How to Become a Proofreader in Australia
A proofreader is someone who works closely with editing services, where they look over a piece of writing and note the technical issues in the text, whether it be grammatical, typographical, punctuation or with syntax.
They are well versed in the English language and know the correct rules regarding grammar, punctuation and other elements that make up a piece of writing.
How to Become a Proofreader in Australia
While you generally don’t need a degree to become a proofreader, most hiring managers will want their employees to have a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism or communications.
These degrees can take up to four years to complete and will teach you all you need to know about creative and non-fiction writing as a whole. But that’s not the only way to get proofreading training.
There’s also the option of online language courses that can teach you the proper usage of grammar, spelling and punctuation and hones in on your writing skills.
Along with that, employers will also want you to be familiar with the various professional editing programs, such as Adobe Acrobat and InDesign.
Keep in mind however, that proofreading is not the same as editing; proofreading comes after editing, to see if any mistakes were missed in the earlier writing stages.
However, you don’t necessarily have to work at a publishing company. If you prefer a work-at-home job, then there’s always the option of becoming a freelance proofreader. This is more of a part-time online job with flexible work hours that you make on your own terms.
More often than not, getting jobs as a freelance proofreader is as simple as looking it up online and applying for it, although applying to every single proofreader position is not exactly the best course of action.
A freelance proofreader specialises in a certain area, such as marketing materials, legal documents or e-books.
Most people want someone who is familiar and has a deep understanding of a particular area of writing, not to mention, by narrowing down what you proofread, you’ll know what to look for and become an expert.
Skills to Become a Proofreader
How do you find proofreading jobs?
You only need to search up ‘proofreading jobs’ to find plenty of job boards advertising them, but as an entry-level proofreader, where do you begin? A good starting point is to create a job profile on LinkedIn, where you can network with other proofreaders and ask for advice from the professionals.
If you want to start your own proofreading business, creating your own website is the best course of action. Along with contact details such as your e-mail address, and a description of how you can help your clients, you should also include any of the pieces that you’ve worked on and regularly update it with blog posts and testimonials to drive more traffic to your site.
However, you’re not going to get a lot of traction just by creating a website; you will also need to market your services through various social media accounts, such as Twitter, Linkedln, Pinterest and Facebook. Each website has its own advantages when it comes to promoting your business, for example, Facebook allows you to connect with groups of editors and proofreaders while Pinterest can be used to show off your blog posts.
The more exposure you give to your business, the more clients you’ll get. As you might have guessed, this can take quite a bit of work, but there’s also the benefits of more money and the fact that you’re completely in charge of how many jobs you take on.
If you don’t want to start a business and you’re not having much luck getting hired, then consider getting some work experience through an editorial internship. Not only will this increase your chances of getting a job in this field, but it will give you more practical insight into how you should go about proofreading.
Try to find one that is related to your speciality, for example, if you want to proofread articles regarding marketing, then you should apply for an internship at a marketing agency. This is also a good way to figure out whether proofreading is the right career path for you.