Stephanie Haywood of mylifeboost.com reports:
"Part of the process of growing your business includes adding new employees to contribute to upcoming projects. If you’re on a constrained budget, you can opt for the freelance market. Hiring full-time employees can be overwhelming as you have to cover tax withholdings, employee benefits, paid time off, and other benefits. A freelancer will perform most of the tasks without requiring all these things. Freelancers, often called independent contractors, are not classified as employees of your business. You can get top skills without the expense of maintaining a full-time employee, and you can find top-quality expertise whenever you need it. Mister Line Editor offers the following ways you can find reliable freelancers for your
business...Before you scroll through freelancing platforms to hire a freelancer, you need to accurately define what needs outsourcing. There are different things you can assign to a freelancer, so make a list of the tasks they can do that your in-house team cannot. A simple formula to hire the right freelancers includes identifying tasks:
· Tasks your in-house team lacks the skills to complete
· Tasks you don’t like doing yourself
· Tasks you don’t have time to work on
For example, you might need content creation and editing for your website, social media platforms, or marketing materials to communicate your brand story and reach your audience. Explore the many ways Mister Line Editor can help, from producing SEO to proofreading a variety of materials...The next step includes looking into your business budget. Determine the amount you want to spend on the freelancer. This is important as different freelancers accept different rates. Some freelancers who are starting out may charge less, which does not always mean they cannot deliver the quality you expect. However, if you prefer high-quality, established freelancers, you might need a bigger budget. Of course, you can negotiate for a good deal, but before you do so, ensure you have a budget in mind...With your budget and priorities set, you need to look at the right places to find a freelancer. The majority of freelancers use platforms like Upwork, PeoplePerHour, and Fiverr. Among the benefits of these platforms include security through escrow payment, where your funds are withheld until the freelancer completes and delivers the work. If you’re not impressed
with the quality, you can get your money back. Outsourcing through these platforms will save you time as you can easily determine which freelancers are qualified for your project. The rating system shows what previous clients think of the freelancer, so it’s easy to vet who should join your team for outsourced work. For your company to attract the best and most qualified candidates, it’s also advisable to establish your [business’] legitimacy early on. Consider forming an LLC, which also comes with many benefits, including the ability to avoid double taxation and limit your personal liability...Once you post your job offer on outsourcing platforms, expect many offers. You will need to sift through applications and interview people to find the perfect match for your project. Don’t rush the process even if you want the project done quickly. Be meticulous to ensure you have defined and put down the most important requirements. Sometimes, you will encounter freelancers who like to use shortcuts, so be sharp when reviewing applications. One of the ways to ensure you’re dealing with someone who can deliver what you expect is by reviewing their portfolio. Ask for samples of work to see if it matches your expectations. When you don’t need to hire someone full-time, a freelancer is a great option. You can find professional freelancers on a variety of platforms. Ensure you have the time to review applicants to pick the best suited for your project. Lastly, prepare a contract that highlights deadlines and milestones, payment details, and any other requirements."
The Houston Chronicle reports:
"Administrative assistants provide organizational and clerical support to staff members. If a former administrative assistant asks you for a recommendation letter for a[n] administrative assistant role, you must determine whether you're qualified to write it. You should write the letter only if you can speak positively and credibly about the requester's work ethic...Start by saying that you're happy to recommend the requester for employment at the reader's company...Then state your relationship to the candidate, how long you worked with her and some positive traits that led you to hire her...Depending on how well you know the requester, the body of the reference letter for the office assistant may have up to three paragraphs. Use descriptive adjectives to define the assistant's personal characteristics and then say how her work ethics positively impacted you or the company...Before you end the recommendation letter for an executive secretary, mention the candidate's accomplishments or objectives...Sign off with 'Sincerely,' followed by your name and job title. If your job has a specific format for writing recommendation letters or employment references, follow it. For legal reasons, it might only allow you to give verifiable data, such as employment length, job title and final wages...If you can write your own letter, ask the requester if she wants you to include any specifics. Depending on the position, she might want you to highlight certain administrative tasks...Keep the letter factual and proofread it for errors. If you can't provide a positive recommendation or if you're not qualified to write it, let the requester know."
