I’ve spent days working on my resume after reading advice books and scouring the Web for tips. Yet, after sending hundreds of resumes in response to job postings, I haven’t had one nibble. What am I doing wrong?
That! Spending all of your time on your resume and online, thinking the resume is going to do the work for you. It’s a common mistake. Job seekers put all their efforts into the resume, then click “send” and wait — like sending a message in a bottle, tossing it into the ocean and hoping for a response. Most hiring occurs “offline” for roles that never get posted on the job boards. That’s why networking is so important. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply to jobs online, but allocate your time wisely and try to find a way to network with the company.
I’ve been working for a startup for the last five months, for 20 hours a week. Things are not what I expected. Sales are minimal and internal meetings take up too much time. I’ve been told that I have four weeks to turn in some sales numbers or be let go. I told them that it’s a struggle working part-time, and caught up in meetings, and was told to not focus on the hours. Basically, they expect me to work unpaid hours to achieve their goals. They made me sign a non-compete, but since they haven’t provided realistic expectations, can they hold me to it?
Non-compete agreements are often misunderstood and many of them are unenforceable. Some states have passed legislation that prohibits non-competes altogether. In New York, non-compete agreements are lawful, but courts tend to disfavor them and often won’t enforce them unless the company can demonstrate it’s necessary to protect legitimate business interests, such as trade secrets or special skills acquired during employment. Generally, New York law attempts to strike a balance to protect an employer’s business interests and an employee’s ability to earn a living. So yes, you can fight it. The strength of your case depends on the details as they relate to those considerations. You’ll need the advice of counsel if they hold you to the agreement.
Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work. E-mail your questions to GoToGreg@NYPost.com. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com.