The simple answer to this question is everyone. This is because proofreading really is a skill that can benefit anyone who writes anything, either for work – such as:
or for pleasure – such as:
Learning to proofread offers many benefits including:
Most people would agree that improving on these skills is a worthwhile pursuit, regardless of what you use them for. The better you are at writing, the easier and more enjoyable your writing is to read and there’s less chance of misunderstandings occurring.
However, more specifically, the people who are likely to need proofreading skills as an essential part of their job are:
Obviously, out of these groups, those wanting to become freelance proofreaders will need to master the skills to the highest level or they’ll find themselves without any work. And, to reach the level required to freelance proofread successfully, you’ll need to take a course to learn the industry recognised proofreading symbols and all the other dos and don’ts of the profession. Completing a recognised course will also allow you to join professional associations. This is good for your credibility – it shows potential clients that you’ve been trained to industry recognised standards so they can expect professionalism in your work.
Writers – whether freelance or staff, full- or part-time – also need to have highly developed proofreading skills. Editors like writing that needs the least amount of work doing to it to make it suitable for publishing. If a writer can provide a piece that requires no work, they’ll quickly become a favourite.
Copywriters also need to proofread their own work to make sure it is as error free as possible before sending it to a client. And copy editors will be dealing with language use, grammar and spelling all day long, so knowing how it all works is essential to working efficiently and accurately.
So, as you can see, proofreading skills are beneficial to anyone and once you learn how to spot mistakes, you’ll be surprised how many you find. And the people that write the work with errors in it are your potential clients.
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"I wanted to learn proofreading and copy editing as I'm changing my career at the end of the year. I'm going into writing and publishing (both my own and other people's work) as well as teaching creative writing at F.E Institutions.
"The course reminded me how much I'd forgotten! It made me revise my punctuation and grammar and it also helped me to build a client base."