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.
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DALLAS/FORT WORTH—December 12, 2012—Resumes 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 (www.northtexaslead.org/apply).
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:
- Human Resources Manager
- 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.”
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.
The more often I see job openings offered by our LEAD partners, the more I wonder about the long-term unemployed LEAD candidate. It is my hope that this person has not given up and remains diligent in the job search.
There are many more employment opportunities available now than were in the fall of 2011. Once the election is behind us, I predict we will see MANY more employment opportunities. It doesn’t matter who wins the election, I just believe more openings will materialize. Another factor in my optimistic outlook is the fact that people who delayed retirement two or three years ago are ready and willing to leave. I also think employers have identified the head count they really need to get the work done. I sense employers are just bracing. I sense they are just waiting to pull the lever to advertise and post job after job after job. My concern is: Will the LEAD candidate be prepared to respond to that job opening as SOON as it is posted? Being prepared NOW is the key.
It appears my communication skills are not as sharp as they used to be. I’m really burdened about this because I find myself repeating the same job search best practices over and over again. As a news reporter, I didn’t have any communication issues. I didn’t have trouble getting points across. Whether reporting through radio or television, I could get a message across. I will continue to work on communicating with candidates and applicants, but in the meantime the following points may be better absorbed if they are shared in written form. Successful candidates of North Texas LEAD will tell you:
- Your resume must include measurable accomplishments. Too many resumes read like job descriptions prompting yawns from hiring managers and recruiters.
- Communicating with LEAD staff at every juncture is critical since you never know if the recruiter who contacted you for an interview today is having lunch with us the next day.
- Following the instructions associated with the Did You Apply link is key to receiving the heightened endorsement from LEAD.
- Do not apply for positions you believe you can do—-apply for positions you can prove you can do.
- Attendance at LEAD’s invitation-only quarterly receptions is for serious job-seekers only with active applications with partners. These receptions attract candidates from all across the country and may provide the ‘edge’ you need to land that position.
- Regularly updating your profile to receive job alerts from LEAD partners is the only way you will consistently know what openings exist.
Congratulations to Gretchen Collins, Chris Fox, Andre McEwing and Christy Buie-Nunley who are among 2012 candidates who have found employment. Successful candidates will tell you they were diligent, coachable and prepared so that when the right opportunity presented itself, they were ready.
I hope LEAD candidates spend every available moment GETTING READY!
Gyna M. Bivens, President and Executive Director
North Texas Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity
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: http://northtexaslead.org/photos-videos/. 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.
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”.