Adams & Garth Blog

4 Tips for Leveraging the Power of Your Alumni Network

January 22nd, 2013

Searching for a new job? Then you probably know that networking is an important part of the process.

But are your fellow alumni included in your networking efforts?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows that if they’re not, then you could be missing out on a big opportunity. Leveraging the power of your alumni network is a great way to build mutually beneficial relationships, expand your network, and hopefully shorten your job search.

That said, there are some steps you can take to maximize your efforts. Here’s a look at 4.

Tip #1: Target the right alumni.

Many times, job candidates look for HR personnel in their search for fellow alumni. But in most instances, HR is simply the gatekeeper, not necessarily the decision maker when it comes to hiring for a particular company. So, for example, if you’re a graphic designer, then look for fellow alumni who are creative directors at organizations, rather than HR personnel. Those are the people in the positions that will be making decisions about hiring.

Tip #2: Get the inside scoop. 

A fellow alumni may not be able to get you a job or even an interview, but what they can give you is still valuable – that is, information. So if you have an upcoming interview at a company where a connection works, reach out to him or her and ask for the inside scoop on what it’s like to work for the company and what kinds of skills, attitudes, and backgrounds the company values most.

Tip #3: Ask for a recommendation. 

Weeding through hundreds of resumes and trying to determine which candidates would fit best is a difficult job for HR. What makes it easier is when your fellow alum Mike from accounting walks into HR, hands over a copy of your resume to the HR director, and personally recommends you as someone they trust.

Tip #4: Take advantage of a mentoring network. 

Many alumni associations have mentoring networks that connect alumni with alumni mentors to discuss and gain insight into particular issues. Whether you want to be a mentor or mentee, this arrangement typically creates a highly productive and mutually beneficial relationship. It can also open the other person’s professional network up to, expanding yours exponentially as a result.

Trying to Network Your Way Into a New Job? 

Adams & Garth can help. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, we work with some of the top employers throughout Central Virginia and we can connect with opportunities that are oftentimes not advertised.

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

Help! My Boss is Passive Aggressive & Killing My Motivation

July 17th, 2012

“How did he get to be a manager?!”

This is the thought that passes through your mind at least once a day after dealing with your passive aggressive boss. He doesn’t seem to work well with anyone; has a knack for putting employees down in subtle, yet nasty ways; and certainly doesn’t command respect. The problem, of course, is that he’s still your boss…and can have a big impact on your job and your career.

As one of the top Lynchburg employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows that having a passive aggressive boss can kill your motivation and your effectiveness at work. So what are the signs that your boss is, in fact, passive aggressive – and how can you deal?

The Signs

Some examples of passive aggressive behavior include:

  • Your boss regularly calls you into hour-long meetings two minutes before you’re supposed to leave.
  • You send emails to your boss that always get ignored; then your boss yells at you for being uncommunicative.
  • Your boss is always expressing envy or resentment towards others he perceives as more fortunate.
  • The team has distinct divisions – the haves (i.e. the favorites) and the have-nots.
  • Your boss complains about the performance of certain employees…but never to the employee in question, always to others.
  • Your boss restricts access to the information or resources you need to do your job.
  • You have no idea where you stand with your boss and often wonder if you’ll have a job the next day.

How to Deal

  • Before pointing the finger of blame, make sure you’re not doing something to trigger certain behaviors by your boss. To do so, ask a co-worker you trust about the boss, your own behavior, and what his or her thoughts are.
  • Regardless of how unprofessional your boss gets, stay above the fray. Always be respectful and if you can’t, then remove yourself from the situation until you’ve cooled down. That said, don’t let your boss walk all over you. You need to defend yourself if things go too far.
  • Don’t take the behavior personally. Passive aggressiveness is likely a part of your boss’s nature; not something you’re causing. So really, you should have pity on your boss, rather than taking it personally.
  • Force your boss to set expectations. If you feel like you never know where you stand or what expectations you need to meet, have a meeting with your boss to get clarifications. Have specific questions ready to go and then send a follow-up email to reiterate what was discussed (so it’s in writing).
  • Get another job. If you’ve done all you can and still can’t stay productive and motivated due to your passive aggressive boss, then it may be time to starting searching for new jobs in Lynchburg.

Need Help Finding a New Job?

