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Sam's Word, LLC

P (203) 800-7119 / F (877) 597-1112

P.O. Box 120068, East Haven, CT 06512

Your online resource for professional writing, career and personal advice, assistance with college projects,  and so much more

To Read, To Proofread, What is the Difference

Proofreading is the act of reading to identify and correct grammatical and formatting errors. Unfortunately, this part of the writing process usually gets neglected, which reflects negatively on the writer's work.

You will be able to identify errors becaause proofreading is the most important part of the writing process and it allows the the author to take on the role of a reader/editor. While performing this process, you will be able to locate errors because your focus is on sentence structure, use of punctuation marks, formatting, and the flow of information.

What to look for during the proofreading process:

  • Spelling Errors
  • Grammatical Errors
  • Punctuation Errors
  • Ensure the content communicates the intended message
  • Review use of appropriate formatting guidelines: 
    • Students: Format - APA, MLA, Chicago, Rubrics, etc...
    • Businesses: Format - Memorandums, Grant Requirements, Emails, etc...

It is also a good idea to have someone else proofread your work. They will be able to view the work as an original piece and will not be biased during the editing process. If you do not have someone available to aid in the proofreading process try these tips.

  • Take a break! Step away and come back to it.
  • Read your document out loud
  • Be aware of your weaknesses
  • Ensure you are getting your point across

If you tried these tips and you still need assistance, as always, Sam's Word is available to help you with your proofreading needs. Contact us at writers@samsword.com for more information.

Email Etiquette 101

Take a look at the last email you sent. Do you think it will pass an email etiquette 101 test?

If not, here are a few notes to consider when you send your next email.

  • Always include a short and specific subject line. Your subject line should not include typos or a period. The subject line should not read like a sentence.

  • Use courtesy when addressing your recipient(s). Use greetings like "Hello, Hi, or Dear, along with their first name. You can also address them by Mr. or Ms.

  • Don’t use special email formatting! Why? Because spam filtering and email security may prevent your email from being delivered.

  • When composing your email, do not use all caps. It comes off as if you are yelling. Your email should be similar to that of a letter, including proper use of capital letters and punctuation.

  • Only use the reply all button when it is absolutely necessary. If everyone doesn't need the email you're sending, do not select reply all. Believe it or not, folks don't appreciate the reply all button much.
  • Out of the office? If you know you'll be away from your email or if you're planning to be on vacation, always use your out of office reminder. This informs others that you are not available at the present time and also let's them know when they can expect a reply.
  • Add the recipient's email address last. Accidentally sending the email prior to finishing your message or proofreading can be devastating. Add the email address after proofreading.

  • Assume nothing is confidential. Your email can ultimately end up in anyone's hands.

  • Include a signature block, which lists the ways you can be contacted via email, phone, and email. Avoid using long quotations in your signature.

You now have the tools to send a proper email. Use them or else...

Remember, Sam's Word will provide you with writing services if you are still unsure of what you should or shouldn't include in your email. Contact us at writers@samsword.com

Useful PowerPoint Tips 101

PowerPoint is a tool that is often used when creating and delivering presentations. Students and business professionals use it to enhance projects or gain the attention of potential investors or clients.

Here are some tips to help you develop powerful, classy, and professional PowerPoint presentations:

1. Use Bullet Points

  • Discuss the main aspects of a particular topic
  • Keep your sentences short and on one line
  • No paragraphs, no periods
  • Use a limited number of bullet points per slide (Don't bore your audience with a slide containing 7 bullets or more)

2. Properly Format Important Content

  • Insert & format shapes or textboxes
  • Add color, if needed
  • Use the various shape formatting & drawing tools

3. Add Graphics to Separate Content

  • Always use graphics to add visual images specific to the content
  • Graphics help illustrate content and make presentations come alive
  • Use a moderate amount of graphics
    • The audience should be focused on the content
    • Graphics should not overpower the content

 4. Slides

  • Each slide should have a short & simple title, font no larger than 36
  • Use slides to deliver a specific message in a concise manner
  • Use simple fonts on each slide, typically font size 24-28
  • Title font & slide fonts must be consist throughout the presentation
  • Justify bullet points and center text boxes when needed

5. Speaker Notes

  • Used to help keep track of material while presenting
  • The audience cannot see speaker notes
  • Include key points and information not included on slide
  • A cheat sheet, which is helpful if you lose track during the presentation

6. For Businesses: Call to Action (CTA)

  • Include a call to action button or link for viewers
  • Clearly state what you would like your audience to do:
    • Contact us today!
    • Check out our website
    • Save 20% by acting today!
    • Click this link to sign up!
  • CTA should direct them to complete the actions:
    • Email box appears
    • Website hyperlink to webpage
    • Hyperlink to:
      • Social media accounts
      • Promotion landing page
      • Online calendar to schedule appointments

7. For Students: References

  • Include a reference slide, listing, in alphabetical order all resources used
  • References should also include direct websites for all images used

8. Questions?

  • Allow time for your audience to ask questions
  • End Presentation on question slide, using an aesthetically appealing image

Check it out: This entire blog was formatted like a PowerPoint presentation. Feel free to refer to it when creating your own presentation.

