Grammar mechanics

Grammer Mechanics guideline is updated on 18 Oct 2018

Grammar creates clarity in the messages that we relay to our users. At the same time, when we apply the same grammar rules to our content, it helps keep them consistent throughout the platforms. These are some of the grammar rules that we follow:

Abbreviations and acronyms

To use abbreviations or acronyms, make sure that your readers will understand it. If not, explain the abbreviation or acronym in the first introduction. E.g.:

  • User Experience Hong Kong (UXHK)
  • National University of Singapore (NUS)

Well known abbreviations and acronyms can be used from the beginning without any explanations needed. E.g.:

  • E.g. (or exempli gratia in Latin, which means for example)
  • HTML (or Hypertext Markup Language, a standardised system for tagging text)
  • API (or Application Programming Interface, a set of functions that operate certain things)
  • Vol. (or volume, when talking about books)

Capitalisation

Almost always, we use sentence case for all our headers, sub-headers, email subjects, main content, and microcopies, unless if the platform does not allow us to (e.g. iOS).

Yes: This is a sentence case

No: This Is a Title Case

As for the brand names, we follow the capitalisation of the brand guideline instead:

  • JobStreet.com (or simply JobStreet)
  • jobsDB

Email addresses on the other hand are written entirely in lowercase letters:

There is also a list of specified proper nouns (or names of products) located in our word list page for your reference.

Numbers

Use numeric digits (1, 2, 3...) for all of the content produced in Product Delivery. As we have many numbers which are automatically updated via APIs, it’s best to keep what’s written and machine-generated similar.

Exception: The single number “1” can be misread as the letter “I” – spell out the number “one” instead to mitigate confusion. This can also create a better impact for content. E.g.:

  • Find your one dream job here.
  • One whole banner is enough to create awareness for your brand.
  • One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them.

Punctuations

1. Apostrophe

Mainly used to make a word possessive, apostrophes will only be seen at the back of a word if the word ends with an s and is in a plural form, e.g.

  • All talents’ resumes have been retrieved.
  • All employers’ records are as seen below.

If not, it will be written in the usual possessive form:

  • View a candidate’s resume.
  • Contact the employer’s number.
  • You are downloading Chris’s resume.

Apostrophes can also be used for contractions; this means, mashing words together to create a conversational tone, e.g.:

  • You’re (You are) a few steps away from your dream job!
  • He’s (He is) looking for a stable career growth.
  • Let’s (Let us) find you a new job!

2. Colons

Colons are used before an explanation, amplification, or interpretation of what precedes it. This is to make the subject stand out. There should be no spacing between the colon and the word before it. E.g.:

  • Below are the most used keywords in job searches:
  • Action needed: You need to confirm your Saved Search

3. Commas

To clearly state a list of items, always use the Oxford comma:

Yes: For breakfast I had cake, bananas, and oranges.
(This implies that the person ate all of the foods listed above.)

No: For breakfast I had cake, bananas and oranges.
(This implies that the person ate a cake made out of bananas and oranges.)

Commas are also used to separate every three digits from the right in numbers. E.g.:

  • 1,000, 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000

Tip: If you’re unsure, read the sentence out loud. Where you find yourself taking a breath, use a comma.

4. Dashes and hyphens

Only use en dashes ( – ) with a single space between each words to separate out certain subjects in a sentence. E.g.:

  • Talent Search provides a pool of candidates – and a peace of mind – to your recruitment process.

As for hyphens (-), we use them without spaces on either side to link words into a single phrase, or to indicate a range of time.

  • Your profile is up-to-date. Good job!
  • We open from 9AM-6PM.

5. Exclamation marks

Exclamation marks are used to create a sense of excitement within a content. But use it sparingly, as too much can be seen as overly-aggressive.

Yes: Great, you’ve updated your profile. Now let your job search begin!

No: Great! You’ve updated your profile! Now let your job search begin!

Also, never use an exclamation mark inside an error or warning message; this will scare and even anger the users.

6. Full stops

The full stop is used to end a message fully. In Product Delivery, the full stop is used in the main content or descriptions. E.g.:

  • Please update your profile to apply for a job.
  • Please wait while we verify your account.

Exception: The full stop does not apply to headers, sub-headers, email subjects, email signatures, and call-to-action (CTA) buttons as they are the opening or closing of the overall content.

7. Semicolons

Use a full stop or en dash instead.

8. Question marks

Used in sentences which need answers, we usually place questions that prompt an action out of users. E.g.:

  • Ready to know more about Career Insights?
  • Are you optimising your recruitment process?