Oct 28th 2019

How to Write a Job Description That Will Bring Talent to Your Company

Guest post written by Sienna Walker.

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Great companies require great employees to thrive and grow. Frankly, a business cannot reach its full potential unless it has a team of reliable and passionate superstars. That’s why good companies often go the extra mile to retain the best employees, offering flexible working hours, better salaries, and other benefits. If the company is able to keep top talent, it won’t need to hire very often, and the combined skill and experience of its employees will see it grow in no time. However, before a company can hope to retain superstar employees, it first has to find and attract them through well-written job descriptions.

A great job description is a lot like a marriage proposal – you want someone wonderful to first get attracted to you and finally say “yes”. This can sometimes be difficult, especially since you don’t know who you’re proposing to. Top talent, like a wonderful spouse, is looking for everything that would satisfy them in a long-term relationship. The perfect job description will demonstrate that your company is the perfect suitor.

If you are currently trying to find top talent to help your company reach the new levels, make sure to follow these simple steps to make your job description truly outstanding:

Proofread Everything

Highly talented candidates will have high expectations of a potential employer. After all, they might have spent years, if not decades in this particular business niche. They know their worth. They know that they’re on point. If there are typos, grammatical errors, and redundant sentences in your job description, they’re going to notice. Make sure it looks perfect before you post it. A highly qualified candidate may interpret small errors as red flags – if the company can’t even get the job description right, what’s it going to be like to work there? Perfect presentation is appealing to neat, orderly, and efficient people. Isn’t that exactly what you want from your employees?

Include Photos or Videos

Top talent doesn’t want a “good enough” job. Top talent wants an exciting career. You, on the other hand, want potential great employees to feel compelled to send in resumes. You want them giving you a follow up call the second they leave the interview. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can explain in words. Pictures and videos can capture the essence of things in a way plain text or a conversation cannot, making your job descriptions stand out among the competition.

Include a short video snippet of a fun meeting. Show pictures of Bring Your Pet to Work Day. Make your workplace look engaging and stimulating. Anyone can write about it, but the proof is always in the pictures.

Talk About Company Culture

Highly talented employees choose to work with a company (especially for the long haul) when they understand and love the company culture. Emphasize that as much as possible. Even if the salary and the benefits don’t quite stack up to those offered by the competitor, a stronger culture may be enough to attract and keep the top talent in your company.

Talk about the way the person hired for the job will integrate with everyone else. Focus on how everyone comes together. Speak about work responsibilities, but also about social, charitable, and bonding activities that everyone is a part of. Help your potential new star talents see themselves thriving in the environment your company creates.

Mention All the Good Things (Besides the Salary)

Keep salary open to negotiation – especially if you know your company may not be able to match your competitor. Focus on everything else you offer. What does your employee recognition program look like? Do you offer scholarship reimbursement or assistance with furthering education? Do you let employees work from home? Are there travel opportunities or flexible scheduling options? These perks can be worth more than a salary to people who prefer work life balance or people who have growing ambitions.

Talented people became talented because they explore their ideas, passions, and creative interest. If you can give them space to continue learning and exploring, you’re going to be the greatest employer they could ever ask for. You don’t even have to explain why these special perks are great – talented candidates will know immediately.

Show Room for Growth

Highly qualified candidates have no intention of working in the mail room forever. They may realize that they’ll need to take a lower level position when they’ve just started working with the company, but they also want to know that they aren’t going to get trapped there for years. Explain the career ladder and opportunities for advancement in the job description. Show them that the initial position can easily be a stepping stone to the place where they really want to be. You may also choose to mention lateral moves, depending on the nature of the position you’re describing.

Highly talented people will always look for a few core things in a job description. If you set the stage properly, they’ll be happy to perform. Measure your descriptions against your competitors, make something better, and see the incredible resumes start pouring in.

 

About author:
Sienna Walker is a career expert, writing about things connected to employment, self-improvement, and job satisfaction. Sienna is also a well-established blogger and is often found online, sharing her tips and ideas with job-seekers and employees.

 

GingerBusiness

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Oct 3rd 2019

Personification Definition & Examples

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What is Personification?

The definition of personification is the attribution of human characteristics to something non-human. Technically, personification is a type of metaphor that is used as a literary tool to make writing more interesting and vibrant. Yet, while personification can be used for stylistic purposes, it can also help the reader better understand a description.

When we say attribute human characteristics, we mean almost anything that can be related to humans: body parts, organs, senses, emotions, actions, thoughts and so on. And, by something non-human, we mean anything that is not a person: trees, animals, buildings, seasons, countries and anything else you can possibly think of.

