Mount Hood

Time to revitalize those resumes

Tips for updating the resume in 2021

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Summer time, for some, means summer jobs. Though we aren’t quite to summer break, now is the perfect time to start preparing for job hunting, including updating the resume. The resume is the ticket to an interview, meaning it can make or break one’s chance at getting hired. Follow these tips for creating a resume that will stand out among the rest this year.

Start by choosing a desirable format. According to indeed.com, the two most popular resume formats are chronological, which focuses on consistent employment history, and functional, which focuses on relevant skills. Whichever layout is chosen, be sure to organize the information using clear headers above each section and a readable font.

Some resume tips learned back in high school could be outdated by now. For example, in most cases, it is no longer necessary to include a mailing address since everything is digital nowadays. Objective statements have also gone out of style — after all, employers know what an applicants’ goal is. Additionally, be careful to not overload the resume with too many items; pick and choose relevant work, volunteer and education experiences based on the job.

2021 has been eye opening, including for employers. According to writingguru.net, some common skills jobs will be looking for in 2021 include adaptability, versatility and innovation ⏤ especially in the face of COVID-19. Technological literacy is also increasingly important, as are strong online and in person communication skills.

Keep in mind, however, that each job will value different skill sets. Study the specific job description being applied for, and include relevant keywords and skills on the resume. This is also important in the face of applicant tracking systems, which are pieces of software that automatically filter through resumes based on keywords. Many companies rely on ATS technology to sift through the dozens of applications they receive. Be sure to include some keywords from the job description, but be honest: make sure all included skills are demonstrable when it comes time for an interview.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Different meal hacks to dish out

Squeeze the day with these flavorful cooking tips

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

As someone who is still learning to cook, I know that no matter how closely I follow a recipe, some dishes just turn out bland. Experimenting with cooking can be intimidating, but luckily, there are some easy flavor hacks that can instantly level up mealtime. Here are some quick tips and tricks to make meals less boring and more flavorful.

Always strive to use the highest quality ingredients. This means shopping for in season produce, buying locally ⏤ such as from farmers markets ⏤ and using fresh ingredients. Check expiration dates on dried herbs and spices — though they may still be usable near their expiration date, their flavor will be quite diminished.

A little acid goes a long way; according to eatright.org, acid such as that from citrus fruits or vinegar helps elevate the flavor of a dish. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto a salad or fish dish, add some citrus zest to dessert or make a marinade with some red or white wine vinegar.

To step up the vegetable game, try roasting them. Toss vegetables of choice in some olive oil, then spread them out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt, pepper, minced garlic or herbs like thyme and rosemary on top, then cook at 425 ºF until tender. Get creative and toss vegetables in different spices, such as dijon mustard or curry powder.

Looking for more flavor in meats? Try making a homemade marinade or brine. Soaking meat in a delicious, savory sauce infuses the meat with any flavor of choice. Find simple recipes online for sweet, savory or spicy marinades — whatever the mouth desires.

Another tip for improving meats is to brown them; this strategy involves using high heat to lock in naturally occurring juicy flavors. Heat up the pan thoroughly and salt the meat before dropping it in the pan to create a crust on the outside. Finish cooking the meat through in the oven.

Don’t be afraid to get creative — even if mistakes are made, experimenting with different flavors and techniques is the only way to improve one’s cooking skills.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Have some fun in the sun with a local photoshoot

Hit up these fantastic photoshoot locations near Monmouth

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor  

Whoever is reading this, this is a sign to go out and have a photoshoot. Spring has brought wonderful weather and beautiful blossoms, making now the perfect time to spend some time outdoors — and have photographic evidence of it. Whether looking for a last minute senior photo spot, or some inspiration for a fun weekend activity with friends, these spring photoshoot spots are sure to please.

Head downtown for some charming photos amid historic buildings. Any nearby city will do — even Monmouth’s Main Street has charismatic brick facades that make for the perfect photo setting.