Jann Seal reports:
"Becoming a certified copy editor is a lot like working in the rodeo. You have to be able to lasso a writer's creatively expressed words and rein them in, all employing correct grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, accuracy, clarity and flow...A copy editor who is certified may gain additional confidence, since the certification represents further study in the field and adds prestige to a copywriter's resume; it may qualify that copywriter for a higher salary. Copy editors who are certified have the flexibility of getting professionally certified as well working online...A degree in journalism from a college or university, having strong writing skills, being well-read and having expertise in a particular field such as science, technology, medicine, fashion and politics are important for being hired as a copy editor. Getting a copy editor certification means you've taken extra steps toward improving your qualifications. In most cases, those steps mean taking specific courses either through a college or through professional organizations...Copy editors go deep into the text, correcting errors, establishing consistency with the publication's standards, fact-checking and examining the details of what has been written. A proofreader reads for content and looks for formatting errors. He often works on the final manuscript or typeset publication before it's printed for publication. If you're interested in becoming a proofreader, consider joining proofreading organizations...Working on high school, college or local newsletters or publications is a good start toward becoming a copy editor. Comfort in working digitally, using electronic tools and understanding [copy editing] software improve the prospects of getting work. Freelance editors face the stress of continuously finding work, learning the techniques of different employers and working under often difficult deadlines...Freelance certified copy editors can earn a substantial income as they link to content producers and the jobs they offer. Passing a skills test is often the first step. Paid by the piece, the freelancer has the ability to spread his opportunities to several employers and, as long as he meets their deadlines and as long as his work is professionally acceptable, he can work as much as he needs."
Lisa McQuerrey reports:
"Freelance editors contract their services to newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and advertising agencies. Their work can include anything from proofreading and copy editing to offering suggestions for editorial changes for content and clarity. Before hiring a freelance editor, some clients will ask to see samples of past work that demonstrates the editor’s ability and approach...To make the best impression, present potential clients with samples similar to the projects you'll be working on if hired. For example, if you are trying to secure work at an ad agency, show them ad copy, web content, press kit materials and radio and TV scripts. If it's a non-profit organization, provide samples of grant funding applications, annual reports and charitable giving proposals...Use [a] sample with a 'track edit' feature that shows the client what the work looked like before it was edited. Include an overview explaining the changes. For example, point out that the edits [were] made to reflect a specific style and to ensure continuity; or explain that the original content did not address the appropriate audience, and that your edits were made to tighten the piece. This approach will demonstrate the thought process behind your editing methods...Many clients use a unique style. Increase your chances of getting hired by asking for a short unedited document similar to something you would work on if you land the job. This will demonstrate your proficiency and establish you as a [team player]. It will also give you a preview of materials you might be working on and help you provide accurate time and price estimates...[Create] an online portfolio of work samples that can be shared with potential clients. Include only your best work[s] and categorize them on a professional-looking website that gives visitors an idea of your abilities and areas of expertise. This approach also enables you to promote your freelance editing services to a wider audience."
The Earnin blog reports:
"Your home budget, also known as your household budget, is the money you set aside that will go toward essential living expenses. It’s critical to budget your finances to only spend what you can afford and reach your savings goals. You can guess what kind[s] of things go into a home budget: rent or mortgage, groceries, savings, debt repayment, utilities, etc. However, people sometimes forget to factor the following expenses into their budgets, which catches them by surprise and forces them to reallocate their spending. Keep these costs in mind when figuring out how to budget your monthly paycheck and savings:...You know you’ll need to pay for your vehicle each month if you own or lease one, but what about gas? Parking? If you don’t own a car, then how much does public transportation cost in your area? According to Student Loan Hero, the United States' median household income was $61,937 in 2018. Households that earned this amount spend an average of $763 per month on transportation, including gasoline and car payments. Public transportation is cheaper, but again, it depends on where you live — you still might spend as much as $160 per month if you exclusively use Bay Area Rapid Transit in San Francisco...Insurance premiums are a significant hit on your wallet, but they’re necessary to have. Health and car insurance go without saying, but you may owe mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down when purchasing your home. There’s also life insurance, personal insurance, contributions to social security, and more. It’s difficult to calculate how much the average person in the U.S. spends on insurance because people’s situations vary tremendously. You