How to Write a Successful Resume

By Lexi Reeve

Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’ve been working for years and are just trying to make a career change, we all know how difficult the job search can be. And by far, one of the most grueling tasks you must complete during the process is resume writing. Yet everyone has to do it at some point; the trouble is knowing how to market yourself to prospective employers. Well, take a seat and start writing because you’re about to learn how to write a successful resume that will land you a job interview.

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So what is a resume, exactly?

The common misconception about resumes is that you have to list everything about yourself on a single piece of paper. In reality, your resume is just a chance for you to get the employer interested. Only list the most critical need-to-know items, like the job experience you have that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. Once you land the interview, you can elaborate on everything else that makes you qualified for the job.

Employers don’t want to know nor do they have the time to learn about every job you’ve ever held and every volunteer event you’ve ever been to. One of the most important things you can do to your resume is to target it around the position you’re applying for. For example, if you are applying for an advertising job, only list the education, work, and volunteer experience you’ve held related to advertising. This employer may not be interested in other job positions you’ve held (say for example, in the food industry) if those jobs don’t relate to the company or the position applied for.

Another way to specialize your resume is to do some research. Once you find a position you want to apply for, and once you’ve targeted your resume by the experience related to that particular position, visit the business’s website. If the website repeats specific words (perhaps in its “mission” or “about us” section) you know those descriptive words are important to the business and its goals. Place those “power” words into your resume so you can stand out to your employer as a candidate that strives for the same objectives that the company does. You will already be a top contender and this will (hopefully) land you an interview.

Finally, another way to make your resume stand out is to add a picture of yourself. This is often debated but it depends entirely on the position you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a position that requires a lot of creativity, then don’t hesitate to include a picture of yourself. Not only will you stand out, but employers will know that you think outside of the box. However, if the position you’re applying for or the firm itself has a somewhat “strict” reputation, such as an attorney’s office, adding a picture is not advised because it could potentially be viewed as unprofessional.

Well, there you have it. You now know how to target your resume and market yourself to employers! Of course the other resume basics apply, like keeping it to one page, listing your contact information, and providing references, but now you have a much higher chance of being hired. Not all resumes are created equal, so make sure you’re doing all you can to make yours stand out.

Good luck on the job search!

Spend Vs. Save

By Tamara Feingold

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1. Shoes: Spend

Besides the occasional summer sandal or party heel, shed some extra cash on shoes. Don’t make the mistake of getting those tall leather boots for a too-good-to-be-true price; they’ll likely disintegrate in the rain before the season is over.  Instead, find quality boots and flats that will last multiple seasons. Choose simple colors (black or dark brown) and you’ll be able to wear them with most of your outfits.

2. Tops: Save

Add a wider variety of tops to your wardrobe by skipping over-priced trends. Buy simple tops at inexpensive stores or more daring pieces at thrift stores. Because you won’t be wearing the same tops as often as other clothes, quality isn’t as important here. Buying used tops will ensure an individual style and will save you more money for layers and statement pieces.

3. Jeans: Spend

There’s no need to shell out hundreds for those rhinestone-encrusted stitched-pocketed designer duds, but try to find jeans that will survive the fall season. Despite what you may think, people can tell those worn spots and shredded knees weren’t factory-made. Buying just a couple of pairs of semi-spendy jeans that truly fit your body will boost your confidence and lower the number you need to buy. Wash them inside-out in cold water and let them hang to dry for longer lasting denim that won’t stretch out.

4. Jewelry: Save

Despite what you’ve heard, diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend. There’s no denying that the high-value jewel is appropriate for certain special occasions, but for everyday jewelry try to pick up some vintage finds. Thrift stores, garage sales, and antique stores can all offer jewelry jackpots. The exception? Offer up a little extra cash for rings; cheap metal will turn your fingers green in no time.

5. Bags: Spend

Spending more on quality bags, especially backpacks and book bags, will save you in the long run. Inexpensive bags used often will lead to broken straps and ripped lining. Instead, find a simple purse that shows your style and carry it without worry of wearing out. It’s okay to save on clutches and crossbodies though; bags that won’t be stuffed aren’t in danger of drooping.

