The Super Proofreader’s Rule of Thumb

My first day back from the New Year and I would like to wish everyone a great year! I’m going to start it off right, with a story about freelancing and how to get off to a good start. Proofreaders are here to make you look good and here’s an example.

It was the year end, so I decided to take a look at a few things the other day. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I’ve got to admit that I feel a little inspired when I see how great other freelancers are doing. I looked at one such freelancer’s earnings and found him in the $70,000 USD range. That doesn’t even include work not accounted for in that particular profile.

It motivates me because that’s the potential we all have. But, I can’t help to think how much more potential I have over that writer because there were so many errors in his profile it was unbelievable. Yes, I looked. It was interesting and confusing at the same time. I guess it was an experience that humbled me a bit too.

It’s kind of a thing with me. I like to know my competition. I looked at the work he had done over the last year and I was impressed. But, I couldn’t get past the thought of wondering how in the world he got all those jobs. If I wanted someone to write something for me, I wouldn’t want to see any errors in his profile.

That’s kind of a pet peeve. I thought every writer felt that way. I know he earned quite a bit and I can’t argue with success. I also know that writers are often times the only ones who notice all those hideous mistakes. But, putting your best foot forward is the rule of thumb and in writing that means error free copy. Here are just a few written documents that should always be submitted without error.

Resume

Your resume is your potential employer’s first impression of you. Just like a freelancer’s profile, it is the first thing a potential employer sees. Wouldn’t you want it to be error free? If that employer looks at errors as incompetence, you won’t get the job. Sometimes, job hunters can’t get through the door with a perfect resume. Don’t hurt yourself before you even get a chance.

Reports

Reports are your way of showing the world what you know. But, sometimes the boss uses them for promotional purposes. Yes, it’s more important to have the content and make sure your facts are straight. But after that, sit down and look the report over. Make sure it’s error free. Two people vying for the same position might get compared through their reports. Maybe not! But, if you were head-to-head with another person in getting that promotion, would you want anything holding you back?

Portfolio

There are different types of portfolios from modeling to architecture. The writer’s portfolio should be error free. Of course, having impressive work under your belt is a good way to get your foot in the door. But, your work should be error free if you want any chance at getting ahead in the freelance world.

The resume, a report and your portfolio merely scratches the surface on the handful of documents you need to ensure are error free. Now, I can’t answer how in the world a professional writer is getting that good of a paycheck with a profile that contains errors. I’d rather not try to answer for him. But, yours should be error free just like I try to make mine. In fact, I think I’ll look mine over again just to make sure it’s as perfect as I can make it.