the job. However, if you’re comfortable with that, then you have an advantage over other new hires. You already know what to expect once on the job and can nip any conflicts in the bud before they become a problem.

Don’t avoid conflict.

Just because you know the person you are working for doesn’t mean there will never be any conflict. If you have a concern or an issue arises, you need to let your boss know. Likewise, when your boss offers constructive feedback, don’t get upset. It’s their job to ensure you stay on track.

Keep boundaries in tact.

Just because your boss is a friend or family member, don’t assume you can make decisions on their behalf when they are out of the office. Also, always act professionally and with respect.

Make communication a priority.

Communication is important in every work setting. But considering that you have more of a personal stake in the company, it ups the ante and you need to ensure you’re communicating effectively. If you’re upset about an issue, talk about it. If you don’t, it could seep into your personal relationship with your boss outside the office.

Whether or not to work for a friend or a family member is up to you. But by following the tips above you can get the job done and keep your relationship healthy and in tact.

Do you need more help finding a new job? Call the professionals at 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 Tips for Success in Your First Post-College Job

August 11th, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows starting your first job out of college can be an intimidating experience. Here are 5 tips to help you get off on the right foot:

Tip #1: Be clear about your goals.

Work with your new boss to develop a game plan for your first few months on the job. Have a clear and complete understanding of the goals you’re supposed to meet and your boss’s expectations for you. Also make sure you know the key tasks you’re supposed to accomplish, the deadlines and the people you need to meet with. If you have any questions or uncertainty, don’t be afraid to ask. Your boss is there to help you.

Tip #2: Be professional.

You might not think being five minutes late is a big deal. And if it happens once in a while, it’s not. But if you’re regularly running behind, your boss is eventually going to take notice and view you as someone who is less than reliable. Other fundamentals of professionalism include dressing appropriately, treating others with respect, and keeping your time on your cell phone to a minimum, depending on company policy.

Tip #3: Be cautious about what you say online.

If your first few days at work aren’t what you expected, don’t go to Facebook and start bashing your employer. Keep in mind, there’s no such thing as privacy on the web and such reckless comments could get back to your boss. Likewise, think before you send out an email and consider the repercussions of putting anything in writing. Sensitive conversations are always better in-person.

Tip #4: Be aware of how your boss works.

Get to know your boss’s leadership style to determine how the two of you can best work together. Your boss may be really hands-on, or more laid back. Whatever the case, it’s important for you to understand how they approach their job so you can be flexible to their work style.

Tip #5: Be friendly.

You don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but you do need to be friendly and strive to develop good working relationships with your co-workers. Try to meet occasionally with them outside the office, such as for coffee or lunch, so you can get to know them personally and what they work on in the office. This will give you a clearer sense of your department and your company, as well as where you fit in.

Starting your first job is certainly nerve-wracking. But follow the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to success!

Do you need help finding your first job? 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 your first – or your next – great job.

Contact us today to learn more.

How to Handle Being Overqualified for a Job

July 28th, 2015

You might have an advanced degree and loads of experience. But, as leading Harrisonburg recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that doesn’t mean a hiring manager is going to want to hire you. Why? Because they think you’re overqualified. And to them, that means more dollar signs. Not only do they think they’ll have to pay you more, but they also view you as a potential liability. They fear that when a better, more challenging role comes along, you’ll jump ship – and their investment in you as an employee will go up in smoke.

So if there’s a position you really want, but you’re overqualified, what can you do convince the hiring manager to give you a shot? Here’s a look:

Promote Your Qualifications as a Benefit.

The hiring manager might view you as a risk. But only if you don’t promote your qualifications in the right way. For instance, you have to demonstrate the unique value you bring to the table because of your experience – and specifically how the potential employer will benefit. Also, don’t forget to highlight the fact that because you have so much experience, you’re likely to get up to speed – and more productive – faster than another candidate.

Explain Why You Want the Job.

A hiring manager is going to wonder why you want to take a step down in your career. And they’ll often think you’ll quit as soon as something better comes along. To put their minds at ease, explain why you want the job. Perhaps you’ve wanted to get your foot in the door at the company for a long time, or maybe the position enables you to travel less and spend more time with your family. Whatever the case, it’s up to you to ease the fears a hiring manager might have about you.

Give Them a Commitment.