As always, we are here to help. If you can't get the hang of creating a PowerPoint, please feel free to email us at writers@samsword.com or by using our Contact Us page. (<----- CTA!!)

#Hashtag It!

If you are running a business, you're most likely using social media to promote and sell your products. But how are you helping your potential customers find and follow you? Believe it or not, the power behind social media is the hashtag, the #, the button that we use to call "the pound sign".

Just about every major social media site has adapted the use of the hashtag. If you are not using hashtags in your business, you are basically un-find-able on social media.

Twitter started the hashtag trend and it slowly crept onto Instagram, Facebook, and even Google+. Here is a simple guide when using hashtags on these social media platforms.

  • Twitter: Less is better. Remember, you are only allowed a certain amount of characters on a single tweet. So get your point across with a photo and a few hashtags.
  • Instagram: The world is yours on Instagram. You can literally go hashtag crazy, but remember to keep your hashtags focused on the product you are highlighting. Your hashtags can even include the name of your products and your business name. Most people create distinctive hashtags that are only relevant to their business.
  • Facebook: Although you can use hashtags on Facebook, they don't really get the ball rolling like Twitter and Instagram. So I would suggest that if you feel the need to use a hashtag, keep it down to one or two. Some businesses link their Instagram accounts to Facebook so you can always share your Instagram posts and keep it moving as well. 
  • Google+: Your posts to Google+ are automatically given a hashtag based on the content. If you are commenting on someone's post, you can include hashtags there also! 

Now that you've brainstormed and developed a slew of hashtags what are you going to do with them? I suggest you open up the Notes app on your phone and store all your hashtags by post type and have them ready to be copied and pasted into your posts. No need to try and remember every single hashtag and no need to type each one out. Have them ready to go so that posting isn't too much work.

Remember, Instagram and Twitter limit the number of hashtags you use in your posts. Also, Instagram's algorithm may prevent your posts from showing under certain hashtags if they are not posted according to the Instagram rules. Check out your hashtag limits prior to posting.

I hope this brief discussion on hashtags will get you motivated to get your business social media ready. Remember, if you need business writing assistance, just email us at writers@samsword.com. Happy Writing.

 

When is the Last Time You Updated Your Resume??

Everyone knows it is important to keep your resume updated. However, we have all been in a situation where the perfect opportunity came up, all you had to do was submit your resume...but you can't even remember the last time you updated it, or you don't even know where it is! PEOPLE!!! We can't create and accept opportunities if we aren't ready to receive them.

Thankfully, keeping your resume updated is very simple. If you are currently employed, that position should already be on your resume with your assigned duties. As you continue with the company, get promoted, or take on more responsibility, this additional information should be added to your resume.

Here is a list of items you should always include on your resume. These are details that you may forget when you're rushing to update your resume:

  • Dates of Hire (Month and Year)
  • Job Duties
  • Committees
  • Projects Completed
  • Certifications/Training
  • Awards and Accomplishments
  • College GPA (If Over 3.0)
  • Involvement in Campus Organizations and Events

If you need a government resume, you will need all the information above, as well as:

  • Supervisor's First and Last Name
  • Supervisor's Contact Number
  • GS code, Annual or Hourly Salary, and Hours Worked Per Week
  • Address of Job

The reason why many of us fail to keep our resume updated is because we get comfortable once we get a new job and don't think about updating it until we decide its time for a new gig. However, technology allows us to easily update and save our resume. Even if you jot down new items and return later to properly format it, at least you captured it. 

Also, always remember to make sure your resume is saved as a Word document and be sure to use one of the many cloud services to save your documents. You can always lose a flash drive and you do not want your computer to crash without backing up your files.

Some options for Cloud/Storage Services/Apps include:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Apple iCloud - Pages
  • Microsoft Word App 

It is very simple to keep your resume updated, which is why there is no reason for you not to be prepared when the perfect job presents itself! However, if your life is simply just too busy, leave it up to the professionals. Sam's Word is always looking to help, so contact us at writers@samsword.com and we will provide you with excellent Resume Writing services.