might be lucky and only spend a few hundred dollars a month if you live in an inexpensive state and only need the basics. If you need more, then you could spend well over a thousand. Other factors affect your insurance premiums, too, such as your age, marital status, job, and education level, so combine all kinds of insurance you need to pay for when calculating your monthly household budget...Medical care is notoriously expensive in the U.S., so you should be prepared to pay out-of-pocket costs that exceed the scope of your health plan. Disasters strike in other ways, too. Hopefully, it’s small — maybe you spilled coffee on your only nice shirt and need to buy a new one for work — but it might be an outright emergency, such as [if] someone robs you or a natural disaster impacts your home. It’s crucial to have emergency money set aside to cover an irregular or unforeseen circumstance...You budgeted to feed yourself, but what about your pet? These costs might be low if all you need to buy is food every month and a few toys that last you a year, but vet bills can be expensive if your animal friend has health issues. If you prefer to outsource much of your pet care, you should budget much more to account for sitters, boarding, and walks. Of course, pet care expenses depend on the kind of animal you have, so anticipate how much financial TLC your pet will need...Subscriptions and membership fees on auto-renewal can sneak up on you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ve planned your budget for the month perfectly, only to be hit with a $15 Netflix bill you forgot to account for. These costs shouldn’t be out-of-sight, out-of-mind, so keep track of streaming services, subscription boxes, or shopping memberships you pay for...Fees are everywhere. They’re like pests you can’t seem to get rid of, but you forget about them when they’re not in the room. Make a list of all the fees you might need to pay throughout the month, including:
And more. There are ways to avoid or reduce many of these, but don’t buy something you don’t need if a fee will hit you later and you’re living paycheck to paycheck...It’s rare for everything to work as it should, especially if you can’t afford high-quality goods that last longer. Expect to pay for vehicle upkeep, appliances that stop functioning, and fixing potential damage. These costs are related to your emergency funds, but paying for regular maintenance will (hopefully) prevent actual emergencies from happening in the first place...Save as much as you can. Don’t forgo leisure entirely — it’s important to your mental health to have fun, and you deserve to — but besides general savings accounts, remember to save to buy a house, pay for college (or someone else’s education), emergencies, retirement, and more. Your monthly contribution to each may vary, but having substantial savings will set you up for major purchases later in life. Budgeting is an essential skill. You can use a budget finance app if you need assistance, but remember to factor in every possible expense to avoid tight situations."
Fraser Sherman reports:
"Closed-caption writers provide the subtitles that make TV dialog comprehensible to people who are deaf or hearing impaired. Someone who works as a caption generator can find closed-captioning jobs in other fields too, such as transcribing spoken words for online courses. You don't need a formal degree in this field[,] but you need the skill to transcribe spoken words fast and accurately...Closed-caption writers use the same stenotype machines as court reporters. You can take classes to become certified or acquire an associate degree. The typing speed required should qualify you for most closed-caption jobs...People who are deaf aren't the only ones who benefit from the services of caption writers. AI Media says loss of hearing is a spectrum: [P]eople who still have some degree of hearing may benefit from closed-captioning on their TV or streaming media. Even people with no hearing loss can benefit if they're watching in the midst of noise, or if, say, they want to watch in bed without disturbing their sleeping partner. The Federal Communications Commission says that with a few exceptions, cable operators, broadcasters, satellite distributors and other 'multichannel video programming distributors' have to make closed captioning available for their transmissions. The caption author has to make their work meet federal standards. Even if you work in fields that don't have to meet FCC rules, the standards are a good guide...Closed-caption writers need to be detail people, AI Media says. If you're working under FCC rules or providing complex instructions in a technical video, accuracy is a must. You need a good understanding of grammar and language as well. It helps if you can work well under pressure. The Rev captioning service says that if you're working with pre-recorded material[,] you'll have some lead time, but not a lot. If you're the caption generator for a live event, you'll have to transcribe accurately with no certainty what the next words or sounds will be. With live material, you also can't rewatch a scene to fix transcription errors. Most caption writers rely on the same equipment court stenotypers use to take accurate transcripts. Zip Recruiter says stenotypists [use] machines that type in symbols, capturing spoken words in a mechanical shorthand. While there are no formal educational requirements for caption writing, expertise with the stenotype machine is essential. The New York Career Institute says the same classes and courses court stenographers use will provide good training for caption writers as well. Some court stenographers branch out into caption writing. To learn the skills you need, you can take classes in stenotyping, both online and in person. Stenotype certification proves you can translate dictated words at up to 180 words per minute. An associate degree requires 225 words per minute. Degree programs also offer specialization in closed-caption work."
