Decide whether to apply for proofreader jobs
When considering a literary career, the first job that springs to mind is that of writer. However, there are many different career paths within the writing industry. As well as writing jobs, you have the option of pursuing editing jobs. Not everyone enjoys the stress of editing, though, and a less stressful alternative is proofreader jobs. Just consider whether you have the right temperament for proofreading before you start searching for available proofreader jobs.
Location, location, location
Not so long ago, proofreaders were limited to the opportunities available in their neighborhoods. People living in big cities had more options than those living in small towns. Yet small-town residents often enjoyed living away from major urban centers and wouldn’t consider any career that would require them to move to a city. The Internet changed this imbalance of opportunities. Now it is possible to find proofreader jobs online, which opens up a world of options for people living in rural areas or areas with few employment opportunities in the publishing field.
Types of proofreader jobs
Anything and everything that anyone writes for commercial purposes needs checking. The simplest explanation of proofreader jobs is that they require you to check through something that someone else has written and correct any mistakes. This particularly applies to spelling, grammar, and typing errors. You will often find, however, that the people interviewing candidates for proofreader jobs are looking for evidence of specialization. For example, the style and complexity of academic papers necessitate the use of a language that is much different than that used in sales brochures. If you are skilled in checking other people’s work, the subject of the piece shouldn’t really matter. However, in the real world, it often does, and you will find yourself searching for proofreader jobs in specific fields, such as technical, medical, academic, or general proofreading.
The ideal proofreader is methodical and reliable. Often, the proofreader is the last person to approve a piece of work before it gets published, so there is no room for oversights or errors. Proofreader jobs require total concentration, and candidates who can prove they are not easily distracted are likely to excel in this career. You have to be thorough in applying spelling and grammar rules to someone else’s work. Also, you don’t need to suggest improvements in style or tone to do well in these proofreader jobs.
Someone who is easily bored or likes to handle several tasks at once should not apply for proofreader jobs. If you cannot sit still and work from start to finish on checking an article, you are likely to miss sections or waste time rereading parts of the text. Fidgety, lively people are more likely to get job satisfaction from creative work, and such people should aim for writing or editing jobs rather than proofreading.
Some people can cope with stress and an unsettled home life. If you are able to completely switch off from your daily troubles when you go to work, you might consider applying for proofreader jobs. Employers may look at your personal circumstances when considering you for a proofreading role. Be prepared to be turned down for personal reasons if your résumé does not clearly demonstrate that you have a stable home life. Proofreading is not for everyone, but it can bring a financially and emotionally rewarding career to those with calm and methodical personalities.
Image source: iko/Shutterstock.com