Save Vs. Spend Metroleta by tamfeingold featuring lucky brand bags

Blouse
simons.ca

Frye low heels
heels.com

Lucky brand bag
piperlime.gap.com

Teardrop jewelry
baublebar.com

Building a Model: A 3rd Grade Teacher’s Unique Teaching Method

By Emily Carpenter

Alhough he is 39 years old, Eric Freeman looks comfortable sitting in the small chair at the low table, the surface of which is littered with partially finished paper projects. The classroom is covered in children’s artwork. Everywhere there are cans of pens and pencils, bottles of glue, and on one wall hangs a small red model of a guitar painted with the words “Eric Rocks.”

Freeman is a third grade teacher at Camas Ridge Elementary School in Eugene. Teaching is in his blood. His father was a college professor, and his mother was an English teacher in the small farm town where he grew up. He loves the outdoors, the fields and orchards, and as a child, he believed he would become a farmer. However, he followed his love for working with kids through a series of experiences – at day camps, little league, and preschools – and fell naturally into his role as a teacher.

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Eric Freeman, teacher at Camas Ridge, photo copyright Jonathan Lange

Throughout his teaching career, Freeman has held to the philosophy that school should be fun. “I had such a miserable experience in my own schooling,” he says, but one second grade teacher stood out to him. While other teachers smacked rulers on desks, demanding fearful attention, Mr. Sheehy had designated the book area with a picket fence and decorated the walls with hand-drawn pictures. He went beyond the required material, teaching his students about other interesting subjects, like opera. Just as his teacher Mr. Sheehy created an environment where learning was enjoyable, Freeman strives to bring life and color into his classroom. He likes to listen to live music, particularly Widespread Panic, and plays a little guitar himself, so he performs for his students.

Because of these efforts Freeman won the 2010 Eugene School District 4J ACE award for “Eugene Teacher Champion.” There are 20 elementary schools in the Eugene School District and only one winner per year. When Freeman won, it was said, “In his second-grade classroom at Camas Ridge Community School, Eric makes school magical and learning fun.”

Freeman became an elementary school teacher specifically because he wanted to help students who don’t learn effectively by filling out a worksheet. “It’s about being a learner yourself and sort of modeling the excitement of learning as you have kids around you,” says Freeman. He describes one evening, sitting in a restaurant and looking at a menu. Realizing that he had an example of good writing in front of him, Freeman decided to turn it into a lesson. He collected several menu samples and brought them to class, thinking he would have each student write an example of one menu item. However, as the students demonstrated interest, it turned into a project with each student designing their own menu. While students like what they are doing, Freeman can teach them about adjectives and word choice. The students don’t feel intimidated by the writing or bored by complex explanations.

It is important for students to get a diverse educational experience, says Freeman. Rather than each classroom experience lining up perfectly with the next, he says, “I want to be a patchwork quilt, not a uni-colored quilt. They both keep you warm, but one of them is a whole lot more interesting to be near, and to touch, and to look at, and to feel, and to smell, et cetera.” He is worried standardization will lead to the idea that students are a uniform body. To Freeman, these students are individuals. “Sure you have to use some data, some scientific approach to teaching. You’re dealing with human beings.”

Of course in the current economic recession Freeman has seen classrooms affected not only by standardization but also by a lack of funding. In the past Freeman has had to spend hundreds of dollars each year of his own money to buy classroom supplies the school was unable to purchase. He needed these supplies to give his students the classroom experience he thought they deserved. Partly to address this need and partly to offer more communication to the parents of his students, Freeman participated in the pilot project for Metroleta, and the online tools became an efficient way for him to communicate. “Just to be able to have it centralized, just to be able to put in graphics, links to things that we are studying,” says Freeman. It was easier than using the old paper newsletter approach.

His passion for helping children to an effective education early in life is great enough that Freeman wishes he could teach children from birth to three years old, but the work would not provide enough money to support his wife, two sons, and baby daughter. However, in elementary school the students are still young enough that he can teach them how to learn. “I believe that you build a model correctly versus having to fix it later on.”