What NOT to Do When Applying For a Job

It's assumed that when applying for a job, people are on their best behavior. Everyone knows that when you're applying for a job you should present the best version of yourself. This is how you impress the person interviewing you and quickly get in good with the powers that be -- You know, the big Kahunas... Once you get in, survive the crucial probationary period, then you can relax a bit and become the true person they hired.

Unfortunately, not everyone believes this is the approach to take. There are some very special people who think otherwise. So, here is a short guide (just to clear things up), on what NOT to do when applying for a job.

1.    Do not submit an incomplete application. If you really don't want the job, sure, go ahead and give them half of the information they need. But, if you are serious about this job opportunity, provide as much information as you can on your application. The more information about yourself, work experience, and education, the better. This will give management a thorough idea of your skills and abilities.

2.    If you must communicate via email or written correspondence, do not write as if you are speaking to a friend or texting. There should be no emojis and text abbreviations anywhere in your communication. Pretend that you are trying to get an "A" on this written assignment and keep it 100% professional.

3.    Please, do not act like you know it all. If you are asked to provide documentation, written samples and/or presentations as an addendum to your application, just do it! Just because the last job you applied to didn't ask for such information, does not mean you don't have to. This is what is required for this position. I've actually heard someone say in an interview, "well, I didn't have to do that with my last job". Oh really?

4.   Lastly, do not demean the position you are applying for just because things aren't going your way. This is a sure way of shutting the door permanently for yourself and that organization. Keep your feelings in check and remove any signs of emotions from email correspondences. Don't potentially mess up future money. If the time isn't right at the moment, do what you need to do, then revisit the organization down the road. Saying negative comments in emails and through conversations will not help you get the job you are applying for .

The lesson to be learned here is to simply, check yourself. Check your writing, check your tone, and check your attitude. Have a positive mind frame when applying for a job.

If you need guidance, contact Sam's Word for a consultation. Click here writers@samsword.com to email us today. 

How to Write a Job Description

Job descriptions are an essential tool used in the hiring process and many hiring managers spend a lot of time ensuring they are adequate, specific, and reflective of the available position. A good job description helps candidates understand if they have the appropriate skills, training, and qualifications for the job. I know, these days, it seems like qualifications no longer matter and anyone can get a job they’re not qualified for. Although this may be true for the highest position in the country, we know, in the real world, qualifications matter. Therefore, it is important to be extremely specific in the development of job descriptions, while being mindful of your word choice.

Key components of job descriptions:

  • Job Title - One of the first things we see when searching for a job. The job title should be an indication of what the job entails
  • Job Objective - What is the purpose of this role?
  • Summary - General idea of the skills needed to fulfill the duties of this position
  • Description and Duties - Usually includes job specific details and is a list of all the duties the candidtate will be required to perfom. Here you can also include the time required to complete these duties. (Ex. Order entry - 55%, Reporting - 35%). Be sure to list duties by importance!
  • Company Relationships and Roles - This helps the candidtate know where this position will fall within the organizational structure, including who their peers are and who they will report to. In this section you can include supervisory positions, subordinating roles, and/or other working relationships.

Lastly, the main reason your candidate is viewing your job post:

Salary - Be competitive!! Include a competitive salary range, which will give the candidate an idea of the anticipated salary, based on experience and education.

Don't forget, Sam's Word is always available to provide your business with business writing services if you need assistance developing your job descriptions. Contact us at writers@samsword.com today. 

Networking Emails

One of the best ways to network is through the use of technology and the internet! Entrepreneurs no longer need to gather in a room to exchange information.

With apps and websites like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Alignable, networking has become unbelievably easy, but once you connect with a person or business, you have to keep that relationship growing!

This is where email becomes extremely important.

When sending a networking e-mail, you must remember they can't see you or your expressions. So your message has to be clear and easy to understand without being misinterpreted.

Make sure you always include the following information in an initial email. You may also want to reiterate this if you're following up to a previously sent email:

·  Who you are, including the name of your business and your title

·  Where you met the recipient or who referred you to them

·  Why you are contacting them

The networking email is one of the first, and most important, stages of establishing a connection. This email can lead to additional connections, information, and support.

So set those fears aside and send that email!!

Remember, Sam's Word will provide you with writing services if you are still unsure of what you need to include in your email. Contact us at writers@samsword.com to get the writing assistance you need. 

