You can probably remember a time back in school where you had written an essay and your teacher had told you to proofread it before handing it in. At the time you probably didn’t think much of this advice because the last thing you wanted to do after writing an essay was re-read it a few times to make sure it was perfect, but looking back it was probably a good idea. Fast forward to adult life and you’ll see that proofreading is required in all professions and is an important skill, especially if your job requires any kind of writing or publishing. When we refer to proofreading we talk about the process of checking any form of written document for grammatical, typographical, or formatting errors. It’s known as the last step before publishing which is essential for professionalism. Getting into the habit of proofreading your own work first is great, but there are also specifically hired people that will do this for you and that’s what we are going to look at here in this article. These are the resources you will need to be a proofreading professional.
Grammar & Spelling
Obviously grammar and spelling are incredibly important when it comes to ensuring a document is perfect and it’s often the first thing people will point out. Whilst many of us believe our grammar skills are up to scratch, there is a lot to remember so it’s best to keep our knowledge topped up so we don’t make any mistakes. It would be embarrassing enough as a proofreader to get anything mixed up, let alone simple grammar. There are plenty of resources you can purchase for help in this area, and many different apps that can assist you whilst you read through any text.
When it comes to spelling, we no longer have to reach for the dictionary to check a word or two as the majority of software packages will come with an integrated spell checker. The thing you’ll have to look out for when it comes to proofreading is ensuring the spelling is correct for the country it’s being published in. For this, there are many apps that can help you on your way, there are a fair few differences between English and American English, so do yourself a favor (favour) and learn the difference.
Keeping on top of your finances is essential when working as a freelancer because like every other job, you need to pay your taxes. There’s a lot to be said when it comes to earnings and it depends on how much you work during the week and how many clients you have. The money can be great if you find yourself with a database of clients all outsourcing work to you, and with this many clients, it’s best to keep a spreadsheet of every job and how much money you earned from it. This way you can keep on top of your taxes and pay everything on time, as and when it’s due.
If proofreading is something that is appealing to you but you aren’t sure where to start then there are plenty of courses online that will give you an amazing head start. Not only this but there are plenty of books you can read first to ensure your skills are up to scratch. Saying this, proofreading doesn’t happen overnight and will take some time to hone your skills to a professional level, but once you’re there it will seem as easy as riding a bike.
Get The Right Tech
Funnily enough, it matters what kind of technology you’re using when proofreading. Why? Because there are so many different factors to consider in order to do your job properly and efficiently. We all know that old tech slows down and that’s a nightmare when you’re trying to read 100 pages in an hour, impatiently waiting for the next page to appear. Try and keep your gear relatively new and free from other uses, avoid things that may slow it down. For example, if you’re using an iPad to do all of your reading then try to keep it for reading only, don’t install other apps that aren’t needed and will no doubt slow it down.
Proofreaders from 30 years ago will be furious with the development of technology as it’s made the job much easier. There are hundreds of apps that can assist you in your daily assignments and pick up anything you might have missed, they also help people from zoning out on the more repetitive jobs.
If you think about the sheer number of words that are written every month across the planet you’ll know that proofreaders are going to always be in demand. The demands for content for the internet has increased tenfold and everything needs to be read before being published. Get your spelling and grammar skills up to scratch, get the latest bit of tech, and start bidding for some work. Your new career is around the corner.