Yes, I do believe there is that little difference between ‘assistance’ and ‘assistant’. No, sir/madam, I am not being petty.
But I just don’t feel very nice reading this particular advertisement. Because the advertiser is not a one-man business; it is a big, professional company, providing service to local and international clients. True, we are not perfect, but then, a big, professional company must be a bit more careful with what and how they write out their advertisement.
What is this all about, by the way? It was this advertisement by a certain professional asset management company. Let me copy-and-paste it here:
Personal Assistance to CEO
We was established in ….to provide efficient service to customers all over the world…we looking for young and energetic…for various position.
True, the management might say, “Look, we are not English Language teachers, we are here to make money, and money is more important than a few grammatical mistakes or things like that” but sir/madam, yours is a professional company, what you write and the way you advertise does reflect on your professionalism.
I hope readers would take this as an example of what not to do.
Suppose you are tasked with writing out a job ad (or any any advert, for that matter) but you are not so sure about the English part of it, I suggest you go and seek someone who is better with the language. I am sure there is that someone in your office. Ask the person to go over your draft, indicate any mistakes, and make corrections. Don’t worry, you won’t lose face by doing that. But after that, you must belanja him/her lunch lah. You know what, almost nothing is free in this world.
Before I forget, let me offer the corrections to the ad above (I am not bragging, okay, but for this particular occasion, I know I am better or more careful than whoever wrote that ad):
Personal Assistance to CEO — the word ‘Assistance’ is wrong. Should be “Assistant“. As in: The CEO needs the assistance of the Personal Assistant to help her with her busy schedule.
We was established — yes, yes, it should be “We were..”, right? I was, you were, he was, it was; we were. The writer was obviously careless there. It happened to you and me also sometime: simply malas to double check. Boyfriend or wife already long time waiting downstairs, so got to hurry lah. So what else, cincai lah.
we looking for young and energetic — this one also, same lah. Very careless. No need to say much; correct one should be: “We are looking for…”
for various position — funny lah your company. You wanted to hire only one person, for only one position, so why you said “various“? Some more you put the word “position“. Singular, not plural. If many vacancies, you say “for various positions” lah; but your ad was only for one vacancy, so it should be “for this position“.
It’s also not that bad when your company is just a small family company or one-man show or a little partnership. But you really must show professionalism if your company is large and well known. You owe that duty of care.