Don’t try to make yourself seem less qualified on your resume or in the interview. Instead, deal with the hiring manager’s concerns head on by offering a commitment to stay at the company for at least 18 months. That way, they’ll know you won’t leave after a few weeks.

Throughout the interview, be sure to focus on what you can do for the employer in your answers. How can you save or make them money? How can you save them time? What will your experience help them do that they can’t get with another candidate? The more you can show that you’re the one to deliver the desired results, the stronger chance you have of landing the job.

If you’d like more job search help, call the experts at 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.

Hiring Managers Want Results! Here’s How to Promote Yours on Your Resume

July 14th, 2015

As one of the top employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows when an employer is looking to hire, they want to know what sets you apart as a candidate. One way to stand out in a sea of other job candidates applying for the same opportunity is to showcase your achievements using figures or numbers. But if you’re like many out there, quantifying the results you’ve accomplished over the years can tricky. How do you do it? Here are a few areas to think about:

Money you’ve saved employers.

Organizations are always looking to make or save money. If, during the course of your past positions, you were able to do that, it’s important to promote that accomplishment on your resume. Think about different ways you’ve saved or made money for a past employer – or better managed a task so it was more efficient cost-wise. Some examples include:

  • Successfully managed an operating budget of $500k.
  • Cut company office supply costs by 15%.

Time saved for employers.

Similar to money, organizations want to be able to cut time spent on tasks, and deliver positive results faster. Important milestones to communicate on your resume in relation to time include meeting critical deadlines or spearheading a more efficient way of doing business. When reviewing your resume, a hiring manager will think that if you could achieve those results for one company, then you could do the same for their company.

Value delivered in other areas.

It can be hard to attached numbers to many other daily tasks. However, when doing so, examine your primary duties in a role, especially those most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Then think about things like how often you performed that task or how many individuals you managed throughout the process. For instance, include amounts such as:

  • Managed a team of 10.
  • Wrote 10 responses to RFPs in a one-year time period; four of which were successfully secured.

The bottom line? The more you can put numbers on your resume, the better your chances are of standing out – and getting a call for an interview from a hiring manager.

If you’d like more help sprucing up your resume and landing a great new job, call Adams & Garth. As one of the top employment agencies in Central Virginia, we can help you with your job search from start to finish. Contact us today to learn more!

What to Do When a Job Offer Gets Pulled

June 23rd, 2015

You’ve finally found a great job opportunity. But a week before you’re supposed to start, you get a call from the HR manager at your new company. The job offer has been put on hold. What should you do? Do you wait around until they’re ready to bring you on board? Or do you cut your losses and start your search all over again?

While it’s certainly not fair that your job offer was rescinded, it is perfectly legal – as long as there was no contract signed. If you did have a contract, then there may be a basis for a legal claim. If you didn’t, then you’re basically out of luck. You’re considered an “at will” employee and as such, an employer can terminate the relationship at any time, including before it even began.

What do you do now?

First, don’t take the situation personally. Unless they discovered some horrible issue in your background, then it’s not your fault the offer got pulled in the 11th hour. There could have been a variety of factors at play. For example, maybe the person leaving decided not to quit after all and accepted a counter offer. Or there could have been a change that took place in the company – such as a new CEO or departmental merger – that caused the offer to be withdrawn.

It’s up to you to find out whether this is a temporary situation, or if the offer is really gone altogether. If it’s a financial issue, which most are, then the employer may have realized their financial outlook wasn’t as bright as originally thought. Whatever the case, try to speak to the decision maker so you can get a clearer sense of where you stand.

While you’re doing that, though, don’t hold your breath for good news. You have bills to pay and a career to move forward, so it’s important to re-start your job search. Also, the more time that passes after an offer is pulled, the less likely that you’ll get hired – even if it was your dream job.

Do you need more job search help? Call the experts at 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.


How to Stand Out at Work – and Get Promoted

June 9th, 2015

You have a job you love, so you don’t need to focus on your career, right? Wrong. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows if you want to progress and move forward at work, there are steps you need to take to ensure the higher ups notice you. What are they? Here’s a look:

Make sure you’re seen.

According to studies, workers who telecommute may end up getting lower performance evaluations, lower raises and fewer promotions when compared with colleagues in the office – even when they work just as hard and just as long. So if you telecommute, it’s still important to show your face every so often. If it’s not possible to actually go to your work location, then consider using Skype or another video teleconferencing tool during meetings in order to raise your visibility.

Give people your full attention.