Related: Closed-caption writing can be applied to video calls. Rooms To Go explains how to set up a professional background for these.
The Earnin blog reports:
"Overdraft protection is a banking service consumers can opt into to overdraw their checking accounts for a fee...'Can I overdraft my debit card?' you ask yourself. 'What about my credit card? Or my savings?' You know it’s possible to overdraw your account with online payments, and you’ve heard of people doing it with checks, so it’s understandable to wonder what other kinds of accounts allow you to make transactions without sufficient funds...Let’s say you had $5 in your account this morning, but today is payday, so you should have plenty of money by the afternoon. Unfortunately, your employer’s payroll system takes longer to deposit your paycheck, so you won’t have the funds you expect some time until next business day. You use your debit card to buy a $7 slushie from the convenience store without knowing your real balance. The transaction goes through because you have overdraft protection, but now you owe the bank $35.47 — $2 for what it loaned you and $33.47 for the service. You can call the bank and try to explain, but you just purchased a really expensive slushie if they decide not to waive the fee. It was such a small difference, too, but overdraft fees are fixed. Your debit card is connected to your checking account, so debit card overdrafts are a common way to incur such fees. In addition, banks will often set overdraft limits. Even if you have overdraft protection, this means you cannot borrow more than your bank will allow if you overdraw your account (such as $500 or $1,000)...Because using your credit card entails borrowing money from your credit issuer, there is technically no finite amount of money in an account to withdraw from. However, it is possible to reach and exceed your credit limit. Your credit limit is the maximum amount of money your issuer is willing to let you borrow. This number varies between different cards, institutions, and individuals, so it could be as little as $200 (such as putting down a deposit on a secured card) or as much as $500,000. Your card will decline if you attempt to make a purchase that pushes you over your credit limit. Unless you have over-limit coverage, that is. Similar to overdraft protection, over-limit coverage is a service you must opt into with your credit issuer that enables you to exceed your credit limit in exchange for a fee. Your bank cannot charge you fees for reaching your limit, only if you agree to surpass it. Keep in mind, though, that using too much of your available credit could negatively impact your credit score. Experts suggest using approximately 30% of your credit limit. For instance, if you have $15,000 in available credit, then making more than $4,500 worth in purchases or expenses could make you seem like a risky borrower...Fortunately, a savings account can only be emptied, not overdrafted. That said, different rules influence your ability to withdraw from your savings. US law dictates that you cannot make more than six convenient withdrawals from your savings account per month ('convenient' includes transfers made via phone, online, check, etc.). Your bank may charge you a fee if you exceed this number of withdrawals or refuse the transaction. However, it’s possible to exceed the six-withdrawal limit if you use 'inconvenient' methods, such as visiting a bank branch in person, taking out cash from an ATM, or requesting a check...Though you cannot overdraft savings accounts or credit cards, it’s beneficial to be careful with your checking account, so you avoid overdraft fees. A few ways you can elude overdraft fees include:
You can also use financial apps to manage your various accounts and keep a watchful eye on your financial situation. If you have a low balance with no choice but to pay a necessary expense, then Earnin allows you to access up to $100 per day from your paycheck before the typically scheduled date without taking out a loan. Likewise, Mint is helpful for budgeting, and Peak can help you visualize your financial goals. You’re not alone if you’re worried about overdrafting, but rest assured, you cannot overdraft a credit card or savings account."
