Adams & Garth Blog

Sloppy Mistakes That Are Killing Your Job Search

February 24th, 2015

As one of Central Virginia’s leading employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows you can have the most experience and the strongest skill set. But if you’re making sloppy mistakes on your resume and in your cover letter, then you’re not going to get an interview, let alone the job offer.

What are some of the biggest and most egregious errors candidates make when applying? Here’s a look at 4:

Mistake #1: Spelling and grammar mistakes.

One minor typo won’t hinder your chances of getting an interview offer, especially if you have a strong background. However, if your resume and cover letter are sprinkled with mistakes in spelling and grammar, then it’s going to be a red flag for a hiring manager. Every job requires some degree of communication, often times in writing. If a hiring manager is concerned about your ability to do so in an articulate and professional way, then you’re not going to be considered for the job.

Mistake #2: Writing in a tone that’s too casual.

With texting and Facebook, people today – especially those in the younger demographics – are used to writing in a far more casual tone. While this might be ok in an online social setting, it’s not acceptable when submitting your cover letter and resume to a potential employer. You don’t need to adopt a completely formal, uptight tone. You can still be conversational. But you must follow the rules of grammar you learned in grade school. That means no “LMKs.”

Mistake #3: Addressing your resume to the wrong person.

Consider yourself lucky if there’s an actual name of a hiring manager in the job posting. When there is, you’ll have someone to contact and follow up with after you apply. However, they likely won’t want to hear from you if you put the wrong name (for instance, the last hiring manager you applied to) in your cover letter or in your email with your resume. Make sure you review everything before hitting that “send” button.

Mistake #4: Using the wrong company name.

This often happens when candidates do a quick cut and paste from the last job they applied to and forget to swap out the company name. But this signals to the hiring manager that 1) you didn’t take the time to tailor your cover letter for their job opening and 2) you lack attention to detail because you clearly didn’t proofread. Either way, it’s not the message you want to send to a hiring manager.

The mistakes above can be easily avoided by simply taking some additional time and effort to review your resume and cover letter before sending it to a potential employer. If you’re uncertain of its accuracy, then give it to a friend or family member to review ahead of time.

If you need more help with your resume, cover letter, or job search, turn to the experts at Adams & Garth. As one of Central Virginia’s leading employment agencies, we partner with top employers throughout the region to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more or search our Central Virginia jobs now.

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.

 

Mistakes That Will Land You in the Wrong Career

March 4th, 2014

Ever feel like you’re getting by in your career, but not thriving? You like what you do…sort of…but don’t truly love it?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we see people all the time who are in careers they either aren’t well suited for or they simply aren’t happy in. Engineers who should have been accountants. Administrative assistants who should be graphic designers, and the list goes on.

There are many reasons why people find themselves trapped in jobs and fields they want “out” from. If you’re one of them – and wondering where things went wrong – here are a few career mistakes that may have led you off course and how to rectify each:

Not following your instincts. 

Oftentimes, a job or career field can seem perfect on paper. The salary is great, the benefits look ideal, the work seems challenging. So rather than really thinking about whether it’s a good fit for you, you may have looked at all the practical aspects of the opportunity and ignored that nagging sensation that the opportunity just wasn’t the right one.

What to do about it: Your gut can offer you a pretty sophisticated warning system. Don’t ignore it! Even if the next job you’re offered sounds perfect, but it still feels wrong, politely decline and keep looking. You’ll thank yourself in the end.

Doing what other people want you to do.

Sometimes outside pressure – from parents, spouses, friends, and colleagues – can cause you to make decisions and accept positions that aren’t right for you. Or perhaps you earned a degree in a certain field and feel that you’re now committed to it. Bottom line? You’re not where you want to be.

What to do about it: Don’t continue to turn a deaf ear to that inner voice telling you something’s wrong. It’s ok to want other people’s approval. But is it really worth it at the expense of your own personal happiness?

It’s time to start listening to the one person who’s career satisfaction you are in charge of. So start thinking about what gifts and interests you have and how you can find a job that puts them to work.

Not changing course quickly. 

Most people out there have taken a job they wished they hadn’t or made missteps in their career track. However, the key to career success is recognizing a wrong move and rectifying it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you’ll stay miserably stuck in a career and job you don’t like.

What to do about it: Be honest with yourself. Admit your mistake and create a plan of action for moving forward. Why spend another moment in a job that makes you unhappy when there are plenty of opportunities out there that are better suited for you.

Need more help finding a job – or a new career – that you’ll love? 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.

