Proofreaders: Their Responsibilities and How to Become a Skilled Proofreader

Proofreaders: Their Responsibilities and How to Become a Skilled Proofreader

If you have great writing skills, love reading anything that comes your way, you are more than just meticulous and know how to fix all these grammar mistakes as you look through the written content, you are in the right place. However, as a proofreader, you should not only write in a good way and spot all these weak parts! The trick is to understand what your clients require and what must be done. You should remember that copywriter is not the same as a proofreader. While you will still have to ensure that there are no mistakes, the purpose is to keep the text readable. The main objective of a professional proofreader is to fine-tune existing writing and improve the good text by making it perfect. 

Proofreading: Why It Matters & How to Become a Proofreader? 

  • Proofreading Is Not Only Editing!

The most common mistake is to think that proofreading is only the elimination of grammar mistakes or spotting all these odd run-on sentences. A professional proofreader must be patient to read through the text to improve readability without any major changes. A sentence may be restructured but without changing the original meaning. Once some mistake is encountered, it must be discussed with the client or left as a suggestion in the footnotes. Remember that readability is the key! 

  • Show Examples of Your Work. 

As a proofreader looking for a good job, you should keep examples of content that has been presented “before” and “after”. It is exactly what many technical specialists like sound engineers do as they explain what has been presented originally and how they have improved the final quality. As you are planning to become a proofreader, you should build a special portfolio that shows the changes that have been made just like with a journal of changes. 

  • Keep Your Writing Stylish. 

One of the most challenging aspects of proofreading is keeping certain content stylish. For example, if you are proofreading a children’s book, it should be made accessible for the younger audience by breaking complex sentences into several simpler ones. This challenge is also encountered in copywriting as it helps business experts to adjust content according to the audience. It is not often mentioned, yet good proofreading specialists must help maintain the same style throughout the book, essay, leaflet, or research paper, or other content types. 


  • Read Books And Constantly Train Yourself. 

Since you already know what does proofreaders do, you should also never forget about reading books and challenging yourself all the time. If you read more and learn about various writing styles, you will get better as a professional. Ask your friends to help them proofread their writing, discuss things before you start with proofreading work, and see what skills are required by the agencies as you are looking for a job. Each time that you encounter some writing, consider checking it for accuracy. 

  • No Rewriting or Revision Must Be There. 

Remember that it is the responsibility of the editor who has a right to make major corrections because you have to approach written content just by reading a book. While you can make minor changes, you should not turn to rewrite methods or lengthy revisions. If you are not sure about what must be done, talk to your editor and see what compromise may be found. Your task is to ensure that what you process has no typographical, grammar, style, spelling, wordiness, punctuation, and other writing mistakes like syntax and correct use of structure like when "we're" misses a hyphen. 

Prepare Your Proofreader’s Portfolio 

If you feel that you can do well and would like to show your skills, think about creating a clear resume that outlines your knowledge and specific abilities. If you have worked for a charity as a proofreader and offered unique content, you will have more chances of getting employed at a certain agency or NGO. Place your resume on LinkedIn, keep your social media profiles active, and build a professional network. It will help you to get noticed and follow inspirational people that may teach you about all the latest writing accuracy analysis tricks that you must know.