Jacob Yoss reports:
"Money is a go-to for many people when it comes to gift-giving. It’s not the most personal gift you could give, but if you’re not sure what the recipient would like, you can spare yourself from guessing incorrectly and allow them to spend the money however they choose...Of course, give according to your means...[P]lan a budget that accounts for all of your gift-giving each holiday season. Other gifts cost money anyway, so set aside a specific amount you can afford for your entire family. Write down how much you spend on physical or experiential items to get an idea of how much cash you can give to friends and relatives who won’t be receiving something else...Cash is not an appropriate gift for everyone. As mentioned previously, it’s not particularly personal, so giving your significant other an envelope with $50 or a gift card to a department store probably won’t go over very well. Giving money from one high-earning professional adult to another could also be interpreted rudely; cash is usually for people who need it (a check would be preferable in this case) or children who are excited about the freedom it entails. So, your cousin’s child who just turned 10? Cash is perfect. Your cousin herself who’s not in any debt? If you’re close, then something more thoughtful would be better...When gifting money to family members, consider what they will use it for. It may be that it’s none of your business, but a relative who is struggling with money would undoubtedly appreciate a bit of extra generosity (especially if you’re in a position to be generous). Giving loved ones financial aid during the holidays is where things get really tricky. Make sure your intended recipient is open to it, first — not everyone is willing to admit they need help — and give an amount you believe would make a legitimate difference...You don’t have to give naked money, either; it’s possible to pay for expenses like college tuition or medical bills directly...Gift cards are popular ways to give money as a present. Sometimes it’s nice not to have endless possibilities of how you could spend a gift — if you have a gift card to a bookstore, then you have to spend it at that bookstore. It’s a roundabout way of buying someone a book; they just get to decide which. Gift cards are a mid-way between the safety of giving someone cash and something more personal. On that note, make sure the gift card you buy someone is for a business they would gladly shop or dine at...Put the card in an envelope and include a note so your recipient doesn’t feel like you made the minimum effort...If you’re a grandparent gifting money to grandchildren, then you need to treat them equally and give the same amount to each. If you are someone younger and don’t need to distribute your generosity equally amongst your relatives, then it’s wise to be polite about it — that is to say, discreet. Don’t flaunt your gift-giving to relatives who aren’t receiving anything from you, and ask them not to say anything...Because money is a generic gift (however practical), put a little effort into its presentation. Make dollar bills into origami shapes. Put cash inside balloons and make children pop them. Hide money at the center of a 3D puzzle. Freeze bills in a block of ice for a pun on 'cold, hard cash.' The way you present your gift can add extra layers of thoughtfulness, intimacy, and fun. Gifting money to family members comes with a set of rules no one really understands, so just remember to be considerate, don’t feel pressured, and find a way to add a personal touch."
Julia Olech reports:
"Experts agree that incorrect grammar is very quickly becoming a modern-day epidemic. With the growth of social media and text messaging as well as the use of abbreviations, slang, and social media, it’s not surprising that an increased number of people sacrifice grammar in order to get their message across quicker.
The first step to improving your grammar skills is realizing what common errors you’re making...Often deemed unimportant, the comma is actually an extremely powerful grammar tool. Its sole purpose is to show where a reader can pause to take a breath and take time to understand the text. However, positioned in the wrong place, commas (especially Oxford commas) can completely alter the meaning of a sentence...Forgetting about regular commas can quite literally create extremely dangerous situations. For example, stumbling across a sign that says 'Hunters take caution while hunting pedestrians using walk trails' would probably cause you to run away or hide. That’s because it tells hunters to take caution while trying to shoot people walking by. Adding just one comma in the middle would protect many passers-by through providing a warning for hunters to be extra careful and not hurt anyone using the walking trails. Missing commas can even portray you as a serial killer or a cannibal! Regardless of your intentions, saying[,] 'We’re going to learn how to cut and paste kids!' would probably force many concerned parents to call the police. Good luck trying to explain to the officers that you weren’t planning on taking out a knife during a class. A comma at the end of that sentence wouldn’t just make it clear you were addressing children — it could keep you out of prison as well. The lack of punctuation can cause an endless list of uncomfortable situations. Imagine you were desperate to use the toilet in a restaurant, but the sign on the door said[,] 'Toilet ONLY for elderly disabled pregnant children.' It sounds like its use is restricted to children who are both elderly and pregnant, and disabled on top of it all. However, the addition of commas changes the meaning of the sign, allowing entry for the elderly, kids, disabled people, and pregnant people. Omitting commas in sentences may quickly turn pedestrians into criminals. After all, many people might be tempted to break the law if they knew there wouldn’t be any consequences. Writing 'No trespassing violators will be prosecuted' allows everyone free entry on the premises without any repercussions. Yet if that sentence had a comma, anyone trespassing is subject to the law...After seeing how omitting commas can put you in trouble, you may be tempted to put them everywhere just in case. Unfortunately, this grammar mistake can still lead to confusion...Let’s say you want to protest against seal hunting. You