Personification can be very simple, such as using the word she as a pronoun for a ship, or it can be more stylized and complicated. Below is an example of personification used from a passage of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream:

The moon, methinks, looks with a wat’ry eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity” 

Consider how many human qualities have been attributed to the non-human elements in the passage: The moon is using the human sense of sight, the action of crying and has been given an eye. The flowers are also given the human action of crying, as well as the emotion of lamentation.

Personification Examples

The personification definition can be best understood with examples. Below is a selection of original examples of personification:

  • The houses lined the street, silently watching the people walk by.
  • Winter shook its chilly head and plotted snowy destruction outside.
  • Thunder screamed and lightning danced in the sky.
  • That last beer in the fridge just called my name.
  • The car grinded to a halt; its engine giving out with a final sigh of resignation.
  • The table stubbornly refused to move from its spot.
  • The stars dutifully saluted the coming night.
  • Frost coldly embraced the trees and hedges.
  • France was calling her troops home from war.
  • The candlelight stretched and yawned, and then burst into life.
  • The wind held its breath for a second, then bellowed around our ears again.
  • The sunflowers nodded their heads in the gentle breeze.
  • The bread jumped excitedly out of the toaster.
  • He was not the type of man to fail to answer when opportunity knocked on the door.
  • The statues gazed solemnly at each other across the vast museum.
  • Dawn was peeping timidly over the mountain tops.
  • Each morning my alarm clock yells at me.
  • Those red roses were certainly an unhappy bed of flowers.
  • Cigarettes and alcohol controlled his early life.
  • The hands of justice will grab you, eventually.
  • Tokyo is always awake and untiring.
  • The streets tricked people into believing they were straight.
  • His happiness died that morning with the news.
  • The ship skipped across the waves, knowing she was near her home port.
  • The team was crying out for some new players.
  • The kebab definitely didn’t agree with his stomach.

Purpose of Personification

Why do we use personification in writing?
The easy answer is that it is a matter of style; after all, personification is widely used in poetry and literature.
However, it also helps us understand things better by the process of adding human qualities to them.
Consider that the practice of personification has been carried out by humans for as long as we have been able to communicate through language.

For example, ancient Greeks and Romans used to endow things like rivers, mountains, weather, the sea and the stars with human qualities; albeit, they imagined them as deities.
The Greeks and Romans did this because, among other reasons, it helped them understand the world around them.
While today we know why the wind blows or why a volcano erupts, you can appreciate how these ancient people chose to describe natural events in human terms – because it makes it is easier to understand them.
Modern language can work in the same way. Personification can help bring language to life in a way that we recognize and identify with, and that helps us understand it better.

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Oct 3rd 2019

Transition Words & Phrases

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Transition words and phrases are an important part of the English language. They are used to connect words and sentences, often by referring back to one idea and signaling the introduction of a new one. Transition words can also help a passage of writing flow better, although it is best not to overuse them.

Consider the example:

  • James did not go to the movies. He visited his grandparents instead.

The transition word in the above example is instead. It links the two sentences together by referring back to the first sentence and signaling that an alternative idea has been introduced.

Consider the example without the transition word:

  • James did not go to the movies. He visited his grandparents.

The lack of a link between the two sentences leaves things a bit vague. We do not explicitly know that the two sentences are related, whereas the previous example shows that James visited his grandparents as an alternative to going to the movies.

There are 100s of transition words and phrases in English. Indeed, because of the evolution of language over time, new transition phrases can appear all the time. Often transition words are conjunctive adverbs – words like however, also, indeed, instead, still, therefore – or phrases containing conjunctive adverbs, conjunctions and adverbs. The point is that transition words cover a wide variety of language, but it’s more important to recognize their function rather than categorize them.

When to Use Transition Words?

Fundamentally, we use transition words to connect sentences and words together. They often refer back to the previous sentence or words within a sentence, and let the reader know that there is some related or new information on its way. There are different types of transition words and phrases, and not all of them have this simplistic explanation for their use.

Consider the passage below, and notice the highlighted transition words and phrases:

I do not like dairy products very much, particularly cheese. However, I make an exception for ice cream, especially chocolate ice cream. Indeed, ice cream is probably my favorite thing to eat. Admittedly, I am also aware that ice cream is very fattening, not to mention full of sugar. In other words, ice cream isn’t very healthy. Nevertheless, life is too short to worry about these things. With this in mind, I will continue to eat ice cream every day. I may end up overweight, of course. On balance, this is a price I am willing to pay for delicious – especially chocolate – ice cream.