When your boss or a colleague walks into your office, stop texting or emailing. People deserve your full attention and if you don’t give it regularly, then you’re making a bad impression. If you feel like you’re interrupted too often to get work done, then close your door for an hour or two each day.

Develop relationships with others.

If you’re an introvert, this one can be a challenge. But it’s important for you to strive to develop relationships with those you work with. Ask people what they did over the weekend. Inquire about a co-worker’s family. Tell a colleague a funny story from the latest conference you went to. Whatever you do, aim to share with your colleagues; you’ll make yourself more memorable and relatable as a result.

Be a problem solver.

If a colleague is having an issue – and you know you could help him or her – volunteer to do it. Even if it’s outside the realm of your role at the office, your co-worker will be appreciative and likely to want to return the favor in the future.

Voice your opinion.

Nobody likes a know-it-all or someone who comes across as highly opinionated. But do make your voice heard through direct and insightful comments in meetings and during brainstorming sessions.

Give credit where it’s due.

If you see your boss or a colleague going the extra mile, recognize them for it. While you don’t want to kiss up or come across as insincere, giving credit where it’s due is always appreciated and remembered.

Are you ready to stand out in a new job? 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.


How Long Should My Resume Be?

May 26th, 2015

As one of the leading Harrisonburg employment agencies, Adams & Garth can tell you that this is one of the most commonly asked questions from job seekers. For a long time, there was a rule that resumes shouldn’t exceed a page. So candidates spent hours trying to manipulate and cram information on their resume to fit it all on one page.

But times have changed.

While no hiring manager wants to read a five-page resume, if sending a two-page one enables you to better communicate and promote why you’re the best fit for the job, then don’t worry about breaking the “one-page” rule.

What if you have extensive experience in your field?

Still stick to two pages.

The strongest candidates know how present their backgrounds in a concise manner – and hiring managers appreciate their ability to distill important details. In addition, keep in mind, hiring managers don’t want a laundry list of responsibilities you had in a position you held 15 years ago. They want to know about what you’ve been doing now and in the past few years.

Also, if your resume is three or four pages long, hiring managers will be less likely to see the important details you want them to. Remember, they will only give your resume a cursory glance before deciding whether or not to add you to the “maybe” pile. You want to ensure the strongest selling parts are immediately visible.

If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum – and don’t have a lot of experience – try and stick with a one-page resume. If you’re one year out of school, having a two page – or longer – resume doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. In fact, you may come across as a bit pretentious if you’re inexperienced with a long resume. So avoid it if you can.

Whatever you do, don’t try to reduce the font size or margins in order to squeeze information onto your resume. While these tricks can get your resume down to one or two pages, they can also make the text almost impossible to read. Your text size should be a minimum of 10.5 points and margins should be no smaller than 0.5 inch.

Do you need more help with your resume? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Harrisonburg employment agencies, we can help you with your job search from start to finish, from crafting a strong resume to matching you with a job opportunity that’s a great fit for you.

Contact Adams & Garth today to get started.


How to Research Potential Employers – Before You Say “Yes” to an Offer

May 12th, 2015

When you’re looking for a new job, you want to know what it’s like to work at a company before you accept an offer. You’ll find out some details about a potential employer during the interview process. But what can you do to dig deeper, uncover any red flags, and find the company that’s truly a great fit for you? Here’s a look:

Ask good questions.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows you should not rely on the interviewer to tell you everything you need to know to make the right decision. Ask questions that will help you assess whether or not the company is the kind you want to work for. Some examples include:

  • Why did the last person in this position leave?
  • What kind of personality fits best within the company?
  • What do you enjoy most about working here? Least?
  • How has the company changed since you started?
  • What’s one thing you wish you knew before you began working here?

Gain a different perspective.

As you talk with the interviewer, ask him or her if it would be possible to talk with prospective team members. It makes sense to meet with at least one co-worker without the interviewer in the room. If your request is denied, take note. Unhappy employees don’t make good brand advocates.

Search online.

Look to websites like to find reviews and insider information about the company and its working environment. Although, keep in mind: reviews that are overly positive or negative may be phony; those that fall somewhere in the middle will likely offer the most accurate picture.

Reach out to your network.

Use sites like LinkedIn to find out if you know any current or past employees. If you don’t, reach out to your network and ask whether anyone has worked, or knows anyone who has worked, at the company. They’ll be able to give you the inside scoop on what it’s really like to work there.

