How to Get a Proofreading Job

How to Get a Proofreading Job

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Have you ever wondered how you could get a proofreading job? Well, there are several jobs available online and offline for proof-readers. However, before delving into the finer details of the ‘how,’ let’s briefly understand what proof-readers do and how to become a proof-reader.

Contrary to popular perception, proofreading and editing are two different processes of the writing process. Editing takes place before proofreading. Editing is a big picture task that involves restructuring, deleting unnecessary text, and ensuring that the text flows well.

On the other hand, proofreading is the last stage of writing. At this stage, you have to meticulously go through the content to look for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Proofreading ensures that your text is impeccably polished, ready for publishing.

Maybe you’ve seen a lot of proofreading jobs online and you are asking how to become a proof-reader. The exciting aspect of proofreading is that you don’t need a particular qualification to get a proofreading job. Most employers emphasise on experience over qualifications. However, most proof-readers tend to be graduates, so a degree in English is advantageous, though not compulsory.

Technically, proof-readers are those who take and pass a proofreading course. You can pursue the course in a college or online. An online proofreading course can equip proof-readers with the skills and certifications required to give them an edge in the job market.

Getting Started

Your pursuit of a proofreading job begins by sending inquiry letters. You need to start small, maybe by checking classified ads and local newspapers. However, with the proliferation of internet technology, hunting for a job is now much more relaxed. Use online platforms such as LinkedIn to showcase the image you would love to project. Try writing perfectly polished articles and post them on LinkedIn as part of your portfolio.

Also, join groups on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook with a membership consisting of proof-readers. The groups have engaging forums that offer you a chance of connecting with like-minded people, who will provide you with insights on the industry. Once in the groups(s), you will occasionally find some members sharing proofreading job listings, and you can apply. Similarly, you can follow companies, people and industries that engage in publishing and related specialties on social media platforms.

Consider accumulating experience in proofreading. You can offer some pro bono proofreading tasks for small businesses’ websites, church newsletters, etc. By so doing, you not only improve on your experience, but you also position yourself for any emerging opportunities.

Establish and maintain a robust social capital consisting of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. You never know, one they may help you get some productive leads that may result in a proofreading job.

It is advisable to obtain a certification from leading professional bodies such as the UK Society for Editors and Proof-readers (SfEP). Such a certification places you ahead of the pack and gives you an advantage when applying for a proofreading job.

Advertise Yourself

Once you’ve acquired your proofreading skills, you need to figure out how you will convince people to use your services. Therefore, you need a way of promoting your services to anyone who needs them. You can use the following methods:

Once you have learnt the skills required to be a proof-reader you’ll have to think about how you will convince people to use your services. Below are some of the most obvious ways of promoting yourself:


Developing your website is an inexpensive way of advertising your services. Prospective clients prefer to see your experience and background before hiring you, therefore ensure that these details appear. For inspiration, look at other proof-readers’ websites to see how they showcase their skills. If you have a specific specialisation that is relevant to your proofreading task, if probably you’re savvy with sciences, ensure you include it, too. Additionally, add some information on your charges, whether hourly or per project.


Consider producing sophisticated and eye-catching leaflets from your computer for advertising purposes, and distribute them to any premises near you. Ask local shop owners if they can allow you to advertise on their premises, or if they are willing to refer clients to your business. For a quick response, distribute your leaflets to colleges, universities and any residential hoses nearby since they are a good bet for university dissertation proofreading jobs.

Place Print Media Adverts

Set aside some money and use it to place an advertisement on your community magazine or local newspaper.

Explore the Web for Freelancing Websites

The web is full of several copywriting and proofreading opportunities. Beware of any site that tries to defraud you of your cash in the name of offering you a job. These sites only require your details and are free to join, so don’t use any money to join them. To find tasks on these sites, you have to bid, and it may take longer than expected. However, with perseverance and consistency, and of course quality work, you will get good ratings that will open numerous opportunities.

Where Are The Jobs?

At last count, the number of websites on the internet stood at over 1.6 billion. Tellingly, if you combine all the online content with print publications, the amount of copy that needs proofreading is high. Therefore, becoming a proof-reader presents unlimited opportunities for anyone who intends to pursue this route.

If you are a prolific reader, you don’t have to worry about how to become a proof-reader because chances are quite high. If you can easily spot grammatical and punctuation errors when reading, then you need to consider being a proof-reader.  The niches available for proofreading include, but not limited to, academic papers, novels, online blogs, and CVs.

  • Academic papers

Students are always looking for proof-readers to go through their work before submitting because they want excellent grades. International students are more concerned about the quality of their English and are therefore more intent on proofreading before submitting their work. Therefore, academic papers offer a lot of opportunities for proof-readers looking for jobs.

  • Online articles/blog posts

As already mentioned, the demand for online content is phenomenally high, and the prerequisite for quality is equally high. With such a high requirement, proofreading will continue to provide jobs for qualified and experienced players in the industry.

  • Novels

Writers are churning out several novels, ranging from fiction to romance, and they all require editing and proofreading. Completing a novel is no mean feat, and the writers need the services of a proof-reader to polish the final draft before publishing.

  • CV/Application letters

Job seekers and students seeking to join the job market and university respectively want to make a good impression. They will, therefore, use the services of a proof-reader to enable them to actualise their dreams to life.

So, instead of bogging your mind on how to become a proof-reader, join an available online proofreading course and get the necessary skills


Become an Online Proof-reader — No Experience Required! (2017, April 21). Retrieved May 03, 2019, from

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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