Adams & Garth is a great place to start! As one of the top Lynchburg employment agencies, we partner with leading employers throughout Lynchburg – and Central Virginia – to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact Adams & Garth today if you’d like expert help in your job search.

What Hiring Managers Want You to Know About the Interview Process

December 6th, 2011

You’d be surprised at some of the things people say during the interview process.

From talking about personal problems to detailing the benefits they expect to receive in the new position, these unfortunate job candidates immediately raise red flags for hiring managers and get crossed off the list for consideration.

But besides these obvious flaws in judgment, there are more subtle mistakes many job candidates make that can impact their ability to secure the job offer. In fact, as one of the top employment agencies in Lynchburg, we see them all the time.

To help ensure you’re not making them, here is a look at what hiring managers want you to know about the interview process:

Job interviews aren’t easy to get these days. So you should treat each one seriously by properly preparing. This includes researching the company and the position, developing a list of questions to ask, and also being able to demonstrate the value you can bring to the table.

Don’t interrogate the hiring manager. While you should ask intelligent questions, don’t grill the hiring manager about every detail – from health insurance to opportunities for advancement – at your first interview. These kinds of questions are better left for later in the process, when you’re closer to the actual job offer.

Every point of contact is part of the interview process – from small talk with the receptionist to the quick phone call from an HR assistant to schedule an interview. You have to be on your game every time you speak with a company representative, regardless of whether they’re the actual decision maker or not.

Hiring managers don’t just want to see the right technical skill set in a candidate. Attitude and interpersonal skills are just as important, or even more important. Skills can be taught, but attitude is innate. And if a new hire can perform the job, but doesn’t get along with anyone, major problems will ensue. So many times, hiring managers will ask questions that help them learn more about your attitude, motivation, enthusiasm, and ability to work with others.

Be positive about your background. Even if the hiring manager asks you about your biggest weakness or failure, find a way to spin that into a positive, showing that you learned from your mistakes. Also, never speak badly about a past boss, employer, or co-worker.

If you’d like more help with your job search process, give Adams & Garth a call. As one of the top employment agencies in Lynchburg, we partner with leading employers throughout Lynchburg and Central Virginia to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more!

Career Tips: How to Improve Job Satisfaction

July 27th, 2010

When you first started your Lynchburg job, you were inspired and motivated. But now, a few years later, you’re just not as happy as you once were. Workdays seemed to drag on, while weekends fly by. Sound familiar? If the answer is “yes,” there are some steps you can take to improve job satisfaction:

Step #1: Figure out what the problem is.

Why aren’t you happy at work? What’s eating you? Are you having a problem with a co-worker or your boss? Does the work you’re doing not interest you anymore? Do you think you should be paid more? Once you figure out specifically what’s bothering you, you’ll have a better idea about how to solve the problem.

Step #2: Put yourself out there.

If there’s an easy fix for what’s bothering you, then you need to put yourself out there and ask for it. Whether it’s a raise, or more challenging projects, your boss isn’t a mind reader and won’t know what you want unless you ask for it.

Step #3: Be positive.

While being positive won’t change your situation overnight, it can certainly go a long way in developing a more optimistic perspective. Being negative, on the other hand, will simply drain your energy, stress you out, and make you feel less productive. So think of the glass as half full.

Step #4: Re-balance your life.

It’s no wonder you’re miserable if all you’re doing is working. When you don’t have any down time, your stress level increases and as a result, you’re unhappier. So, take a look at your life overall and determine which areas are being neglected. Family? Exercise? Hobbies? Next create a list of priorities that you want to make time for – and take action to create a lifestyle that’s more balanced.

Tip #5: Re-assess your career goals.

If it’s been a while since you’ve last thought about your career goals, now may be the time. Things have likely changed in your life, and your goals may have changed with them. To assess your career goals, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you happy in your field?
  • If not, what would you rather be doing?
  • What do you want to achieve in your career in the next 5, 10, 20 years?

Your answers should give you a good idea of what you want out of your career. And if you want to make a big change, there’s no time like the present.

Hopefully, the steps above will help you find more satisfaction at work. However, if your goals or priorities have changed and your job is no longer a fit for you, we can help. As a leading Lynchburg employment agency, we can give you access to a variety of job opportunities in Lynchburg and throughout Central Virginia. To learn more, visit our website or contact us today.