Keith Gray is, without doubt, a success story - a Creative Director who has worked with the likes of Toma...
- Check text before it's printed or published to make sure it's correct
- You'll need the ability to maintain high levels of accuracy
- You could build up your reputation as a specialist in a particular field
As a proofreader, you'll read documents to make sure there are no errors, such as:
- Letters in the wrong order
- The text, illustrations and diagrams are positioned correctly
- Page numbers are in the right order
- The text follows the agreed style
- Chapter titles match the list of contents
- There are no confusing words, column or page breaks
You may mark changes needed using British Standards Institution symbols or specialist software. You may also produce a list of any questions for the editor or writer.
You'll work in an office or from home.
To be a proofreader, you'll need thoroughness and attention to detail, knowledge of English language, excellent verbal communication skills, good initiative, the ability to work well with others, excellent written communication skills, persistence and determination, and flexibility and openness to change. You'll need to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently.
It may be useful to have a degree in English, publishing, journalism, or digital media.
You could also do a publishing assistant advanced apprenticeship, which may help you to find your first job.
You can start out as an editorial assistant, moving into proofreading. If you have a degree or expertise in a particular subject, you could use it to develop a proofreading specialism, such as using a technical or scientific degree to proofread scientific textbooks or journals.
Volunteering is a good way to gain a better understanding of the job and make contacts. You could volunteer by proofreading documents for family or people you work or study with, writing or proofreading for student magazines or publications, proofreading for small businesses, or working on charity publications, websites or social media.
Alternatively, you can do professional courses to improve your skills and chances of finding work. These can be found through the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and The Publishing Training Centre.
As an experienced proofreader, you could build up your reputation as a specialist in a particular field, or approach publishing companies for work.