If you’re looking for proofreading jobs, you’ll need an appropriate resume (also referred to as a CV in UK English). But what if you’re a new proofreader with little or no work experience? In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to create a proofreading resume or CV that will help you stand out as a professional and kickstart your career.
Draw on Your Skills
A skills-based (or functional) resume or CV will highlight your skills rather than your experience, so you can demonstrate your relevant talents even if you haven’t officially worked as a proofreader before.
To find out what the desired skills for a proofreader might be, take a look at job site listings to see what employers are looking for. Make a list of the ones that come up. These will typically include transferable skills such as:
- A keen eye for detail
- Language proficiency
- Computer/IT skills
- Good written communication
- Good time management
Now take some time to think about which of these skills your previous experience, professional or otherwise, may have provided you with. Perhaps your job in customer service has given you a good handle on communicating via email, or working on your student dissertation or thesis has made you a pro at meeting deadlines under pressure.
Any skills related to the ones we’ve noted above (and any others you find on proofreading job listings) are valuable and worth including in your resume.
If possible, though, try to provide a mix of hard skills (learned abilities such as how to use Adobe software or correctly cite sources) and soft skills (traits related to your personality and working style, like being a good team player or an efficient independent worker).
Draw on Relevant Experience
An experience-based resume can be hard to put together when you’re starting a new career. However, it’s possible to strike a balance between a functional resume and a more traditional, chronological one.
You can create a combination resume by putting the emphasis on documenting your skills, as outlined above, but then including a shorter section that lists any relevant experience you have.
In practice, this means you don’t need to list every single job you’ve ever had. Instead, give preference to work experience that proves your suitability as a proofreader, providing details of your responsibilities and achievements where possible. This could include:
- Jobs that involved writing or working with language
- Work that required a high attention to detail
- Roles that involved working with relevant computer software (e.g., MS Word, Google Drive, Adobe Acrobat) or style guides (e.g., AP, Chicago)
- Any work that involved checking (i.e., proofreading or copy editing) written content, if you’re lucky enough to have had the opportunity
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to identifying past experience that can apply to proofreading. But, that said, make sure to only include what’s relevant to the proofreading job you’re applying for (more on this next).
Adapt Your Proofreading Resume to Each Job Posting
You shouldn’t use the exact same resume for every job you apply to. Each job will have different requirements, so you should adapt your proofreading resume accordingly.
For example, while a degree in the sciences would be extremely relevant to a job proofreading physics textbooks, it wouldn’t take as much priority in your resume if you were applying for a position editing YA fiction.
So instead of reusing the same resume in each application, create a template that you can then tailor to each job posting based on:
- The type of documents that you would be working on (e.g., business documents, novel manuscripts, academic papers)
- Skills specific to the position (e.g., knowledge of LaTeX)
- Any keywords used in the job description
- Additional details on how the work will be completed (e.g., from home or in an office, independently, or as part of a large team)
You can then work these details into your targeted resume by drawing on your most relevant skills, experience, and achievements (and by hitting those keywords!).
Add Professional Training
Finally, consider doing some professional training to give your proofreading resume that extra oomph.
Training can act as evidence to back up your skills and demonstrate your commitment to your career as a proofreader. What’s more, a recent qualification or certificate proves you’re up to date with the latest grammatical and typographical conventions.
Our courses here at Proofreading Academy, for example, will help prepare you for just about any proofreading job out there. So if you’d like your proofreading resume to stand out, why not sign up for a free trial of our Becoming A Proofreader course today?