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Preventing a burn out



Are you feeling:

  • helpless
  • worn out
  • detached or loss of emotions
  • disengaged
  • tired
  • sick ?

Warning! You may be suffering from or on the road to being burned out. It is not uncommon to work excessive hours just to meet the monthly bills or throw in a little extra time at the office just to get noticed for that promotion.  You may have the feeling that your efforts go unnoticed or your efforts are not enough.  When is enough, enough?  Compromising your health and emotions are not worth the anxiety and pain, but what else can you do?

What is burn out?

First, define how you are feeling both physically and emotionally, and what your behaviors are.  Have they changed and are interfering with your daily activities? Do you feel like you have too much going on, or are you feeling empty.  If you have the feeling of too much, you may be stressed where as the feeling of not enough is being burned out.

When you are burned out, your life and actions feel empty.  There seems to be no hope and loss of motivation. Life may not seem worth living and you may start feeling depressed.  Often times at first, you are not aware that you are burned out.

What causes burn out?

Burn out has many causes, but mainly is derived from your job.  Whether you are a mom who has four kids and countless duties to take care of in the home, or the next rising CEO who puts in endless hours without recognition, burn out can effect you.  However, your job is not the only thing that can cause burn out.  Burn out can also be caused by outside activities and certain personality traits can make you prone to being burned out.

If at work you:

  • feel as though you have little to no control over your work
  • feel as though you receive little to no recognition for your work
  • feel like your work is the same and does not challenge you
  • feel as though your work environment is chaotic or stressful

you may be feeling burned out.

If outside of work you:

  • feel like you don't have enough free time
  • feel as though you are lacking sleep
  • feel like you have to many responsibilities
  • feel as though you have no support

you could also be experiencing burn out.

If you have these characteristics:

  • perfectionist
  • pessimism
  • controling
  • Type A personality

you may be prone to being burned out.

Some of these you cannot change.  For example, the fact you work excessive hours in order to pay the bills is a situation that is hard to avoid.  Or even your need to make sure the work you do is perfect is often a beneficial characteristic.  However, how can you adapt to these sitations and make these characteristics fit better into your life.

How to prevent burn outs:

  • Relaxing routine

Begin your day with a stretch or a cup of coffee and the morning paper.  Start your day with a task that will ease you into the tough day ahead.  You can even try writing in a journal before bed or listening to music to calm your mind and to help you drift to sleep.  Natural noises and soft music are often best for background noise.

  • Healthy living

Try eating healthy food.  Of course we are not talking about a diet, but snacking on grapes as opposed to chips leaves you feeling more fresh and energized.  Sometimes a brisk walk down the street will allow you to clear your mind and allow you to relax and relieve stress.

  • Create boundaries

Sometimes it is ok to say no.  Taking time to yourself is essential for many reasons.  If you overexert yourself, your performance in work and at home will decrease.  It is a cycle.  Therefore if you focus on one or two projects or tasks at a time, you can be sure that your best effort is put forth.

  • Manage stress

If you learn to manage stress, it will help you feel more in control and help you function.

How to cope:

If you have already been hit, here are a few tips as to how to turn the situation around.

  • Be active

Addressing the situation is always the first step with any problem.  How do you feel?  Why do you feel that way? What are the contributing factors? If you start out by addressing the problem, you are taking an active approach to solving it.  From here you can talk to friends, family or your boss at work to lay out some possibilities of how to turn the negatives into positives.

  • Be clear

Reviewing your job description is not a bad idea.  It will refresh your memory and you may find that you have more variety in your job than what you have been working on. Often times we get into a routine or habit and neglect certain duties.

  • Ask

If you are able to, ask if there is anything else you can do to help.  Are there any other projects you can work on?  Can you provide input on any of the new projects?  Not only will this give you something new to think about but it provides new ideas for the company and the rest of the team as well.

  • Take time off

Sometimes the best way to fix a problem is to remove yourself from it.  Although this is not a permanent solution, it certainly helps to think about something else for a while and to refresh yourself from the daily grind.


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How to Choose Your College

Choosing a college can seem very daunting for some, especially with the large amount of choices that exist. However, you can make it easier for yourself by following these tips.



university choices


Choosing a college can seem very daunting for some, especially with the large amount of choices that exist. It is not to be forgotten however, you can make choosing a college into a systematic process, allowing you to come to a final decision through a much more controlled process. Many high-school graduates also have problems when choosing their college as the amount of different opinions that exist on each college one vary widely from person to person. It is often much easier and much more strongly recommended to build your own opinions through research of various kinds.

Top Tips to Choose Your College

  • Visit - Hearing about colleges through other people even when it´s close friends that have gone their is never a good idea. You should always try and build your own opinion. By visiting multiple colleges you will begin to get an idea of what you want and do not want. For example you may start noticing patterns weather you prefer a smaller or a bigger college. Visiting a college also allows you to gain a first hand impression of their facilities and the people that are attending there. This is worth more than many think and visiting more than one college even if you are not sure you want to go there will help massively with college selection in the long run. 
  • Don't base everything on rankings - Although it is a good idea to look at the rankings in order to get a feeling for how colleges have been compared to some others you know, it is not recommended to apply to one college over another because of it's ranking. Rankings, as done by the New York Times every year, often concentrate on the spending of a college on it's faculty, facilities, and classes or the amount of research undertaken. However, the colleges spending habits do not necessarily impact the quality of the education you will receive and the value of the people that you will meet while being there.  This is why visiting colleges is so important, you may wish to go to a certain top ranked college, however after visiting it, you may decide it's not for you after all or that you definitely wish to attend that school. Keep in mind, it is often far more accurate to search for college rankings concerning themselves with your course or major specifically.
  • Apply to 3 ranges of colleges - It is a good idea to apply to some "reach" colleges which you believe are just slightly out of your reach when it comes to results. It is possible that you will be pleasantly surprised if you are not completely unrealistic with your choices. Then apply to two or three colleges which you believe that you would really like to go to, choose these carefully as they are the ones you will most likely end up attending. Also choose a safety school, make sure you still like this school as much as your others however it should be a sure thing that you are getting in.