 

Kicking Job Search Discouragement to the Curb

August 27th, 2013

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows looking for a new job can be an exhausting process. There are resumes and cover letters to write, networking events to attend, interviews to prep for, follow up to do with hiring managers, and more. After just a few short weeks of all this, you may be feeling downright tired and discouraged.

But if you take the right approach, you can keep your energy up and stay motivated. To help you, here are some tips to consider:

Keep the Right Frame of Mind

Unfortunately, a job search doesn’t take a few days, or even a few weeks. A search can take many months, which is completely normal.

So when you first embark on your hunt for a new opportunity, don’t expect to find something right away. Otherwise, you’ll set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Keep in mind that in order to find a new opportunity that’s a right fit for you, it’s going to take some time.

Set Small Goals

If you don’t get a new job within a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you may start feeling like a failure. That’s why it’s important to set small goals and create a sense of accomplishment.

For instance, rather than setting the goal of getting a job in a two-month time period, set the goal that you will send out five resumes and attend one networking event every week. When you have small goals and achieve them, you’ll feel like you’re working toward something and stay more motivated as a result.

Apply for the Right Jobs

Too many job candidates apply for any job they think they can get – and then get upset when they’re not receiving calls for interviews. But when you send out dozens of generic resumes to every opening, you’re not going to get great results.

Instead, only apply for those jobs you think will be a good fit for you. Then spend more time researching the companies and the positions, so that when you create your resume and cover letter, it’s far more targeted and effective.

Stay Positive

One of the quickest ways to sap your motivation is to surround yourself with negative information and people. This is especially true if you’re unemployed. During your job search, make an effort to stay positive. Read positive affirmations, surround yourself with positive people, and skip reading the news everyday.

Need More Job Search Help?

If you do, let Adams & Garth know. 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 Find Your Next Great Boss

June 25th, 2013

When you’re looking for a new opportunity, you’re not simply in search of a great job. You also want a great boss. After all, as one of the leading Central Virginia employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows the kind of manager you have can make a big impact on your career advancement. To help you land the job you want – and a boss that can help you thrive, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Identify the kind of manager you want.

For instance, you might be an independent spirit who likes to take initiative and solve problems on your own. So a boss who has a more hands-on style won’t be a good fit for you. On the other hand, if you need definite direction before embarking on a new project, then that type of boss could be the right match. It all depends on your personality and finding a boss under which you can flourish. So look at your past bosses and think about which ones you meshed with the best.

Figure out what’s important to you.

Sure, everyone wants a nice boss. But a big pay raise or challenging assignments might be more important than a boss who lavishes praise on you. So figure out what is most important to you and what you’re willing to put up with to get it.

Ask the right questions.

Don’t be like so many candidates who sit in interviews and simply answer questions. Accepting a new job is a huge deal and you want to ensure that the job – and the manager that comes with it – are the right fit for you.

So during the interview, ask the manager plenty of questions about their management style, what it’s like to be a part of their team and how they handle crisis. Doing so will give you a clearer sense of how they manage and what you can expect if you get hired.

Need Help Finding Your Next Great Boss?

Give Adams & Garth a call. As one of the leading Central Virginia employment agencies, we’ll get to know your background, skills and personality….we’ll then get to work matching you with opportunities and managers at some of the area’s top employers. Contact us today to learn more.

What to Do When Your Boss Plays Favorites

April 16th, 2013

You offer an idea at a meeting?
It gets shot down.

You stay late to finish up a project?
It goes unnoticed.

You ask for extra responsibility or new projects?
You’re denied.

Your co-worker, on the other hand, seems incapable of doing anything wrong and is always on the receiving end of glowing words of praise.

Sound familiar? If it does, you’re not alone. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows many workers out there have a boss who plays favorites. While it’s a bitter pill to swallow, there are some steps you can take to handle the situation with grace. Here’s a look:

  • Be professional. If your boss is really playing favorites, then they are the one with the issue, not you. So continue to be the polished professional you are and know that the fault doesn’t lie with you (unless it does…in other words, make sure you’re not doing things to earn negative attention, like showing up late).
  • Don’t target the favorite. You never know. The “chosen one” may be as uncomfortable with the situation as you are. They may be aware that they are treated differently, but don’t know what to do about it. So while it may be tempting to be uncivil or critical toward them, don’t be. Otherwise, you’ll be seen as singling out the boss’s buddy.
  • Talk to your boss. Are you doing a good job? Showing up on time? Getting your work done? Adding value to the team? Then talk to your boss. Come prepared with a list of accomplishments to promote and then simply ask, in light of all that, why you’re not getting more challenging assignments or more responsibility. Be ready to offer help, not make accusations about favoritism.
  • Get behind the reason for the favoritism. Knowing the reason might make it easier to swallow. For instance, perhaps the favored employee is an old college buddy. Or maybe he or she and the boss have a lot in common and have struck up a friendship.
  • Be patient; your time will come. If the favored employee is really undeserving, your boss will figure it out sooner or later, probably the hard way. So when that time comes, make sure you’re performing well so the boss feels comfortable looking to you to take on more.

