Many proofreading positions are filled by a candidate that holds an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in the field they wish to enter. If the proofreaders will be working for a literary journal or similar publication, they may be required to hold at least an associate’s degree in English, creative writing, or journalism.
Though education is often a requirement, there are publications and companies that will hire proofreaders that have a large amount of experience but lack their degree. Some may also hire proofreaders while their degrees are in the process of being completed.
Candidates for jobs as proofreaders should have at least one to three years of proofreading experience. These candidates should have a keen attention to detail with pronounced oral and written skills. The ability to point out errors quickly and easily is one of the skills that any proofreader must posses, along with excellent communication skills and a strong work ethic.
Computer skills are also required. The resume of a proofreading candidate should be filled with word processing and spreadsheet experience as well as proficiency using Adobe software. Proofreaders should have experience using programs for Mac as well as PC.
Publications are more likely to hire proofreaders that have internship experience. Internships can be used to prepare a candidate for many different proofreading positions including editing and proofreading for technical writing, advertising firms, public relations, and literary journals.
To prepare for the task of attaining a proofreading job, interested candidates should achieve their associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field that closely corresponds with writing or publishing, take communication classes that will improve public speaking skills and interpersonal communication, and take computer classes to become familiar with the latest word processing software such as Microsoft Office programs.
After those steps have been completed, a candidate should gain relevant work experience to continue as a competitive option for a proofreading position. Many companies prefer hiring individuals that have at least one to three years experience in a proofreading position. This can be done by training on the job, or attending a vocational training program. As a proofreading candidate, a person should have basic knowledge and comprehension of the field they are proofreading for.