make your sign to show your support, but accidentally put a comma in the middle of it. This suddenly directs your message at baby seals, not hunters. More specifically, the sign would tell the little animals to stop partying, which differs a lot from banning acts of animal cruelty...We’ve all seen signs that warn people of wet floors — whether in a shop, hotel, restaurant, or on the street. However, these signs seem to be warning about slipping on wet people instead. Unless you were planning on informing others to be careful while walking on wet pedestrians because they’re slippery, add a comma to prevent people from falling on wet floors. It might also save you a lot of money on compensation should they sue you for inadequate warnings...The Oxford comma is arguably the most controversial grammar rule — and it divides most English speakers. Regardless of how you feel about it, adding it at the end of a list of two or more can make a great difference in how others understand you...A misplaced Oxford comma may even cost companies millions of dollars. In 2018, a dairy company from Portland had to pay $5 million when it was sued by three of their lorry drivers for missed overtime payments. The men argued that they weren’t excluded from the extra payment as the law didn’t specify delivery drivers as exempt from it. This all could have been avoided if there was an Oxford comma in the state’s law, which stated that no overtime pay was required for staff involved in: 'the canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution.'...The rule behind apostrophes is very simple. If you’re indicating possession (as in something belongs to someone) or contraction (like 'it’s' or 'won’t'), an apostrophe is a must. If you want to talk about something in its plural form, then avoid that punctuation mark at all costs. Otherwise, a shop sign that informs customers about weekend opening days should say[,] 'Open Sundays' (not 'Open Sunday’s') as it’s open every Sunday in the year. Similarly, a 'sports bar' is a place where you can go to drink beer and watch various sports games with your friends. Going to a 'Sport’s bar' wouldn’t really make sense unless the owner of the bar’s name is Sport. A grocery store should pride itself on selling 'fresh fruits and vegetables'[,] not 'fresh fruit’s and vegetable’s'[,] because apples and cucumbers can’t really be in possession of anything. It’s just a plural form to make it clear that the shop has more than one fresh fruit or vegetable in stock...Quotation marks are extremely useful when you’re quoting or referencing someone in your text. They allow you to talk about book and movie titles without confusion...However, placing them randomly in a normal sentence often undermines what you’re trying to say. That’s because misplaced quotation marks allow readers to take what you’re saying as a suggestion or sarcasm...Generally speaking, exclamation points are used to express heightened emotions, like anger or excitement. Most readers automatically perceive sentences with more than one exclamation point as angry shouting. Therefore, excessive use of exclamation points can be quite overwhelming and the meaning you’re trying to get through is likely to get lost...Interestingly, due to social media, the excessive use of exclamation points is being normalized. People feel the pressure to make sure their emotions are clear in plain text so they add multiple points at the end of their sentences. Suddenly, responding with[,] 'Sounds good' doesn’t portray as much excitement as[,] 'Sounds good!!!!!!!!' Similarly, 'You’re the best' wouldn’t be genuine without [five] exclamation marks at the end — because how do you tell someone what they mean to you if you can’t shout it out to them? Despite being more accepted on social media, remember to avoid using exclamation marks excessively in formal and academic writing...The English language loves to put multiple words together and turn them into contractions. They’re commonly used in everything from daily speech, to movies, newspapers, and even instructions. Contractions are created by swapping certain letters with an apostrophe. Knowing which letter to replace can seem difficult at first, but there’s only one simple rule you should follow to create them. If contractions are made of two separate words, then the apostrophe replaces any letters that aren’t a part of it. For example, 'you are' can easily be turned into 'you’re' — in this case you’re swapping the ‘a’ in “are” for an apostrophe. In 'does not,' it’s enough to replace ‘o’ with an apostrophe to create 'doesn’t.' Don’t worry if you find it difficult to understand at first. Many native English speakers themselves struggle to know how to use contractions — it’s especially visible on social media. It also seems that it’s the distinction between certain contractions and possessive pronouns that are the most difficult to differentiate. These include the constant battle between 'your' and 'you’re,' 'its' and 'it’s,' and 'their,' 'they’re,' and 'there.' Unfortunately, missing apostrophes can also result in a catastrophe. As they’re a necessity in contractions, omitting them can sometimes create a completely new word. For example, a simple 'we’ll' (we will) can quickly turn into a 'well,' 'she’d' (she would) into a 'shed,' or 'we’re' (we are) into 'were.' Luckily, this is only the case for a selected few contractions, which makes it a lot easier to remember...'You' is a possessive pronoun used to describe something that belongs to you...On the other hand, 'you’re' is a contraction of two words — 'you' and 'are.' It’s always used to describe a state of being and is usually followed by a verb that ends with -ing or an adjective to describe who you are. For example, 'you’re going home,' 'you’re shaking,' 'you’re annoying,' 'you’re funny.' It can function as both the contraction and separate entities[,] but it’ll still have the same meaning. People tend to mistake the two and use them interchangeably, despite the fact that they mean two completely different things. Whenever you find yourself unsure of which one to use, try to replace each 'your' and 'you’re' in your text with 'you are.' If it makes sense, then it’s definitely the latter you should use...Mixing 'it’s' with 'its' is another prevalent grammar mistake. It could stem from the fact that 'it' is used when talking about inanimate objects or ideas, which is much more abstract than talking about people. However, the 'it’s' vs. 