Can you see how the transition words and phrases stitch the fabric of the passage together? They act as signals by referring to the previous sentence and introducing new ideas in the next, or by referring back to previous information in the same sentence and changing the emphasis of it. Normally, transition words and phrases help a passage of writing flow better, but it’s also recommended not to use too many transition words, as it can make the writing a bit confusing or heavy. As an example, the passage above arguably uses too many transitional words and phrases from a stylistic standpoint and would be easier to read with fewer transtions.

Types of Transition Words

As we mentioned, transition words are normally used to link words and sentences by referring back to one idea and introducing a new one. However, transition words do this in a variety of ways. With that in mind, let’s break down the different types of transition words into categories based on the way they link words together.

Here are some of the main ways transition words are used:

To introduce a new idea or opposite point of view:

  • But, while, conversely, however, nevertheless, yet, instead, nonetheless, although, though, even though, incidentally.
    • I went to his house hoping to find him; yet, he was not there.
    • They told her they weren’t happy with her designs, but she nevertheless resolved to go on.

To introduce a conclusion:

  • Finally, so, as, therefore, thus, consequently, in conclusion, since, as such, finally, subsequently.
    • Finally, the choir began singing.
    • Since that is the case, we have no choice but to resign.

To introduce a list or point out a sequence of events:

  • First, second, third, firstly, secondly, first of all, last of all, finally, lastly, after that, until, including, next.
    • We go to Paris this Sunday. After that, Rome.
    • First of all, let me tell you what happened. Then you can decide.

To admit a concession:

  • Of course, admittedly, even so, naturally, alas.
    • There is another way to do it, of course.
    • Admittedly, it was my biggest mistake.

To add emphasis or additions.

  • Likewise, in addition, furthermore, also, additionally, moreover, indeed, namely, in fact, for the most part, as a matter of fact.
    • David, Benjamin and Ellie laughed. Indeed, even Daniel found it funny.
    • For the most part, the kids in the classroom kept quiet.

To introduce clauses and conditions:

  • On the condition that, in light of, in order to, provided that, whenever, while, as long as.
    • You can go, as long as you are back by midnight.
    • Whenever you return, lock the door after you.

The above just shows a small selection of different transition words and phrases, but there are many more words and phrases used in this way. It can also be somewhat confusing, because sometimes the words on the list above can be used in a sentence without it being a transition word.

Consider these two sentences:

  • Despite nerves, Donna came first in the race. (First is not a transition word in this sentence.)
  • To win a race, first you must believe you can win.  (First is a transition word in this sentence.)

Examples of Transition Words

Below are some more examples of transition words in sentences:

  • The Queen is the UK’s Head of State. Additionally, she is also the Head of State for Australia.
  • We were hungry. However, because the kitchen was already closed, we didn’t eat until morning.
  • One doesn’t need to attend college. There are, in fact, many ways to obtain knowledge.
  • She was very tired. Indeed, she hadn’t slept for weeks.
  • In light of recent weather events, the show will be cancelled.
  • Finally, the car came to a skidding halt.
  • You should go to the conference. Likewise, Bill and Caren should go too.
  • It’s obvious you don’t want me here. As a result, I have decided I will leave tomorrow.
  • We are German citizens. But we are also citizens of Europe.
  • He lowered his voice, as if to underline the seriousness of the matter.
  • Monkeys groom each other in order to build relationships.
  • Michael and Sarah are here. I was chatting with them earlier, as a matter of fact.

Why are Transition Words Important?

Without transition words and phrases, language would be somewhat stiff. They sew words and sentences together, helping them flow better by acting as a link to what was previously stated in the passage. Yet, they are more than that, they act as signals in writing to show shifts in ideas, tone and emphasis, and introduce conclusions, sequences and contradictions.

The key to understanding them lies in the name itself: Transition words. Transition means change, and these words indicate that there has been a change or that a change is forthcoming. This change could be subtle, like a shift in emphasis, or more obvious, like the offering of a contrary idea or conclusion, but transition words, nevertheless, act as a signal for that change. In the end, this is important because it gets to the root of how we understand language, as these transition words act like bridges through words, sentences and meaning.

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Sep 2nd 2019

Translators Say That Translating Poor Grammar is One of the Worst Parts of the Job

Guest post written by Bernadine Racoma

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A translator’s job is to provide an accurate translation of the information from the source language into the target language. If that document was written well, then the translation process, usually, goes smoothly. However, what do you do if the original document contains grammatical mistakes that are just too obvious to ignore? Is it all right to translate poor grammar in the context of the translation being a mirror image of the original?