Public art and murals can make for colorful backdrops that pop. Stay close by and check out some art and sculptures all around campus, such as “Growth” near the Richard Woodcock Education Center or “Oregon Rivers” in front of Rice Auditorium. Corvallis boasts a number of beautiful murals and even has a scavenger hunt for an added activity.

Cherry blossom season is nearly over, but even fallen cherry blossom petals can make for artsy photos. Take a roadtrip to the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, or make the shorter trip to Salem’s Capitol building to photograph in a lovely pastel pink grove.

Monmouth and its surrounding towns and cities have much to offer when it comes to parks — the nearest park could be just a few blocks away. Parks with a waterfront view include Sarah Helmick State Park in Monmouth, Riverview Park in Independence, Minto-Brown Island Park in Salem and Dallas City Park in Dallas. Chip Ross Park in Corvallis is an ideal spot for golden hour and sunset photos. Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem offers a manicured outdoor setting, including a picturesque gazebo amid a rose garden. Deepwood Museum & Gardens in Salem also provides an immersive experience into nature with a variety of plant life that can serve as a unique photo background.

Wildlife areas also offer elegant photo locations out in nature. Such areas include the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Dallas, the E. E. Wilson Wildlife Area in Monmouth and the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge south of Salem.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Sweet recipes that will put a spring in your spoon

Try these two recipes featuring in season spring produce

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Spring brings new, fresh produce, including tangy rhubarb and refreshing citrus fruits. Head to a local farmers market or grocery store and pick up some in season produce for these scrumptious spring recipes. 

RHUBARB CUSTARD BARS

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes

Yields: 3 dozen bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

1 cup cold butter

FILLING

2 cups sugar

7 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten

5 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained

TOPPING

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar, and cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 ºF for 10 minutes.

For filling, combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream and eggs, then stir in rhubarb. Pour over the crust, and bake at 350 ºF until custard is set — about 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool.

For the topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top, then cover and chill. 

Cut into bars, and keep stored in the refrigerator.

Recipe from tasteofhome.com

CITRUS SALAD

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

2 cara cara oranges

2 navel oranges

2 blood oranges

2 ounces baby arugula

2 tablespoons fresh mint

CITRUS DRESSING

¼ cup citrus juices, set aside

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt

Remove the skin from the citrus fruits, then slice them into supremes by cutting along each membrane. Combine citrus supremes, arugula and mint in a large salad bowl. 

Squeeze the juice from the citrus membranes into a large measuring cup or jar. Add the extra virgin olive oil, honey, vanilla extract and salt, then whisk to combine. Drizzle half the dressing over the citrus salad, then toss to combine. Enjoy immediately. 

Recipe from oursaltykitchen.com

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Spring cleaning with The Howl

How The Howl staff gets motivated to clean

The Western Howl Collective

We get it — with classes, work and numerous other obligations, the thought of fitting in time to clean can be simply exhausting. Find some motivation from The Western Howl as we share what drives us to get up and clean up. 

Sydney Carpenter

I take care of myself mentally. Oftentimes my living space is reflective of how I feel about myself and during the term my mental health nosedives off a cliff. So, during a break in the term I take time to take care of mental health and show myself I’m worth the time it takes to clean my space.

Rylie Horrall

Honestly, I just get random urges to clean and then do it. Sometimes leading up to it, I get unmotivated but once I start cleaning I can’t be bothered until I’m done. To kind of keep me in ‘the zone,’ I always put on upbeat, hip hop music because that’s what my mom always does when she cleans.

Kyle Morden

The thought of living in a messy room bothers me. Part of my daily routine is to clean my bedroom and make sure everything is neat and tidy — that’s just my lifestyle. I don’t even think I’d be able to sleep if I saw a mess in my bedroom. 

Allison Vanderzanden

I try to keep in mind that the longer I put off cleaning, the more I will have to do later all at once. Doing a little something every day makes it easier in the long run. I like to put a sticky note to-do list on my bathroom mirror as well so that I can’t avoid being reminded.

