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Some resume tips learned back in high school could be outdated by now.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

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

College students: let’s talk about burnout

What to do when overwhelmed by school stress

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

The late nights, assignment overload and financial strain of college can feel normalized, but chronic stress and anxiety can cause students to break down and get severely burnt out. According to the World Health Organization, burnout results from unmanaged long term stress that leads to such negative outcomes as constant exhaustion, social detachment and suffering grades or work performance. Towards the end of a term when stress runs higher than usual, it is especially important to know how to recognize and address burnout.

Burnout can appear in a number of ways ⏤ ranging from a lack of motivation to unending fatigue to severe frustration. In conjunction, when grades start slipping no matter how hard one works and motivation to start or finish responsibilities falls away, it is time to take steps to recover from burnout. 

First, step back and look at the entire situation. Think of every obligation, including ones outside of school, like family and extracurriculars, then order the items based on importance. Getting a degree has been instilled in us as absolutely necessary to a successful career, but taking on more than what is manageable all at once does more harm than good. If college is lower on the priority list, consider taking fewer classes or withdrawing for some time. There is no shame in taking longer than originally planned to finish a degree, especially when mental and physical well-being are at stake. 

Even if college is one of the only obligations on one’s plate, it is important to have an outlet. Clubs or online groups provide socialization with like minded people, and exercising can curb stress and frustration. Creative interests and media like books and TV shows support inspiration and relaxation. It is important to give ample time to these stress relievers; try allotting one day per week to doing nothing but enjoyable pastimes, or fit one hour of relaxation into every day. 

Take breaks from school responsibilities as often as necessary. Go for a walk in the middle of studying, or take a mental health day. Only check and answer emails once or twice a day, and turn off notifications during the night so that sleep is prioritized. Nap to catch up on sleep and power through the rest of the day. 

Making school more enjoyable can also help with burnout so that it feels less straining. Choose a field of study and classes that are most interesting, even if this means changing a major. Forming good relationships with classmates and professors can make the days less monotonous.

Asking for help may be challenging, but if burnout has taken over one’s day-to-day life, it may be necessary. Confide in someone trusted and ask them for support in whatever way is needed. If feeling depressed, talk to a professional, such as a counselor at the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

Zoomed out from Zoom lectures

Tips for staying awake during online classes

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

After a full year of classes through Zoom, a lucky few have mastered schooling from home. For the rest of us, the simple task of staying awake for the entire lecture is still daunting. Try these tips for staying awake during online classes.

Start off the day as if classes were in person; get dressed, sit down for a cup of coffee and perform the usual morning routine. Getting up a bit early to do some light exercise can also jumpstart the mind and body so that by class time, they will be ready and alert. 

Though taking class in a cozy bed sounds tempting, it can make one drowsy in a hurry. Instead, work at a designated space, such as a desk or dining table. If still nodding off in this workspace, try standing up for parts of or all of class. 

Active participation contributes to learning and also keeps one alert. Take thorough notes and write down questions to ask when the opportunity arises. Alternatively, contribute to the discussion by answering questions and presenting personal thoughts on the subject. This will keep the brain working and fight off fatigue. 

My personal favorite tip is to eat food or drink something during class. When starting to doze off, give the body something to do by reaching for a snack or drink. Eventually the body will get a boost of energy as well, especially from foods like oatmeal, nuts and fruits. 

If these quick tips aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to re-examine one’s daily routine. Combat drowsiness at the source by getting more and better sleep at night — check out our tips for better sleep article on our website, wou.edu/westernhowl. 

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

How to write a winning story

Five tips to help aspiring authors refine their writing

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Writing is a learned and actively practiced skill, just like playing an instrument or sport. For writers who have dreams of being published in the future, completing a working manuscript is the imperative first step. Here are some tips for aspiring writers to kick their stories up a notch. 

  • Find an original voice. Gathering inspiration from other authors and stories is great; they are professionals, so there is much to be gained from reading lots of material. But in the end, nobody else can write the exact story that is in one’s own mind. Tell a brand new story in a unique way, and let the passion and enthusiasm shine through in every page. 
  • Put aside anything distracting when sitting down to write. Do a favor for the story: give it full attention until it reaches an ending. If writing a novel, try to finish a full chapter or scene all at once. Conversely, try timed writing: write anything that comes to mind without stopping for, say, twenty minutes. It will be much less intimidating to continue working on it in the future if the pages aren’t blank.
  • Learn the rules, but don’t follow the rules. What this means is that the rules of writing can’t be broken, twisted or meddled with if the rules aren’t known to begin with. Take the time to master formatting, grammar and a standard plot structure, then play around with them to make the story unique. 
  • The best advice I ever received was from my high school English teacher: “Kill your darlings.” It is all too easy to get attached to one’s own characters, scenes, settings or piece as a whole — I know from experience. However, readers and editors will have a different perspective than the author. Keep this in mind when editors suggest revisions: they are trying to help the story come across better to the audience, which sometimes means changing or completely deleting the author’s favorite parts. 
  • Keep writing and don’t give up hope. Building and completing a manuscript is just the first step to getting work published, and it can be a very difficult process trying to get a story accepted at a publishing house. Let passion and commitment to the story drive the journey, and always keep working to present the best possible piece. 

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

How to hack your makeup routine

Hacks and tips to make applying makeup easier

Rylie Horrall | Managing Editor

Makeup can be a fun and creative way for a person to express themself, however some may find it difficult to do — I personally still struggle to make my winged eyeliner even on each side, and I’ve been practicing for months. For anyone that has grappled with their own makeup skills or wants to shorten their daily routine, try out some of these tips.

Love the winged eyeliner but can’t seem to make it work? One option is to take a bobby pin, and draw on one end with a liquid eyeliner pen. Line up the end of the bobby pin with the curve of the eyelid and gently press to transfer the line onto the eyelid. Take the eyeliner pen and trace over the line to darken, then drag down across the eyelid to complete the wing.

An alternative and potentially easier option for winged eyeliner is to first take some tape — I recommend body tape for easier removal — and place it on the side of the eye, where the bottom of the wing would be. Line the eye with the pen as normal. For the wing, swipe down at an angle towards the lid ⏤ drawing on the tape if necessary ⏤ to fill the entire wing, then remove the tape.

For quick and easy contouring around the face, first apply foundation as usual. Take a contour stick and draw a “3” from the top of the forehead down to the jaw. The middle section of the shape should fall on one’s cheekbone. Blend away the harsh lines with a makeup brush or beauty blender.

To make one’s lashes look longer without feeling as if there’s a ton of mascara coating, try taking the mascara wand and gently dabbing at it with a tissue before use. This can remove any excess that may cause clumping when applying. Alternatively, scrape the wand against the lip of the container, if worried about wasting the mascara. Apply as usual; the lashes will still have the elongated look mascara gives, but with a lighter amount covering the lashes.

Want bold and colorful eyeshadow? To make the pigment really pop, first apply white eyeshadow or other light color to the entire lid before applying desired color. Apply and blend eyeshadow as normal, and the color should stand out more.

Contact the author at rhorrall17@wou.edu