What a Recent Study Reveals

Professional language service provider Day Translations, Inc. recently conducted a survey of 400 translators. The study revealed that 28.2% of translators declared translating bad grammar as one of the hardest parts of their job.

For these translators, 29.4% said, translating highly technical terminology is the most difficult. Another 16.2% of the respondents found it difficult to translate proverbs and puns, due to their cultural dependency, making them difficult to adapt to other cultures.

The quality of a company’s presence online is very critical today as the availability of information, the efforts of competition and the degree of knowledge of the global community have a direct effect on the credibility and reputation of the company.

Why Grammar and Spelling Matter

You might think that people are just happy to find information about the company or product they seek online. However, many viewers do notice if there are grammatical or spelling errors found in a particular website. Many people voice their opinion that they are less likely to purchase products from a company whose website contains errors. It’s proof that the credibility of the company decreases in relation to its oversight, as it shows that they do not care much about their customers, much less about their company. It’s a sign of unprofessionalism on the part of the company, which also indicates that they are less likely to provide quality products or services.

Likewise, a badly translated website, for example translated from a foreign language into English, will suffer the same repercussions. It’s typical for most people to associate quality with things that are visible. Therefore, when they see a badly written or poorly translated website, it’s a normal reaction to think that the products or services the company offers are also of low quality.

Two Points of View

Some cultures believe that goods manufactured in other countries are superior to local products. At the same time, some cultures have an open mistrust about goods coming from abroad. In the case of the latter, local consumers associate poor translation on the company’s website or the mistake-prone information they gather from the site to further boost their mistrust on the company and its products. It is confounding, since many of these people may also be bad in grammar and spelling themselves.

The reality is that they expect company websites to be factual and correct, and to have impeccably written content. It’s an extension of their expectation that products, especially those coming from developed countries, should be superior – in features, ingredients and benefits, as well as packaging.

Importance of Correct Grammar and Spelling

We live in a global society which is viewed as having evolved into something better and more integrated over time. People are more educated and are inundated with technological advancements that assist them in making information readily available to consumers throughout the world via Internet connection.

Smartphones and other mobile communication devices are ubiquitous today. The continuous growth of Internet services and the availability of mobile devices should push businesses to seize every opportunity to create awareness about their products and services and to help improve the knowledge of customers. This can be done by creating and providing consumers with proper, factually and grammatically correct information.

Why is this important?

A potential customer only spends a few minutes perusing a website to find the information he or she is looking for. In those few precious minutes, the website or its content must make a good impression. If the content is full of spelling and grammatical errors, the potential customer is likely to dismiss your site.

Your online presence is critical in ensuring global business success. Make sure that it is designed to be user friendly, and have a creative content and correctly written text. For sites, targeting speakers of other languages, see to it that it is handled by an accurate translator, preferably a native speaker, so that the adaptation of your original content into other languages is grammatically correct, as well as culturally appropriate.

Always keep in mind that global competition is fierce so you should ensure that you present yourself in a professional and favorable light at all times. Every customer looks for professional service no matter what they want to purchase. Therefore, putting linguistics to good use is a vital part of the process.

 

About author:
Bernadine Racoma, senior content writer at Day Translations, Inc. is passionate about learning different cultures. Working for an international organization opened her eyes to diversity early on. That and her numerous overseas trips give her plenty of inspiration to write articles with so much depth.

 

GingerBusiness

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Aug 7th 2019

What are Metaphors?

Definition of Metaphor

A metaphor is a word or phrase that describes something in a way that isn’t literally true yet works to help our understanding by way of providing comparison. A metaphor refers to someone or something to show that they are alike. Sometimes we refer to metaphors as figures of speech, meaning they should not be understood in a literal sense but are instead used to explain something in a more vivid way. In fact, at times a metaphor could be an object (in the non-linguistic sense) used as a symbol to explain something else. Metaphors are often used in poetry and literature, but they also play an important role in everyday language, adding both color and context to speech.