'its' rule is just as easy to understand as 'your' vs. 'you’re.' 'Its' should be used when you’re talking about a possession or that something belongs to something else...'It’s' is a contraction of either 'it is' or 'it has,' depending on what you’re trying to say. To decide which one to use, check if you can replace it with 'it has' or 'it is.'...'They’re' is a contraction of two words that describe a state of being — 'they are.'...'Their,' just like 'your' and 'its,' is a possessive pronoun that shows something belongs to a group. It’s generally used in a plural form...but can sometimes be used when talking about someone whose gender you don’t know...Finally, 'there' points out a place far away from you. Essentially, 'there' works as an opposite of 'here,' for example[,] 'I left the book there.' Additionally, 'there' can be used to introduce a subject of a clause or a sentence, such as[,] 'There is my favorite person!'...Making spelling mistakes is arguably a part of human nature. As annoying as it can be for the person misspelling a word, these errors usually become the topic of jokes...Unfortunately, spelling mistakes can also be used by cybercriminals. So[-]called typosquatting (or URL hijacking) is a common form of cyber attack that targets people who misspell a site address in their web browser. As these errors happen quite often, hackers started creating malicious websites mimicking URL names. These look-alike sites are set up to gain a visitor’s trust and collect their personal information, such as Social Security Numbers, bank account details, or credit card [credentials. Typosquatting] can even lure its targets into various fraud cycles by displaying believable error messages about their devices. The unsuspecting victim then follows through with the pop-up message that allows hackers to infect their device with various types of malware. To avoid becoming a victim of typosquatting, pay extra attention to the URLs you input in your web browser. While most of the time the wrong URL won’t work, you shouldn’t risk your personal safety by accidentally misspelling anything...Proper punctuation and spelling make a difference in clear and concise communication. However, grammar is so much more than just correctness — it’s an art in and of itself that allows us, as humans, to freely express how complex our minds are. Unfortunately, it’s also an art that an increasing number of people tend to dismiss as unimportant and unnecessary. Yet studies show that grammar still has a big impact on people’s lives, especially in professional settings...Profiles with a few or no errors performed significantly better within the job market and were offered higher positions than those who displayed poor grammar. Professionals who use proper grammar are also more likely to continuously look for new challenges and opportunities for professional growth. Meanwhile, those with poor grammar skills are more likely to settle for the same position for a longer period of time. Fewer grammar errors could also be linked to more promotions. People with better grammar climbed the career ladder a lot quicker than others, even if they had the same level of education. That’s because employers judge your intellect, analytical skills, and attention to detail through your grammatical abilities. Too many errors, however small, will make people perceive you as lazy and sloppy. Not to mention that bigger errors will undermine your credibility and make people more reluctant to believe anything you say...Analyzing written text is one of the best ways to improve your grammar skills. The visual representation of actual grammatical rules will make it easier for you to understand and remember them. Apart from enforcing proper grammar use, reading helps with correct sentence structure and your writing fluency. If you’re just starting out with learning proper grammar, stick to easy texts like children’s books. You’ll be able to increase the difficulty level as your grammar skills develop...Another great way to improve your skills is listening to how other people speak. Try to hear how people structure their sentences and where they pause. You don’t just have to listen to people you know[,] either — any conversation around you or even watching an English movie will benefit you. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn just from hearing others speak...Playing games stimulates your brain. Doing so to learn or master English provides you with a more entertaining way of studying. Various online grammar platforms (like Free Rice or Games To Learn English) encourage you to practice your skills through a multitude of different games aimed at learning different grammar rules...Whenever you write, always check for any mistakes by reading out loud. Actually saying the sentences will allow you to hear the errors as they happen and correct them. Pay extra attention to where you need to pause to take a breath or when sentences are too long and complicated to understand. This is something even expert English writers do as mistakes can easily be missed if you’re just skimming through a text...Your phone can be your greatest tool for maintaining good grammar. App stores offer a vast choice of apps that help you develop proper use of the English language, such as Duolingo or Johnny Grammar Word Challenge. Some correct your text as you write, provide educational games, or even offer quick lessons on various grammar rules...Finally, it might be a good idea to enroll in additional English classes. It’ll give you a great opportunity to ask questions, practice with other students, and use newly-learned skills in various situations. English tutors are also able to spot any existing mistakes in your grammar and explain to you how to fix them. Going to a class can give you a massive confidence boost to actively practice English every day on your own...In many situations, people are likely to make assumptions about you based on your grammar skills. A single email, business letter, job application, or even a post on social media may make you look extremely smart or quite uneducated. Luckily, it’s entirely up to you which impression you’re going to make. Regardless of your current grammar skills, you can always grow and improve them with practice and effort."