Freeman makes the effort to know his students so he will know how to help them learn. For one assignment he might have some students turn in writing, while some do drawings, and some present projects they built. He encourages them to use whatever method will actually help them to understand what he is teaching, and refuses to define his students by a grade, a percentage on a test. “Learning is messy,” says Freeman.

How to Make Game Day Snack Food

Well, it’s official. School is back in session, fall has begun, and football season has started! For many of us, it’s a season created to demonstrate our strong amount of school spirit. We cheer on our players, we wear our team colors, and we come together to watch the game. And while it’s always enjoyable to actually attend a game and sit in the stadium, it’s not always fun on the wallet.

Luckily, you don’t need to be in the stadium to enjoy football. You can have a good time at home, too, because who doesn’t love spending their weekends with friends, watching their team play on television, and of course, eating delicious snack food from the comfort of their home? I’m here to help you enjoy the game without the need for a ticket in your hand. So sit back, relax, invite some friends over, and prepare some of the snack options below for a killer football viewing party.

Guacamole

Option 1: Good old fashioned guacamole and chips

-If you’re like me and don’t want to spend much time cooking, this is a great option; it’s fast and easy to make. For a group of four or five people, begin by buying four avocados, then peel and mash them together. Choose which ingredients you want to add (I always add a half chopped onion, a half chopped tomato, and one tablespoon of lime juice) then mix them together and serve with chips. No one can resist guacamole.

Option 2: Stuffed potato skins

-This recipe requires a little more effort. Depending on how many guests you have, buy the appropriate number of potatoes and cook (five minutes in the microwave and about an hour in the oven) until tender.  Scoop out the inside of the potato until just the skin remains. To make the stuffing, simply add the ingredients you want to use (traditionally it’s made with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and chives). Broil for two minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream and enjoy.

Option 3: Pigs in a blanket

-This recipe is a crowd pleaser and it’s super simple. All you have to buy is one Pillsbury crescent dinner roll, a package of hot dogs, and slices of American cheese. First, wrap the slice of cheese around the hot dog, then wrap the dough triangle around the hot dog and place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about twelve minutes and you have a delicious game day snack food.

Try making it a potluck so you won’t have to bake everything yourself; that way you can relax and enjoy the game with friends. You don’t need to be in the stadium to have a good time, just enjoy yourself and have a good game day.

Why Bother Eating Well?

By Joel DeVyldere

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Why eat well? I used to ask myself this question quite often when driving past a certain fast food taco shop. The food there wasterrible for my body—made of the cheapest, most grotesque ingredients and full of disgusting additives. One time it even made me sick to my stomach. And yet I kept eating it.

It’s true that eating healthy and wholesome meals is generally more expensive and usually takes more preparation time than eating junk food and takeout all the time. And who has the time (not to mention the money) for that?

I did. I found this out when one night in my late teens I got sick… and didn’t get better for months and months. The World Health Organization links poor diet and a lack of exercise to a high risk for stroke, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and some kinds of cancer (read more here). I link it to feeling sick for a very, very long time.

So what does a healthy diet do?

Professor Benjamin Caballero at Johns Hopkins University defines it for us in his online course on nutrition. A healthy diet is one that:

  • Fills the “energy needs” of our minds and bodies. Everyone knows this part deep down: eating healthy food just makes you feelbetter – more awake and more energetic. Consuming unhealthy foods and drinks, on the other hand, can make you feel bloated, tired, and unable to do well in your life activities. Wouldn’t it be nice to have enough energy, both mental and physical, to take on work or school each day?
  • Gives us enough “essential nutrients”. If you are growing, healing from an injury, or just trying to think straight at work or school, getting enough vitamins and minerals is a no-brainer.
  • Makes us less likely to contract a disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that “chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.” They cite a lack of fruits and vegetables second on this list of factors that put you at risk for one.
  • “Is safe to consume.”  There are a lot of toxins in American foods – especially in the ready-made foods at the grocery store and the corner market. Being poisoned by junk food probably won’t make you too sick the first time, but, take it from me, it can cause problems if you keep consuming it over time.

In the end, eating well doesn’t just keep you from getting sick. It’s a relatively easy and potentially fun way to get the energy you need to start feeling good about life. When you consider how much better life is when you’re healthy, it just makes sense to make eating right a top priority.