Is Favoritism Undermining Your Career?

If it is and you’re ready to make the leap to a new opportunity, let us know. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth 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.

What to Do When You Know a Co-Worker is About to Be Fired

February 19th, 2013

Imagine this scenario:

You’re in a meeting with your boss, discussing an important project. During the course of the conversation, the name of a fellow co-worker comes up. Your boss cuts to the chase and informs you that said colleague will soon be fired.

You like and get along with this particular person and hate to see them blind-sided by such bad news. On the other hand, it’s really none of your business and you want to stay in the good graces of your boss.

What do you do?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows it’s certainly tempting to give your co-worker a heads up; but you may want to keep your lips zipped. Here’s why:

Reason #1: You don’t know all the details.

For instance, you might like the colleague in question very much. But that doesn’t mean they’re good at their job. And if they’ve repeatedly been delivering sub-par performance, then the firing is earned and inevitable.

Reason #2: You’ll upset protocol.

When it comes to firing, companies typically have set protocols in place to handle the process. For example, if the co-worker has access to confidential information, a human resources representative may be tasked with notifying the employee and then security may escort them off the property. But if you give your co-worker a heads up beforehand, then you’re giving them a chance to walk off the job with confidential information.

Reason #3: You could upset your boss.

If you notify a co-worker before your boss, you could be putting your job at risk. If your boss finds out, he or she may feel you can’t be trusted with private information and could cut you loose, as well. You may like your co-worker a whole lot, but are they worth losing your job over?

Reason #4: You might upset your co-worker further.

Your co-worker might appreciate the advanced notice; or they might be humiliated by the fact that you know about the situation and fearful you’re going to share it with others. So don’t assume that just because you have their best interest in mind, your co-worker will view it that way.

Not Getting Fired…But Kind of Wish You Were?

If that’s the case, let Adams & Garth know. 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.

When You’re Overqualified for a Job

January 15th, 2013

You have multiple degrees. Plenty of experience. And all the right knowledge and skills, plus some. You’re a shoo-in for an opening that requires far less, right?

Wrong. Not all hiring managers are going to be as excited about your impeccable credentials as you’d think. In fact, some might be downright wary.

Why?

Because, as one of Central Virginia’s leading employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows they view you as a potential liability. They know you could probably do the job. What they’re wondering is if you’d actually stay on the job for more than a couple months.

After all, hiring is an investment of time and money with the payoff being a productive worker who adds value to the company’s bottom line. And if you’re just applying for a position until a more attractive opportunity comes along, hiring managers know they’re better off not hiring you in the first place.

So if you’re getting shot down for positions you want – but that you’re overqualified for, what can you do? Here are some tips:

Tip #1: Sell Your Qualifications as an Advantage.

While a hiring manager might view you as a risk, sell your qualifications as a perk to hiring you. For instance, demonstrate with specifics the extra value you can deliver because you are overqualified. Also, highlight how you’ll be able to become productive faster – and without as much training, support, and resources as another candidate.

Tip #2: Reveal Your Intentions.

For example, if part of the reason you want a particular position is because you want to travel less and spend more time with your family, let the hiring manager know. You’d be surprised at how much more open a manager is to hiring an overqualified candidate if they know your true intentions.

Tip #3: Make a Commitment.

Don’t remove your credentials from your resume just to land a job. Instead, address the concerns of the hiring manager head on. One way to do that is by offering an 18-month commitment to staying on the job. That way, you’re putting their fears to rest that you’ll leave within weeks or months.

Tip #4: Focus on the Employer.

In your cover letter and resume, and during your interview, focus on what you can do for the employer. For instance, how can you help them save time, save money, or overcome a challenging problem? The more you can demonstrate your ability to deliver desired results, the stronger chance you have of landing the job.

Are You a Qualified Professional Looking for a New Job?