Online Education

Due to the flexibility that comes along with pursing a degree online, many people have decided that this is the best option for them. But, let's face it, not everyone is built to go to work, sit in a classroom for hours, and then return home to tend to their family or try to maintain a social life.

Although online education seems like a great alternative to the normalcy of a college classroom setting, we must consider the pros and cons of this type of education.

Pros:

  • Convenience of working at one’s own pace
  • Portable classrooms and the ability to take your class with you on the go
  • Less expensive, no need to travel, and no added housing costs
  • Ability to work autonomously, which of course is an introverts dream

Cons:

  • Excellent time management skills is needed to be successful and many fail due to the inability to effectively manage their time and meet the requirements of the course
  • The workload may be more than that of a traditional academic setting
  • Lack of motivation to complete assignments and meet deadlines can set you up for failure
  • Added technology costs, which may include software, specific system requirements, and the constant availability of a computer

 

We at Sam's Word are rooting for you, we know you can do it!!! But, keep us in mind if the course work gets to be too hectic and you need a little help. If this happens, contact us at writers@samsword.com and we will get you back on track with your online courses.

Landing My Dream Job

Like many people, I bet you hate your job, are in between jobs, or you may just be wondering if your dream job is even out there.

Job seekers have a variety of choices when it comes to finding an occupation that will pay them money for completing tasks – that’s basically what we’re talking about.

First, you must think about the type of job you are interested in. These options include:

Entrepreneurs and business owners – Individuals who operate their own businesses

Employees – People who choose to work for small or large businesses

Contractors – Those who do not work directly for an organization but provide services according to a binding contract

Freelancers – Variety of functions provided by individuals who work primarily on their own terms

Temporary Employees – Individuals who contract with a hiring agency to perform duties, as needed, for other organizations

And many other types of employment options!

Now, it’s time to get to work and think about a job you are interested in and wouldn’t mind doing every day.

The next step is the most important. Without it, you’re just ignorant to the facts.

RESEARCH!!! What is the average pay in your area? Are there jobs currently available? What are the educational and basic qualifications? Do you meet them? Do you need to gain experience, education, job specific skills, certifications, or licensure? What is the expected career forecast? Is this a growing industry or a dying one? Are there organizations you should join for exposure and gain insight?

Have you gone through this process and you’re still confused? Let Sam’s Word help you figure it all out! Contact us today at writers@samsword.com to schedule a Career Coach consultation with a qualified and knowledgeable employment specialist. I mean, why should you do all that research when we can do it for you??

Entrepreneurship – It Ain’t for Everybody!

Hustle, hustle, hustle, HARD! – We all know those lyrics, but is hustling right for you? 

Gone are the days of hustlers being only drug dealers and pimps. This is 2017 and just about anyone can be a hustler. All you have to do is understand where there is a need, build trust, and start a business.

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See that section where all the bubbles intersect? That is what you should focus on. When you find something you are passionate about, you’re actually pretty good at it, and people will pay you for doing it – you have found your purpose!! I have two passions: helping people and writing. The point where these two passions meet is where success happens!

You also need to understand that being an entrepreneur is not for the lazy or uninspired slacker! It takes work! You will work when no one else is working.

Unlike many hustlers, I do believe that hustlers do sleep and we need our sleep. However, you will catch me working until it’s time to go to sleep. You will find me working on a Saturday, while my son is napping (which is when I wrote this) and you will see me working between 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. before he wakes up. Even when we’re sleeping, we’re working, thinking, evaluating, contemplating, and worrying. We work even when there is not an immediate payment to be received. We do it because it is our passion.

Now you know what it takes to be a hustler/entrepreneuer but are you ready???

You already know what I’m going to say! What do you actually know about this hustle? Have you conducted any RESEARCH? What is the average pay in your area? Are there jobs currently available? What are the educational and basic qualifications? Do you meet them? Do you need to gain experience, education, job specific skills, certifications, or licensure? What is the hustle's expected career forecast? Is this a growing industry or a dying one? Are there organizations you should join for exposure and gain insight? Don't just jump into something because it is exciting right now. Make sure it is worth the time, energy, and resources you will invest in it.


Have you gone through this process and you’re still confused? Let Sam’s Word help you figure it all out! Contact us today at writers@samsword.com to schedule a career consultation with a qualified and knowledgeable employment specialist. I mean, why should you do all that research when we can do it for you??

Contact Us

Call or Text: (203) 800 - 7119 / Fax: (877) 597 - 1112

P.O. Box 120068, East Haven, CT 06512

Email: Writers@SamsWord.com