Most people can agree that they should make more wholesome eating habits a bigger focus in their lives. But where can we start? It can be very difficult to figure out what exactly you’re eating in the first place. Often there are more than twenty ingredients on one package of food alone!

For starters, you can follow along with this column.  Here you’ll find fun recipes, helpful nutrition insights and ideas on how to detect food allergies. You’ll also get tips on how to shop smarter and get higher-quality food for your money, as well as updates covering the newest trends and developments in food science and health food culture. Happy eating!

25 Things for Kids to Do When They’re Bored!

By Serena Piper

How many times a week do you see the kids mope around the house complaining they’re bored? In case you’re running out of ideas for them, the next time it happens, toss one of these suggestions their way. They’ll keep busy enough that you can prepare dinner, get some office work done, etc!

1. Make crayon art.

2. Blow up a bunch of balloons and see how many you can keep in the air at one time.

3. Write a short story complete with pictures.

4. Make a card for a family member. Let them put the card in an envelope, write the address, and place the stamp on.

5. Make Play-doh with this easy-to-follow recipe.

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Photo by Mike Allyn

6. Lie on a blanket in the backyard and cloud-watch or stargaze.

7. Make a leaf rubbing for a refrigerator decoration.

8. Use shaving cream to finger paint on colored construction paper or paper bags.

9. Go outside, collect a bunch of rocks, and decorate them with paint, googly eyes, glitter, etc.

10. Design their own placemats.

11. Make a blanket fort.

12. Make sock puppets and have a puppet show.

13. Have a living room dance party. See who can dance the longest.

14. Create a treasure hunt. Pick a few objects and hide them around the house in hard-to-find places. Take turns being the treasure hunter.

15. Make an indoor clubhouse using big cardboard boxes. Decorate it with crayons, paint, glitter, feathers, etc.

16. Make animal masks.

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17. Use a video camera to make a movie starring action figures and stuffed animals, or even themselves.

18. Draw on the sidewalk with chalk.

19. Make a kaleidoscope.

20. Make a salted watercolor picture. This is cool for any age!

21. Help plan the week’s dinner menu.

22. Build a Lego castle.

23. Make jewelry or keychains.

24. Bake Christmas cookies using cookie cutters, frosting, and candy pieces.

25. Experiment with new ways to style your hair.

5 No-Fail New Years Resolutions

By Serena Piper

Every new year it’s the same resolutions. Lose weight, make more money, exercise more, eat better, etc. If those types of resolutions work for you, keep at it. But have you ever found yourself feeling a little defeated when, six months through the year, you realize you fell off the wagon a long time ago? You haven’t lost as much weight as you wanted, your hourly wage is still the same, and despite your best attempts at resisting those candy bars in the grocery store checkout aisles, you have given in to those Kit Kats, and have only been to the gym maybe twice a month to make up for it?

This year, make your resolutions something you’ll be able to check off easily. Here are five easy resolutions to get started with:

1. Volunteer
Volunteering is so easy to get started doing. There are so many organizations out there that need volunteers, including Big Brothers Big SistersHumane Societies, assisted living homes, beach cleanups, etc. To find volunteer opportunities in your area, check the Volunteers section of Craigslist, your local paper, or Volunteer Match.

2. Read
Admiring your friends whenever they talk about a great book they’ve just finished? Aim to read one book every one or two months. You’ll have something to talk about with friends and family, you’ll learn something new, and you’ll pick up a new hobby (if you aren’t already into reading).

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Photo credit Casey Fleser

3. Try Something New
Each month, try a new restaurant or cook a new dinner at home. If you choose to eat out, you may find parts of your city you never knew about. If you stay in, it’s a bonding opportunity and/or a great date idea.

4. Out With the Old
Go through your closet each month to see if there’s anything you could get rid of. Old blankets, CDs you can transfer to your computer, and other bulky items will free up a lot of space. Make sure to take those blankest to any animal shelters in your area, as they’re always in need.

5. Keep in Touch
Make it a point to write an email, make a phone call, or even write on the Facebook wall of a family member you haven’t caught up with in awhile. This year, make it a point to invest in family relationships.