Kiara Wehrenberg

I have a hard time cleaning during the day. I tend to get random spurts of motivation to clean at night with music in my ears. It’s helpful for me to remember how good it feels to exist in a clean space.

Natalie Dean 

I’ll pick and choose which messes to clean up first, it helps me not get so overwhelmed. Lists are useful for me, and I’ll create an incentive for myself for when I’m done cleaning. Throwing on music or a movie helps kill the time, and it’s nice to take a break and chill in between cleaning sessions.

Follow these steps to spring into clean

Bedroom cleaning hacks that will sweep you off your feet

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Having a clean and organized room can relieve stress and improve sleep and overall health, according to lifehack.org; and, with springtime comes the perfect opportunity for spring cleaning. Plus, for those living in the dorms, moving out at the end of the term will be made easier since there will be less to do. Start spring term off right with a tidy bedroom or dorm room by setting aside one day to follow these spring cleaning steps.

Begin by gathering laundry, including clothes, towels, curtains and bed linens. Run loads of laundry while cleaning the rest of the room to get two things done at once. While putting clean clothes away, consider packing up winter clothing to save space, or get rid of items that are never worn.

Next, clean off surfaces for dusting. While doing so, organize items into sensible groups, such as school materials, electronics and self-care products. Also consider what items are unnecessary; remove things that don’t belong in the bedroom, such as dishes, collect gently used items into a box or bag for donation and throw out old, unusable items. Dust off all surfaces, then organize items into containers and files before replacing them where they belong so that they are easily accessible for future use.

Clean the floors next. Shake out rugs, then grab a broom or vacuum to pick up dirt and dust. Even on hard surfaces, use the hose of a vacuum to remove built up grime from the corners and wall trim. If one is accessible, use a mop or carpet cleaner to get the floors shining.

Don’t forget to disinfect surfaces such as light switches and door handles, clean the windows and mirrors, throw out expired food and take out the trash. As a final step, air out the room by opening a window for a while.

If cleaning multiple areas of the bedroom all at once feels overwhelming, try tackling one area at a time. For example, start with a bookshelf, then move onto a desk, then clean the floors. Another option is to print off a spring cleaning checklist; checking off each box can be motivating and satisfying to complete.

Once spring cleaning is finished, consider setting up a more frequent cleaning schedule; cleaning a little bit each week will both save time and keep one’s room neat and tidy for longer.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Learn all about adulting this spring term

Student Success and Advising hosts “#Adulting” seminar series

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

This spring term, Student Success and Advising is hosting a seminar for Western students called “#Adulting.” Starting on April 9 and recurring every Friday through week nine, different life skills will be explored over Zoom sessions. 

Each seminar will involve a discussion period of the week’s topic and a range of material, including worksheets and activities students can keep for future reference.

“It’s going to be interactive so we can make sure everyone is getting exactly what they need,” Academic Success advisor Gabbi Boyle added.

This series was originally offered as a first-year seminar class in 2020, but it was converted to be available for all students due to its success. Boyle said they are excited to teach any and all students some new life skills.

“Anyone can learn new things or new ways of approaching ‘Adulting’ from the topics we are covering,” Boyle said.

From skills such as time management and self-care, to major and career exploration, to financial information, the “#Adulting” series covers a wide variety of important things for college students to learn as they begin navigating through life. Aptly timed, the first seminar will cover time management as students jump into the new term. The final three weeks of the seminar — which cover finance topics like budgeting, debt and investment — will host a special guest financial coach to provide professional advice.

In the future, based on the success of this term’s seminar series, Student Success and Advising is considering hosting similar seminars and workshops in person as health guidelines permit.

The “#Adulting” seminar series will be held every Friday of weeks two through nine this spring term from 2 to 3 p.m. on Zoom. Find the full schedule of events on the Student Success and Advising page, wou.edu/advising. Contact Gabbi Boyle with questions a boyleg@mail.wou.edu.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu