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North Texas LEAD Blog

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

7 Nov 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.

North Texas LEAD Rocks!!

4 Mar 2014

By: Gyna M. Bivens and Stephanie Valadez

Hiring is the word of the day!  “Hiring” was the word of the year for 2013 when more than 100 LEAD candidates found employment AFTER going through our unique process.  It was a fantastic year with the following LEAD partners finding the right candidates for impressive positions:

  • American Airlines, Manager of Strategic Talent Management
  • American Airlines, eCommerce Product Owner
  • American Red Cross, Testing Programs Director
  • Bell Helicopter Textron, Director, Strategy
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Director of Human Resources
  • City of Fort Worth, Senior Accountant
  • DART, Internal Auditor
  • DART, Director of Diversity and EEO
  • DART, AVP Marketing & Advertising
  • DFW Airport, Systems Performance Analyst
  • Fort Worth T, Grants and DBE Administrator
  • JPS Health Network, Clinical Research Assistant
  • JPS Health Network, Communications Specialist/Writer
  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Sr. Subcontract Administrator
  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Sr. HR Business Partner
  • MedSynergies, Practice Administrator
  • Oncor Electric Delivery, Director of Business Development, Modeling and Analytics
  • TCC, Assistant Director of Nursing
  • Texas Health Resources, Strategic OD Consultant
  • UNT System, HR Director
  • UNT System, Brand Advertising Manager


That’s an impressive roster.  The key to the success for these candidates was more than luck.  The LEAD process involves pre-screening and committed panel interviewers from the employers who support LEAD with annual partner fees.  At the time of this blog entry, a handful of LEAD candidates are in the finals for positions that will crown their resumes.   When asked what made them successful, candidates have several common responses:

-They were coachable.

-They were diligent in searching the jobs available from partners.

-They attended Candidate Networking Receptions.

-They followed the job search guidelines LEAD put in place.

-They didn’t rely on LEAD to conduct their job search and used several resources.

We are proud of 2013 and already excited about what 2014 has in store.  Visit the Success Stories tab to read about our recent landings.

Resumes Require Thought!

3 Aug 2012

I was surprised recently when a candidate applied for about eight positions with two employers in a matter of 5 minutes.   Even though we advise candidates to tailor each resume for each job application….we really need to stress that advice with greater impact.

When I see applications being logged with great rapidity, I will ask a candidate to “send me your resumes of submittal along with each job description” so we can determine if LEAD will send a heightened endorsement.  Even though a candidate has been endorsed by his/her panel of interviewers, HR Manager Stephanie Valadez will only send a personal endorsement when she sees the match between the job description and resume that was submitted.

This week, one candidate emailed me two resumes that were submitted for six job applications.    I asked for the other four, but they did not exist.    The highlight of the week came when another candidate who had applied for multiple positions with one resume wrote back:  “…after doing a resume modification specific to the job description I can clearly see why I have not even received a phone screening.  I am grateful for this assignment you asked me to complete.  This has been an excellent training for me.”

I will never forget the young man who (within 30 minutes) applied for 124 positions at Lockheed Martin a few years ago.    The jobs were so varied requiring skills ranging from legal to aeronautical engineering.  I called him and advised him there was no way he could do EVERYTHING at Lockheed.

Always remember, one resume does not fit all.  Unless the job descriptions are identical, applying for five jobs with one company will likely require five different resumes.

Job-seeking has changed in recent years.  We are all familiar with the housing industry’s description of buyers and sellers’ markets.   For us, we find ourselves in an employers’ market.  Improve your chances to get noticed by submitting resumes conveying impact.  A resume that conveys proven effectiveness will win out over one that conveys hope and dreams any day of the week.

New Partners & Holiday Job Search Tips

23 Nov 2011

What a wonderful season we have before us as we count down the days of 2011.   North Texas LEAD enters 2012 with significant impact.  Two new partners are joining our vision and I know LEAD candidates AND applicants will peruse their websites with vigor.   It is no surprise the executives who generously shared their time during LEAD’s Decade of Service luncheon also met with a group of Dallas CEOs to share the LEAD vision.  Two company leaders committed to joining on the spot.  Every candidate and applicant of North Texas LEAD would have been moved to see Jeff Fegan (DFW International CEO), Ralph Heath (President of Lockheed) and my landlord Matt Rose (Chairman and CEO BNSF Railway) tout the benefits of partnering with LEAD.  Office space has been provided to LEAD since the doors opened on August 11, 2001.

Trinity Industries’ CEO Tim Wallace attended the Dallas meeting and is bringing his Dallas-based company into the LEAD consortium.  We await word from the second Dallas company whose general manager committed to joining as well.  As the Dallas talks were winding down, other LEAD advocates were sharing the story with a major university.    University of Texas at Arlington President James Spaniolo embraced the LEAD vision and we now have our fourth institution of higher learning to join LEAD.   Both employers have impressive openings.  During the last reception of the year, candidates were delighted that Omni American Bank’s job openings are now on the company’s website!  Positive change is all around.