Of course, the best way to understand the metaphor definition is to see some examples:

  • This bedroom is a pigsty. The bedroom is not literally a pigsty (a pen or enclosure for pigs), but the metaphor is used to stress how untidy or dirty it is.
  • The wheels of justice turn slowly. They aren’t literal wheels, but the metaphor serves to illustrate that justice, normally in a legal sense, can take time.
  • Dad is my rock. Nobody is literally a rock, but the metaphor is used to convey that a person is solid, dependable.
  • Tim is an animal in the courtroom. Tim is not really an animal, but the metaphor is used to convey that he is wild and aggressive when he is in court.
  • Molly is up to her neck in paperwork. Molly isn’t really covered in papers, but the metaphor is showing that she has a lot of work to complete.
  • The movie Wall Street is a metaphor for the extreme greed of the 1980s. This sentence is not itself a metaphor, but serves to highlight that an object, like a film or painting, can be interpreted as one.

Types of Metaphors

Language experts will often argue as to how many different types of metaphors exist, with up to 15 sometimes cited. However, we can whittle it down to three main areas – direct metaphors, implied metaphors and sustained (extended) metaphors. The first two, direct and implied, are much more common in everyday language than sustained metaphors.

Direct Metaphors

Direct metaphors are used in comparisons, basically saying that one thing is another thing. They are perhaps the easiest to spot and understand in a sentence.

  • Those children are angels. The children are well-behaved.
  • Congress is a circus show. Congress is unruly, dramatic.
  • My mother is a lioness. My mother is strong and protective.

Implied Metaphors

Implied, or indirect, metaphors do not explicitly say that one thing is another, but they hint at a connection in a subtler way than direct metaphors.

  • The witness crumbled under the pressure of giving testimony. A person wouldn’t literally crumble, but the metaphor is used to create an image of falling apart – like a cookie, something brittle – to stress the difficulty of the situation and how the witness fell apart.
  • The sergeant barked orders at the troops. A person wouldn’t literally bark like a dog, but the metaphor indirectly compares the sergeant to a dog to create an image of sharp, abrupt commands.
  • Julie sailed confidently across the dancefloor. The implied metaphor uses the verb sail to give the subject smooth, boat-like qualities, hinting at grace, speed and poise.

Extended Metaphors

Extended metaphors are more common in poetry and literature than everyday speech. As you might expect, they are often comprised of more than one sentence, perhaps encompassing an entire paragraph or passage. One of the most famous extended metaphors is Shakespeare’s ‘world’s a stage’ metaphor at the end of The Tempest. In the metaphor, Shakespeare makes several metaphorical references to life being a play, and thus the passage itself becomes an extended or sustained metaphor.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.”

Dead Metaphors

Dead metaphors are phrases that have become so commonplace that the imagery they used to create no longer has any impact. In fact, some academics claim dead metaphors are not metaphors at all, such is the loss of their imagery and visual impact.

  • It’s raining cats and dogs. A common phrase meaning it’s raining heavily. It’s been so frequently used that the imagery of falling animals is no longer important.
  • He has kicked the bucket. A once gruesome metaphor to convey that someone had died, with the bucket falling over referencing hanging. Now the phrase has become so commonplace, although it’s still a crude reference to death, that we no longer think of the imagery of its origins.

Mixed Metaphors

Special mention should be made of mixed metaphors, which aren’t really metaphors, but linguistic errors made by confusing and combining more than one metaphor. Mixed metaphors are often comprised of dead metaphors, and can be, somewhat ironically, celebrated in modern pop culture.

  • “Labour are fighting like rats in a barrel”. Spoken by a UK member of Parliment in 2014, it seems to confuse the metaphors of rats fleeing a sinking ship and shooting fish in a barrel and comes up with a sentence with an unclear meaning.

Simile vs. Metaphor

There is often some confusion over the difference between similes and metaphors. In short, a simile is a type of metaphor that uses the words like or as to compare things. Metaphors, as we have seen above, can directly state a comparison or imply a comparison, but similes use like or as to compare two or more things.

Examples of similes:

  • He is as strong as an ox.
  • Jamie ran, swift like the wind, across the field.
  • Your words cut like a knife.
  • The boys laughed like hyenas.
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Examples of Metaphors

The beauty of metaphors is that they are limitless in number. Indeed, it’s important to understand that metaphors are not just established sayings or idioms. New metaphors are created all the time and those created by you or I are just as valid as those created in established literature and linguistics, and maybe even Shakespeare! However, here are some more examples of metaphors:

Direct metaphors

  • Those boys are little imps.
  • My brain is a computer.
  • She is a delicate flower.
  • This job is a prison.
  • He is a monster.

Implied metaphors

  • The cogs whirred in her mind until she found the answer.
  • The defense crouched behind the quarterback, snarling and bearing their fangs.
  • Mom buzzed around the kitchen getting things ready for the party.
  • The kids chirped in delight.
  • The flowers danced in the wind.
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