Job Materials Project


This project is designed to help you evaluate your current professional and educational qualifications, to strategize ways of expanding these qualifications while you are still in school, and to begin constructing internship, graduate school, or job application materials to attain an appropriate position. This project has four parts:
  1. Search for, locate, and analyze three advertisements for internships, graduate programs, or entry-level jobs in your field
  2. Complete a professional inventory in which you assess your current skills, background, and experience
  3. Draft, design, and revise a resume that is organized, aesthetically-pleasing, and tailored to a specific internship, graduate program, or job ad based on your completed professional inventory
  4. Draft and revise a cover letter that is rhetorically-effective and appropriate for a specific internship, graduate program, or job ad

Step 1- Locating Internship/Graduate Programs/Job Advertisements
Begin by finding three internship, co-op, or entry-level job advertisements for a position that interests you and for which you are currently or will be qualified for upon graduation. You may also search for relevant graduate programs if you plan to continue your education following completion of your undergraduate degree. These ads should be substantial in terms of the job description, qualifications/requirements, and organizational information. Choosing to work with an ad that has less than three paragraphs of description or that lacks information about how to learn more about the company/position will make this assignment more difficult and less useful for you.

Search for specific job titles within your field that interest you and for which you have at least some training or experience. You will use these ads to:

  • provide you with key phrases, terms, and descriptions to include in your resume and cover letter
  • locate areas of development for yourself as a professional. One of the goals of the project is to use these ads to assess your current qualifications and find ways of planning for and gaining experience to help qualify you for such work in the future. It is likely that every person applying for a job will have the same educational qualifications, so you'll need to develop skills or experience that will help to set you apart from other applicants.

Searching for internship and job announcements is an on-going process that requires some ingenuity and creativity. You have to be willing to investigate possibilities and follow links based on your interest. You should strongly consider signing up for AggieTrak through NMSU. Try some of the following databases for getting started, but keep in mind this is far from a comprehensive list. You might consider asking the professional you interview if they have any advice on where to locate job postings.


Federal Government-



Step 2- Professional Inventory
This step of the project asks you to complete the Professional Inventory which can be downloaded by clicking here. The inventory will help you to identify your current skills, abilities, and understandings in relation to the internship or job ads you have located. This process will assist you in translating this into a marketable resume entries by providing evidence of your abilities. It will also help you to plan your professional development by isolating areas that need improvement.

This form takes you through a sorting, evaluating, and goal setting process that helps you think about the sort of evidence you will need to persuade potential employers of your experience and skills. To get the most benefit from the assignment, take your time and work through it seriously. This is a good opportunity to prepare yourself for your future and the rigors of the job search. Further, you should be motivated to develop your inventory thoroughly because it is a substantial part of your project grade. Keep in mind that everyone's inventory is likely to be different. Depending on your major and experiences, you will include different items on your form.

Step 3- Resume
Using what you learned from your Professional Inventory, this step of the assignment asks you to begin constructing your application materials. You will start by building a resume in response to the job ads you have collected.

In order to maximize the number of
call-backs your resume gets, you want to be sure to use keywords and jargon specific to your field (i.e. curriculum development, web design, interdisciplinary collaboration, user interface design, internship management, etc). You will also want to look closely at your job ads in order to include phrasing and terminology used by particular organizations.

Further, the more keywords you use, the more likely your resume is to be selected. Expand your list of keywords by including specifics (e.g., include specific types of computer software, hardware, and operating system names). Use synonyms for certain skills or descriptions since the search of resumes may be looking for various options. And finally, avoid vague language such as results-oriented or proven leadership qualities and instead focus on concrete descriptions of your experience (i.e. scholarship recipient or shift supervisor). Chapter two of your Anderson textbook has excellent and detailed advice on what to include in your resume and how to structure it.

The other significant aspect of resumes are their design. The layout and design of your resume is vital in both the first impression it provides and in facilitating rapid reading and highlighting of important information. Use the advice in chapter two of your Anderson textbook for advice on design.

How to Create a Resume (includes information on scannable resumes)
By Boise State University

How to Write a Resume
By University of Kentucky

Creating a Resumes and Cover Letters
by University of Dayton

Step 4- Cover Letter
Cover letters provide a place for you to demonstrate and discuss the abilities and qualifications you list in your resume. They should always convey a favorable sense of your enthusiasm, creativity, commitment, and other attributes that employers value but can’t be easily communicated in your resume. Importantly, your cover letter needs to provide a careful balance between confidence in your ability and emphasis on what you can do or contribute to the organization. Again, your Anderson textbook provides ample information on crafting a letter for this genre.

How to Write a Cover Letter (with samples)
by Boise State University

Quick Tips for Cover Letters
by the Online Writing Lab at Purdue