Archive for 2010


Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

I am amazed at what is going on in the world of employment. It is not unusual for November to signal the start of the END of the hiring year. That is not the case today. I was thrilled to see so many openings many of our partners have. There is truly something available for EVERYONE in our corner of the world.

What concerns me is the possibility that LEAD candidates may be so focused on Thanksgiving and Christmas they end up missing the true gift: the opportunity to land that ideal job. This is really a short posting, but I think my point is quite clear to all LEAD candidates: Update your profiles with our partner companies and look (with optimism) at the job opportunities that exist as we enter the holiday season.

Always thinking of you all,
Gyna M. Bivens

The Connection

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

By Gyna M. Bivens, President & Executive Director

“I have a friend in Human Resources.” “I know the CEO (we worked on a project together).” “My former co-worker is on the team who will select the person to be hired.”

These are just a few of the statements I hear from professional job-seekers who earnestly believe they have the inside skinny on a position they have targeted. Slowly, but surely I think the word is getting around: THINGS HAVE REALLY CHANGED FOR TODAY’S JOB-SEEKER. Having an ‘inside connection’ is wonderful – – – but having a power punching resume that reflects your excellent preparedness and solid experience gives you the true edge that will eventually pay off.

No matter how many inside connections a job-seeker may have, it is important to have a realistic view of the impact your contact can have on your job search. Simply stated: NEVER OVER ESTIMATE – – – OR UNDER ESTIMATE the impact of your inside connection. Whether these inside connections are blood-related, or part of your network; your resume, work history and the ability to communicate those with strength is what will help you stay in the door after your connector has gotten you IN THE DOOR. (That’s assuming your inside connection can indeed get you in the door.)

A huge sigh of relief has been heard throughout the LEAD resume database as job postings are becoming more prevalent and relevant. I know you are seeing the jobs coming through.

We were delighted that our newest partner, JPS Health Network made its first hire in checkmate fashion when they hired Dresdene Flynn-White as their Vice President of Human Resources. Shortly before that good news, Bruce Carter was hired as the Assistant Vice President of Talent Management for DFW International Airport. The Airport also hired Michael Carr as a Quality Engineer. The most recent hire, Anthony McKinney is at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (F-35/Forward). A number of non-partner companies hired LEAD candidates like Earl Moorer as Plant Manager with Georgia Pacific. Marilyn Thomas ended up on the grounds of a partner company, but was selected as a Cost/Price Contract Analyst for the Defense Contract Management Agency. There are more placements that have occurred.

I share these success stories to let you know the jobs are definitely coming but each of these successful LEAD Alumni will tell you their resumes made the compelling argument that led to them being considered, interviewed and eventually hired. Why (you ask) don’t we have these success stories on the website? I’m glad you asked. Keep checking the “Success Stories” tab on our website. We will update it with this good news and more. Thank you so much for that suggestion.

Seriously, don’t over/underestimate the impact your inside connections have. Value them – — but place greater value on what your resume says about you. It must make the compelling argument that you must be hired. It must leave company officials with a sense of loss if they miss the opportunity to hire. It must get you in the door, interviewed and eventually hired.

Wishing you the very best,
Gyna B.


Monday, June 21st, 2010

By: Gyna M. Bivens

The title is not the most catchy, but I hope it got your attention and has you wondering:  What is the connection between real estate & exercise with job-searching?   I’m glad you asked.  It warms my heart to see more job openings being posted these days.  That is a good thing – – – but it can be bad for the job-seeker if proper preparedness is not exercised to help you get in the door.

I have come to think of job searching quite differently these days.   Let’s talk in terms of real estate.  If you are considering purchasing property, chances are you will be quite pleased with the outcome- – – if we are in a buyer’s market.  The seller of the property won’t be so pleased.  Without a doubt, the seller will have to be flexible and prepared to make concessions IF he/she wants to unload the property.    The same scenario holds true for those who are engaged in real estate transactions while the economy favors the seller.  In that case, the buyer is the one who has to practice flexibility.

If you think of job searching in real estate terminology, it should be clear to everyone:   we definitely remain in an employer’s market.  As a prospective employee, your concessions may come in the form of being flexible.  Very few job seekers will be able to dictate their salaries and benefits packages.   I am not implying the job seeker won’t have room to negotiate, but chances are job seekers will be compelled to practice flexibility.  When 450 other highly skilled candidates are applying for the job you seek, flexibility and establishing relationships by networking could give you the edge.

I have been with North Texas LEAD for nearly four years and find myself going to as many functions as I did during my TXU/Oncor days.  Besides attending city council meetings, I attended a significant number of banquets and luncheons which resulted in a dress change size.  I had to take corrective action and started by working out.  My first full day of exercise resulted in rubber knees and pain in my quadriceps that lasted for three days!  Needless to say, I was more than concerned since sitting and standing required careful thought and planning on my part.   Getting up hurt.  Sitting down hurt.  I was in pain.  The truth is I had not been forthcoming when I told the trainer I had indeed warmed up.  That has never happened again and I embrace the warm-up part of my exercise since I now see it as an integral part of my actual work-out.

Job-searching is the same way.  Candidates who are taking every opportunity to sharpen their skills in resume writing and interviewing will always do better than the candidate who whips out the ‘one size fits all’ resume for every position they seek.   There should be constant tweaking of the resume since every job will have emphasis on certain skills.  If being licensed to practice insurance and financial planning is in the last paragraph of your three-page resume, chances are Omni American Bank or Prudential won’t beat the door down to get to you.  A resume should speak your strengths.  You don’t have to be psychic to know what strengths need to be emphasized in your resume.  They are in the job description.

Take on the savvy of the home seller who finds himself/herself in a buyer’s market.  That person realizes flexibility will be the key to selling their home.   I fully understand my work-out will be ineffective if I don’t prepare by warming up and focusing on the (many) trouble areas I want to see changed.  My desire for all candidates is to develop a plan.   Your strategy is clearly outlined in your Candidate Action steps.  Follow the steps found in the Candidate Action document and know:  The Job Will Come.  Whether you land with a job with a LEAD partner or non-partner, the JOB will come.

First TCU hosted LEAD Candidate Networking Reception

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Brian Guiterrez, welcomes LEAD candidates to the campus.

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Porter & DeVault Discuss Road to Success

Friday, June 11th, 2010

BNSF Hosts First LEAD Reception of 2010

Monday, April 19th, 2010