If you are, Adams & Garth can help. As one of Central Virginia’s leading employment agencies, we partner with top employers throughout the region to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more or search our Central Virginia jobs now.

6 Tips for Holiday Party Networking

December 18th, 2012

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows that holiday parties aren’t just a time for eating, drinking, and being merry. They can also provide job candidates with a great opportunity to network.

So how can you get the most out of the gatherings you attend this year? Here are 6 tips to help you:

Tip #1: Just Say “Yes.”

If you’re looking for jobs in Central Virginia, you can’t afford to be choosy with which events you decide to attend and which you don’t. You should accept invitations to all holiday events. You never know who you’ll meet and what kinds of opportunities will cross your path.

Tip #2: Know Who’s Going to Be There.

Do some research ahead of time so you know who’s attending and whom you should be connecting with. Set a goal of meeting at least three or four new people at an event. Your aim here should be quality over quantity with your connections. You’re trying to build relationships, not beef up your rolodex.

Tip #3: Follow Proper Etiquette.

True, holiday parties are good opportunities to network. That said, you shouldn’t be carrying around a stack of resumes, ready to hand one out to anyone you meet. If you do meet someone of interest, then simply offer them your business card and make plans to touch base in the near future.

Tip #4: Ask for Advice.

Rather than asking for jobs in Central Virginia, ask for advice. People generally love doling out advice and the ones you meet will be much more receptive to being a resource for you. So simply say something like “Do you have any advice for getting my foot in the door at XYZ company?” or “What kind of advice could you offer me on how to break into ABC career field?”

Tip #5: Take Notes on Those You Meet. 

Obviously, you don’t want to stand around at a holiday gathering with a notebook and pen in hand. But bring a paper and pen with you and leave it in your car. That way, as soon as you leave a party, you can jot down notes and important details about those you met while the information is all still fresh in your mind.

Tip #5: Follow Up. 

After the holiday party, send out a handwritten note, along with your resume, to your new contacts. Be sure to reference something specific from your conversation and to make plans for touching base; for instance, let them know you’ll call them for lunch or coffee.

Looking for More Help With Your Job Search?

Let us know. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we can connect you with the top employers – and the top jobs in Central Virginia. Contact us today to learn more!

Do’s and Don’ts When Your Boss Takes Credit for Your Work

October 23rd, 2012

Imagine this scenario:

You’ve got a great idea of how to improve a process at work. You research the costs, come up with answers to any objections and develop a detailed implementation plan.

You present it to your boss…but get shot down. Then weeks later, you find out the boss has pitched your idea to the higher-ups ­– who loved it – without giving you any credit.

If this sounds familiar, then you’re certainly not alone.

But, as one of the leading employment agencies in Harrisonburg and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows how you choose to handle this sticky situation can make a big impact on you and your boss’s relationship, so you need to tread carefully.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider:

Don’t Let Emotion Dictate Your Actions.

In other words, don’t angrily barge into your boss’s office and confront him or her. Instead, take a step back and try to look at the situation objectively.

First, does your boss have a habit of stealing ideas and taking credit? If not, then he or she may not have been consciously stealing your idea. They may simply have been under pressure to deliver an idea and yours was the first that came to mind.

Do Approach Your Boss.

Don’t accuse and point fingers; take a more diplomatic approach toward your boss and schedule a private meeting.

Say something along the lines of “I know you probably didn’t mean to or didn’t realize it, but that idea you pitched was one I presented to you a while back.”

This makes it sound like you’re giving them the benefit of the doubt, but also making it clear that it was your idea. Explain to your boss that by stealing the credit, he or she made you feel trivialized and de-flated.

Don’t Let It Happen Again.

It’s up to you to make sure it doesn’t happen again. To do so, make sure to document all the ideas and proposals you present to your boss.

If you offer a verbal presentation, then sum it up in an email that you send to your boss shortly after, providing a paper trail. Be sure to copy anyone else who attended the presentation on the email.

Don’t Just Take Credit.

Don’t be an attention hog. Make sure you go the extra mile to give credit where it’s due. If a colleague has a great idea, praise them for it. If a co-worker played an integral part in helping you complete a project, then let the other team members know.

Sick of Your Credit-Stealing Boss?

If you have a boss who regularly steals your ideas – and the credit – and you’re ready to move onto greener pastures, let us know. As one of the leading employment agencies in Harrisonburg and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can work with you to match you with outstanding job opportunities in your field.

Contact Adams & Garth today or search our Harrisonburg jobs now.