Pay attention to how you’re treated.

Before you accept an offer, think about how you were treated during the interview process. Was the interviewer on time? Or did he or she show up late? Did they give you their full attention in the interview? Or keep checking their cell phone? Do the employees you’ve seen seem happy and engaged, or miserable and stressed? Was the interview process well organized, or disorderly? Did the interviewer keep you in the loop throughout the process? Or did they leave you hanging?

Don’t ignore warning signs just because you want a job. If you say “yes” to an opportunity when your guts says “no,” you’ll likely end up unhappy and frustrated. Instead, wait until the right employer comes along.

Do you need help finding your next job? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we partner with top employers throughout the region to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Search our Central Virginia jobs now or contact us today.

What Not to Include on Your Resume

April 28th, 2015

You know you need to include your past job titles, responsibilities and career accomplishments on your resume. But what are some details you should definitely skip? Here’s a look:

Salary information

As one of Charlottesville’s leading employment agencies, Adams & Garth can tell you should never mention salary information on your resume. When a job ad asks you to include salary expectations, then offer a range. Otherwise, you won’t give yourself any wiggle room when it comes time to negotiate salary. This is especially true if you’ve been working for pay that is lower than marketplace.

The reason you left your job

If a hiring manager asks you why you left or are leaving your job, then you certainly need to respond. However, this information is not appropriate for your resume. Your resume is like a marketing brochure about you; it should highlight your experience, accomplishments and any unique skills or abilities you bring to the table.

The names of your managers

If a hiring manager asks for references, then you can certainly give them a list of your past managers and their contact information. However, don’t include them on your resume. The hiring manager might know them personally and reach out to them about you. This could be a problem if you didn’t intend for a particular manager to serve as a reference. Plus it’s an unnecessary item that takes up space.

Your past employers’ addresses

If hiring managers truly need to know the address of a past employer, then can look it up online. Just like including the names of past managers, listing addresses on your resume simply wastes space.

Reference information

Unless a job ad specifically asks that you include a list of references on your resume, don’t do it. Also, don’t include a line about “references being available upon request.” Employers know they can ask you for references. So it’s a waste of valuable real estate on a resume.

When it comes to finding the right job, first impressions count. You can ensure your resume gives a good first impression by knowing not only what to include, but what not to.

Do you need more help with your job search? If you do, call the 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.

5 Ways to Ace Your Next Phone Interview

April 14th, 2015

As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville , Adams & Garth knows that these days, more and more companies conduct phone interviews before they invite you into the office for a face-to-face one. These screens can range anywhere from a 10-minute chat just to gauge your interest and qualifications, to hour-long, in depth interviews.

So how do you know which type you’re going to have – and how can you prepare for it? Here are 5 ways:

#1. Ask how long the phone interview will take.

When scheduling the interview, whether it’s with an actual hiring manager or their assistant, inquire about how much time you should schedule in for it. This way, you can make sure you don’t schedule any other events or activities too close to the phone interview.

In addition, you’ll have a good sense of just how in-depth the interviewer plans to get. A 10-minute phone screen is going to be far different from a 60-minute interview. With the latter, you’ll need to prepare just as you would for an in-person interview.

#2. Set the scene.

Make sure you schedule the phone interview during a time when the kids aren’t home and in an area that will be completely quiet (i.e. no barking dogs if the doorbell rings). Otherwise, you won’t be able to focus. And while background noise isn’t a deal-breaker, it can come across as unprofessional, hindering your chances of getting the job.

#3. Know the role.

Prepare for the phone interview ahead of time by reviewing the job description and making sure you have a solid understanding of the role. Also, think about what skills and experiences you have that are most relevant for the opportunity. You may not have a chance to highlight these, but if you are asked about them, then you’ll be prepared.

#4. Keep any notes in front of you.

One of the advantages of a phone interview is that you can keep your resume and notes right in front of you. For instance, you can write down an important skill – and the value it would offer to the potential employer – and keep those details in front of you. That way, you won’t forget points you want to get across.

In addition, you can also anticipate the kinds of questions you’ll be asked and write out answers ahead of time. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel.

#5. Be enthusiastic.

Remember, on a phone interview, a hiring manager can’t see you; he or she can only hear you. That’s why your tone of voice matters. Keep it upbeat and enthusiastic. Also, don’t speak so quickly that you’re hard to understand over the phone.

Need more help finding your next job? 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.