Archive for 2014

Hired: Danielle Brown

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Another LEAD candidate has landed! Danielle came through the LEAD program several months ago and quickly landed by Oncor Electric Delivery as a Senior Benefits Analyst. Read what she contributes to her landing success in addition to her strong skill set and drive to succeed.


Senior Analyst, Benefits
Oncor Electric Delivery

“North Texas LEAD has provided me the advantage of networking with fellow professionals and seek employment opportunities that I would never have access to without the organization. Because of their efforts in resume writing and interviewing skills, I was able to set myself apart from the rest of the competition and prove to employers that I was the best candidate. I greatly appreciate their commitment to keeping me informed of positions that were in my field and always giving valuable feedback when requested. Thanks to North Texas LEAD, I have now found employment with a wonderful company that will allow me the chance to grow further within my career. Joining the LEAD organization will definitely change your life as it has changed mine!”

You can make a difference to candidates in career transition like Danielle by donating to North Texas Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity (LEAD) in honor of #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is a movement dedicated to giving back. This global initiative asks you to give what you saved on the deals from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to your favorite charity. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, and communities around the world will come together for one common purpose: to give and celebrate generosity. Please consider a gift to North Texas LEAD 501(c)3 by visiting

You can learn more about Giving Tuesday at

Why LEAD Matters: Robert Horton #givingtuesday

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Giving Tuesday

Robert’s story is special to us at North Texas LEAD. He is one of the many highly qualified and talented people we get to work with on a daily basis. When he found himself in job transition, he was referred to North Texas LEAD and our staff quickly grew to know Robert as someone who could greatly impact one of our partner employers.

After becoming an endorsed candidate, he found a posted opportunity with the airport that was his “dream job.” After a year long selection process, he has made that dream come true. He believes LEAD is what made led him to his current role.

Robert Horton


VP, Environmental Affairs

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

“Without a doubt, my decision to apply to North Texas LEAD was the best decision of my professional career.  Although I had the work experience and education documented in a nice looking resume, it was not sufficient to advance to the next level.  The most beneficial lessons learned came from studying the STAR interviewing technique, listening to advice on presenting myself in an authentic manner, and learning how to develop an effective networking technique. With the prayer, guidance and support from Gyna, Stephanie, Stephen, and the rest of their support network, I was able to successfully navigate a very rigorous interview process in order to land my dream job at DFW Airport.”

You can make a difference to our candidates in career transition by donating to North Texas Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity (LEAD) in honor of #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is a movement dedicated to giving back. This global initiative asks you to give what you saved on the deals from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to your favorite charity. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, and communities around the world will come together for one common purpose: to give and celebrate generosity. Please consider a gift to North Texas LEAD 501(c)3 by visiting

Learn more about Giving Tuesday by visiting

Getting Past the Computer: How to Optimize Your Resume for Online Recruitment Software

Friday, November 7th, 2014

By Randy Hansen

At this point in your career, a resume is almost an afterthought. While you have undoubtedly spent much time and effort on the creation and perfection of your document, when was the last time you really looked at it and optimized it in this time of computerized recruitment? In order to maximize your chances for job seeking success, it’s important to be clear on not only who the employer is seeking, but how they find the ideal employee and what you can do to leverage their techniques to your advantage.

The creation of an effective resume in these technological times requires a different perspective. There are primarily two audiences to serve when applying online for an opening: one is human and the other is computerized. Your efforts in resume construction should be focused on attracting both, but this hybrid approach requires insight into the technological applications of recruitment processes plus some individualized effort on the applicant’s part to customize the resume for each specific opening.

For most applicants applying online, the first speed bump on the road to a new position is the software application a company’s HR department uses to initially parse out the desirable resumes. This has become necessary due to the ease of applying online and recruiters are flooded with countless resumes unsuited for the position. Having a staffer review each of the possibly hundreds of submissions is an inefficient and wasteful exercise. For these departments, recruitment software programs are essential.

As the resumes are electronically submitted for a specific position, the software seeks out relevant words, terms, job titles, years of experience and other criteria the employer determines is crucial for that position. Therefore, you should analyze the employer’s job description to ensure the company’s words and phrases you encounter are also in the resume you’ll be submitting for the position. You’ll have to modify your resume by inserting or creating entries to align with their corporate expressions. If needed, print out the description and highlight each word to make sure nothing is missed.

Remember though, it’s important to stress that the insertion of the specialized verbiage should make sense within the context of your resume as well as being truthful and accurate. As you finish, if there are still unique words or terms that apply to your qualifications but can’t be easily utilized within the resume, consider adding a supplemental topic heading at the bottom of your resume entitled “Keywords”. Underneath, include all of the distinctive phrases and corporate lingo that went unused in the main body of resume. This way, the computer will still “see” these words and match them to the employer’s established criteria, increasing your chances of your resume getting in front of a pair of human eyes who will likely pay scant attention to this last resume entry.

Once your resume has passed muster with the software program, it’s forwarded to an HR staffer tasked with reviewing these resumes for submittal to the hiring manager. This is the time to impress a real person.  Make sure that every entry of your resume details not just what you did for that employer, but your achievements and progression.

Each resume should be modified off of a permanent template (easily created in any word processing program) and saved with a specific name, i.e. “Acme Corp Sales Mgr resume 11 19 14” so when the time comes for the job interview, you can access and print the exact resume you submitted for the opening, including all of the customization applied to get past the computer and HR department. Lastly, remember to study the resume before the interview to remind you of any specific words or terms that might come in handy to impress the hiring manager.

Then, the rest is up to you. Good luck!


About the Author:

Randy Hansen is a volunteer blogger for North Texas LEAD and is a veteran journalist and corporate communicator with knowledge and experience in media relations, social media, video/photography and content creation. He lives in the Mid-Cities area.

Group Photo UNT

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

UNT Health Science Center hosted a successful summer Candidate Networking Reception yielding numerous candidate interviews and hires. LEAD receptions bring job seekers together with hiring managers, executives, and employer representatives who are championing diversity. (Listed from left to right: Gyna Bivens, President and Executive Director- North Texas LEAD, Richard Casarez, VP of Fort Worth Customer Operations – Oncor Electric Delivery,  Jennifer Trevino, VP of Administration & Chief of Staff – UNT Health Science Center,  Steven Sosland, Chief People Officer – UNT Health Science Center,  Carlos De La Torre, North Texas LEAD Advisory Council,  and Dr. Michael R. Williams, President – UNT Health Science Center)

Randy & Ray

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Cash America was a popular employer of choice for LEAD candidates at the reception hosted by the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Randy Blubaugh, Cash America VP of Total Rewards and HR Director Ray Burton discussed opportunities with LEAD Candidates.

Employability: Focus on Veterans

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

On July 19th, LEAD’s Distinguished Lecture Series returned for Employability: Focus on Veterans. The event included a keynote speech by T.D. Smyers, CEO of American Red Cross North Texas Region and former Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. Following the keynote speech, workshops were held to assist veterans transitioning from the military into the corporate professional environment. (Steven Sosland, Chief People Officer – UNT Health Science Center, Gyna Bivens, President & Executive Director – North Texas LEAD, T.D. Smyers, CEO – American Red Cross North Texas Region, Gwen Morrison, LEAD Candidate, Caleb Roberson, Military Recruiting Manager – BNSF Railway)

Employability: Focus on Veterans – 2

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

T.D. Smyers delivered the keynote address to a group of veterans at LEAD’s July 19 Employability event. Smyers served as the eighth Commanding Officer for the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. His service and leadership in that role led to his receipt of the Legion of Merit award. Today, Smyers serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the North Texas Region of the American Red Cross.