Graduation is around the corner at Tyler Junior College and the pressure is on to land the best jobs.

     Vital to landing a job, employers look for a resume and cover letter to get a sense of who you are. You may have had the most jobs or the best jobs, but the skills you take away from the job is what potential employers will be looking for. Also, the one page introduction about yourself called the cover letter. Cover letters are fairly new to the resume process and shows the employers who you are, before they even begin reading your resume. Not only will having the college degree put you on the map, but also having computer skills as well.

     “They are definitely looking for skills,” said Ishmeal Benja­min, assistant director of Student Life. “They also look at your ability to utilize all Microsoft programs. It’s very important no matter what field you go in.”

     Resumes show your skills, but a cover letter shows who you are. Cover letters let employers see if the candidate is worthy and to formulate an idea of what the candidates are capable of, what fields they work best in, and what they would be most comfortable doing.

     “The cover letter is the very first step to getting recognized,” said Benjamin.

     Resumes and cover letters have to be in a certain format and can be frustrating for students trying to figure it out on their own. So while some students are going through the pro­cess alone, TJC has the Career Services office to help students build a resume.

     Joseph Talbot, a sophomore at TJC decided to go through Career Services to get help wih making a resume and a cover letter.

     “She gave me a bunch of information, booklets, and flyers. She also works with my personally,” said Talbot. “She gave me examples of what a resume should look like and a cover letter.”

     Career Services also hosted a job fair of Apr. 6. At the job fair, there were potential employers from the Tyler area such as Sudden Link, Southside Bank, and Remedy Staffing.

     “We look for a solid work history, clear criminal back­ground, and preferably someone with an associates degree,” said Tiffany Phillips, branch manager of Remedy Staffing.

     Companies are looking for someone who is dependable, reliable, and loyal to their company and their number one con­cern is getting to see your resume and cover letter.

     “A resume sells them for the position, but the cover letter lets you know them a little better before making the placement,” said Phillips.

     Christina Mitchell, recruiter for Sudden Link, also prefers the future employee comes in with a cover letter.

     “A cover letter lets us see that the person is able to express themselves,” said Mitchell. “Anything not on the cover letter should be on the resume.”

     Graduation is set for May 13 and the skills, extracurricular, and community service a student gets from the college will be vital to their resume for future jobs to come.

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