Mary Cullen reports:
"In all business writing, the audience is the top consideration. Who you are writing for will determine how you write your email. The reader will determine the tone, formality, and content of the communication. Your email’s reader may be your colleague, client, or supervisor. Each reader will have a different background, project knowledge, and priorities. You can use project acronyms with a colleague who has the same deep project knowledge as you do. Those same acronyms will be confusing to an executive who needs an update for budget forecasting. With your audience at the forefront, you will always write a more effective email. The audience includes all the people included in the sender fields. This includes the To:, CC:[,] and BCC: fields[,] but [the] main focus should be on those in the To[:] field. Writing for the audience also means using these fields correctly. The ‘To:’ field is for the direct audience who needs to reply or take action from the email content. The ‘CC:’ field is for readers who need to receive the email conversation for reference or clarity, but do not need to take action nor reply. The ‘BCC:’ field is for the audience who only needs to see the initial email and none of the later chain of replies. Incorrect usage of the sender fields is a common business email mistake. It occurs when the audience and their roles are not thoughtfully considered. Use the [‘]B[CC:’] field very judiciously. Often it's best to forward an email separately, with a brief statement on why you're sending this information...An email must have a purpose. And it must have only one purpose. This email practice is called the ‘one thing rule’. Covering multiple actions in one email can cause confusion and inefficiency. One email should not include both client report revision notes and a scheduling question for the quarterly meeting. This scenario calls for two separate emails. By limiting emails to one thing, the email is easier for the recipient to understand, process[,] and act upon. This clarity increases understanding and productivity. In practice, we sometimes have to ask for several pieces of information related to the same topic. In this case, use a numbered list to clarify for your reader that the request has components. This will help your reader respond easily and ensure you receive all the specifics you need...There is a tendency to over-communicate by email. While email is efficient and provides an electronic [paper trail], not all communication should occur over email. Ask yourself: 'Is this email really necessary?' Perhaps a quick phone call or a ping on the company messenger is more appropriate. If you’re expecting a lot of back-and-forth on the topic, a short conversation can eliminate a lengthy email chain. Choose the right channel to send information. Email is great, but it's one channel...Email can be used in many scenarios but is not always appropriate. If you are delivering bad news, do so in person or buffer the email thoughtfully. An email is impersonal and is difficult to [use to] convey empathy or compassion. If you must write a business apology email[,] follow these rules. Sensitive information sent by email runs the risk of being accidentally shared. There are plenty of cases of email mishaps, ranging from funny to serious. Whether the information is personal contact or personal opinion, consider whether it’s appropriate for an email. If you wouldn’t want it accidentally shared, be very thoughtful about how it is sent in the first place. If you are unsure if an email is appropriate, ask yourself if you'd be comfortable with that email being projected in a meeting. Attending the meeting are your boss, all your future bosses, and your mother. If it passes this test, then send it. If not, there is likely something that is not appropriate...The volume of email we receive and send can sometimes diminish our motivation to write an effective business email. Consider the four key questions when preparing an email. Write it in a way that is concise yet clearly conveys the information and request to the reader. Your reader, and their inbox, will appreciate it."
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