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How to Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Screening Software

In order to diminish the numbers of applications some companies will automatically screen applications, make sure you do not get filtered out with these tips!



Resume Optimization


When bigger companies advertise the opening of a position, it is not uncommon for them to receive a large amount of applications for the respective job. While not all companies do this, some use applicant screening software in order to filter out the applications by a set of rules that are predetermined by the employer. However, this sometimes also causes problems for the applicants. If your resume or cover letter does not contain certain keywords related the to the job for example, it is possible that no one will ever see your resume. It is a good idea to format your resume and cover letter correctly, in order to avoid being eliminated before the hiring manager has considered you.

Resume Optimization

  • Use keywords - One of the main things that screening software does is scan the resume for certain keywords. Problems arise when, for example, the job description requires the ability to use a certain program, however, it is not mentioned in your resume even though you are able to. This is why it is important to include skills that are required or maybe even seem obvious as screening programs often filter resumes out that do not contain certain words, in an effort to only select candidates that are fully qualified.

  • Repetition - If the job seems to focus on a certain skill or function it is a good idea to include it multiple times throughout your resume. Screening programs will often filter out resumes that do not seem relevant enough to the job, this can be combated however, by using the words from the job description especially those which seem to play a large role in the job.

  • Job titles - Applicant screening software also often scans your employment history and checks its relatedness with the job you are applying for. This is usually the case when the job requires a certain amount of experience. Sometimes however, the software will not recognize a job title and class it as unrelated. It is therefore a good idea, if your recent or current job title does not match with the one you are applying for, to clarify or even put the new employers name for the same job in parentheses. It is not recommended to change the job title entirely as this would be seen as a discrepancy if questioned about it.

  • Save in a standard format - It is often debated which format is the best to send out a resume as, when the company does not specify. Using nonstandard software or formats may cause your resume to be discarded by the screening process or the company may have trouble opening it. Due to the number of applicants the company will not alert you of this fact and your resume will also be discarded. Therefore when sending your resume it is suggested to use a PDF or Word (.docx or .doc) file as most companies will view these as standard.
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Tips for Submitting an Online Job Application

Online applications can be daunting for some, however by following these tips will help you avoid the most common mistakes when applying for jobs online.



Job application web


Online job applications are becoming much more common, however for many people the process is fairly new and unfamiliar. The adopting companies often prefer the paperless aspect of online applications as well as the fact that losing documents also becomes a non-issue. The overall application process may be similar to when applications are done in person but there are some crucial aspects that need extra attention when applying online. The idea of applying online for a job may be daunting but using the following tips as a guide may clear up some worries or questions.

Top tips for applying for a job online

  • Know what you are applying for - One of the most common mistakes made when applying for a job online is not fully reading the job description or advertisement. Hiring managers that use online mediums to search for candidates often complain about receiving applications from job seekers that are under qualified, or do not have the necessary experience  to obtain the job. Make sure you read the whole job description and know what is expected of you, just because an application is online does not change the fact that job requirements are often not flexible.
  • Avoid errors in your application at all costs - Although this goes for all job applications it is even more important when you are applying online. Online applications are often stored even if the candidate was not selected, therefore if you provide content that includes errors this may reduce your chance of seeking another job with the same company in the future. Make sure to check all work before you press the submit button, also reading your text backwards often helps detect spelling errors.
  •  Create a job specific cover or motivation letter (if required) - Make sure to write a good cover letter if one is required. Instead of using a template or writing one that is not specific to the job you are applying to, use the guidelines in the link below to create a unique specific cover letter.

How to write a cover/motivation letter

  • Check your social media sites - If you are applying to a modern company that you know either uses a lot of social networking sites or even conducts checks of these sites as a part of the hiring process, be sure to check your account for any information you do not wish to share with your employer or anything that could deter them considering you as a candidate.
  • Be aware of applicant screening systems - Many employers will not send your details straight to the hiring manager. Often companies use an application screening system that allows for employers to cut down on the number of applications they receive. The system works by scanning for keywords relevant to the position or company, therefore remember to use include all skills and abilities even if they may seem obvious.

How to optimize your resume for applicant screening software

  • Use the STARR method when asked competency questions - Many firms like to ask competency questions on their online job application form. These are questions which allow the employer to learn more about you on their own terms. The STARR method is a great way to answer these questions, it consists of describing a Situation, Telling the employer what your task or role was, describing the Actions you took, discuss the Result and how you Reflected about it. It is always a good idea to use specific, concrete examples of past situations when applying for a job, when applying online competency questions provide you with the chance to do so.



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