Approaching the Stranger
How to Approach a Stranger Online with Proofreading Help
Approaching total strangers behind a screen instead of face to face can be way less daunting when it comes to seeking job opportunities in the proofreading industry. The easiest way to find these strangers in the industry is by hopping on to a search engine and typing in keywords such as “writer site” or “writing group.”
Browse around the sites and groups that pop up. Look for the “Contact” pages of the sites you find favorable. Even a Facebook group, online bulletin board, and blog can help you get connected with not only the people who run the site, but others engaging with the site as well.
If you choose a site that has a bulletin board-esque platforms, Sue Gilad suggests in her Paid to Proofread to post something such as the following: “I am a freelance proofreader. I am in the process of expanding my resume and would like to add [fiction/nonfiction/whatever]to my experience. I will proofread a chapter of anything you are currently writing at no charge. Materials should be no shorter than ten pages and no longer than thirty pages. I will return pages to you with corrections within [24/48/72] hours. I can indicate corrections either on Microsoft Word using the Track Changes feature or on a hard copy. In exchange, I ask that you allow me to add your name and the title of your work to my resume. I will not plagiarize your work or share it with anyone else.”
Be confident in your abilities. The worst thing you can post is something that admits or encourages the fact that you have no idea what you’re doing. Always choose positive phrasing such as “I am building my resume” or “I am moving forward to a different level.” That implies you already hold the knowledge of what you are pursuing.
Free service equals high demand. Of course it’s not ideal, but when you are starting off as a proofreader, you will need all the resume-building opportunities you can get. Although you may not get the most thrilling literature, you will be able to pick and choose later on once you build your experience.
For more resources, tips, and guides to thriving in the proofreading industry, please visit Sue Gilad’s Paid to Proofread website where you can purchase Paid to Proofread and hack into all of the industry’s secrets.
By Karla M. Cortes