Prayers are always sent ‘up’ for all candidates, but there is much to be said for on-going preparation on the part of candidates.   The most important job-tip I’ve heard in recent months came from Lockheed Martin’s Robert Buck.   As most of you know, we conduct monthly briefings before selecting the applicants who will be considered for LEAD candidacy.   During the October briefing Robert carefully dissected the typical resume.  Anyone who knows Robert knows he is a very passionate guy.  People who don’t know him will appreciate his passion for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.   Robert drives from Allen, Texas every morning to the defense contractor located in west Fort Worth.  That’s passion.

Robert told job-seekers to pay close attention to the next job description that spoke to them.   Too often a resume can highlight the achievements a job-seeker is proud of—–but those achievements are often not in sync with what is stated as a requirement in the job description.   I actually saw faces light up when Robert told the group of nearly 40 to make sure their resume……well, you can email Stephanie and I for the REST OF THAT STORY.   It’s not intellectual property—-but it is worth a personal conversation.   If you are a job-seeker and you want to hear what we think is the best advice we’ve heard all year —-email us.

In case you missed the luncheon, please take time and click on the video tab on our website:   Whether you find your next job with a LEAD partner or non-partner, you will be pleased to know you are a part of a vision that is supported by corporate giants.    Because of the support of the partners of North Texas LEAD, people all across the nation are changing the way they view North Texas.   Every applicant who uploads a resume to the LEAD database contributes to that change.

Don’t let the holidays lull you into an aura of inactivity.   You must update your profiles with the LEAD companies.  You must structure every resume with critical consideration.  You must continue to improve your delivery….your presence….your outlook.  I truly believe the only way to conquer the future is to start with the now.

-Gyna Bivens


Applying for Jobs – Common Sense Tips You’re Overlooking

18 Nov 2011

With the year end quickly approaching, the opportunity to apply and be considered for jobs closing this year are becoming scarce. I enjoy reading career blogs and tips and most of the time there is a big ‘a-ha’ moment for me. This article was shared with me and it includes all of the common sense tips and practices that job seekers should be applying to their jobs… BUT THEY DON’T. Why is that?

Turn off your filters and read this carefully. This may open you to opportunities you would’ve never been considered for because you were a “blind squirrel”, “sloth”, or one of those infamous “me-me-me’s”.

David Weliver from Money Under 30How to Not Suck at Applying for Jobs

Best wishes,

Stephanie Valadez

Hired: Danielle Brown

2 Dec 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

1 Dec 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



Veterans Sign Up Now for Job Prep

16 Jul 2014

Veterans are still signing up to attend July 19th’s program designed exclusively for them. The event is free, but attendees must register no later than 12:00p.m. on September 18, 2014. Online registration is available at

Doors open at 9am at Tarrant County College’s Main Campus at 300 Trinity River Circle in downtown Fort Worth.

T.D. Smyers is the keynote speaker. Before becoming the CEO of the American Red Cross North Texas Region, T.D. served as the Commanding Officer of the Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth Naval Air Station.

Smyers will be joined by military recruiters and exhibitors from several companies and organizations who want to help veterans find employment.

Workshop topics range from Translating Your Skills from Military speak to Resume Preparation. For more information, contact

Distinguished Lecture Series

4 Oct 2013

I was so excited at the turnout of the launch of our Distinguished Lecture Series!    We wanted to explore the mindset(s) of the executives who actually guide the hiring process at their various companies.    They were frank, honest and sincere in sharing.   Since this was our first time at a lecture, we were told to cross fingers and hope for 75 at the most.   More than 130 people paid their dollars to hear these experts speak and left with the question:  When is the next one? The ‘next one’ will take place in 2014, but in the meantime, I hope readers of this blog will take advantage of the advice many of our HR leaders videotaped for us. Click Here to take a look at advice from LEAD HR Executives.

Experienced Professionals Sought

12 Dec 2012

DALLAS/FORT WORTH—December 12, 2012Resumes from college-degreed professionals are being accepted by North Texas Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity (LEAD) for its 2013 interview year.   “Executives and managers from our member companies interview a select group of applicants each month for consideration into our program,” said Gyna M. Bivens, President and Executive Director of LEAD.  Applicants apply by uploading their resume to LEAD’s website (

The non-profit organization’s membership is comprised of 27 employers who value LEAD as a resource for top diverse talent.  More than 500 professionals have found employment after going through LEAD’s unique process.  LEAD candidates hold titles such as:

  • CFO
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Engineer
  • Accountant
  • Technology Services Manager
  • Procurement Manager
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Manager of Supply Chain Management


Bivens says LEAD identifies talent that matches the employment needs of North Texas.  Initially, the organization focused exclusively on the talent needs of Fort Worth employers.  “Realizing our applicants were coming from all over Texas, we made a conscientious effort to invite Dallas-area employers to share the vision.”  LEAD Human Resources Manager Stephanie Valadez says the non-profit organization receives resumes from 16 states and all over Texas.  “They apply with LEAD specifically because they share the vision of our CEOs who know a diverse and inclusive workforce is a talented workforce.”

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