Creating a Resume from Nothing, Part One:
Building a Resume That Will Land You That Proofreading Job
So you are now ready to take the plunge into becoming a paid proofreader. You’ve done your research on the market, proofread some things here and there as practice, and perhaps you even started gathering some contacts as potential first jobs. But what about the resume? Do you have any writing and/or proofreading experience in there?
If you answered no to these couple of questions, do not fret. The reality of it is that you can still become a paid proofread with no experience, as long as you have a strong resume with which to present yourself. The following lists the most important sections that are needed to shape your resume and hit every proofreader sweet spot based on Sue Gilad’s Paid to Proofread book.
The proofreading industry doesn’t require experience in the field. What builds the foundations of an acceptably good resume for proofreading jobs concerns your significant assets. These assets start with your skills. Some of the most notable skills you want to make sure are listed on your resume are:
- Highly computer literate skills (Mac, Microsoft Word, Google Docs)
- Deadline oriented skills
- Language skills (if applicable)
- Top career-related skills
- Uncommon areas of expertise and/or interests
*Check final pages for bulleted ways of expressing a myriad of skills and talents from Sue Gilad’s Paid to Proofread
“Related” experience doesn’t necessarily mean your experience in relation to proofreading, but more so your experience in relation to the skills of being a good proofreader. It’s about molding your past experiences to highlight job aspects that would be used in proofreading. You can include any experience from volunteer jobs, to community organization activities. Highlight parts that have to do with reading, writing, and reviewing, no matter how big of a role they played in your employment.
Publishing Experience can be the top, and most recent, job position to place on your resume, as long as you have done at least a few tasks in proofreading. Make sure to announce your services as a freelance proofreader who is willing to proof any written material for free. Just as in the “Related” Experience section, you do not need to have employment in proofreading or publishing to have a star proofreading resume. As long as you have proofreading experience on the side, you are golden for putting that as one of your job experiences to boost your resume when applying as a proofreader.
No matter what level of schooling you have completed, it is crucial that your highest level of education appears on your resume. Every single person with a degree, no matter what level, is overqualified to be a proofreader. The following are examples of the proper formatting of multiple types of degrees:
- MFA, University of Iowa, Drama with a concentration in Dramaturgy and Literary History
- BA, Macalister College
- Paid to Proofread School, online intensive course
These are all the most important tips for the sections to be included on your resume to become a paid proofreader. Below is an example of a resume that incorporates every point made above. For Part two of Creating a Resume from Nothing where we discuss the visual aspects of your resume as well as helpful resources, click here or check out Sue Gilad’s Paid to Proofread.
By Karla M. Cortes