Freelance Copyediting Job Search Tips

Copyeditors examine and correct the grammar, style and clarity of a written work and they can find employment editing periodicals, textbooks, technical documents, websites and manuals of all types, so there are an abundance of freelance copyediting jobs.

Prepare for a Test

Almost every freelance copyediting job interview or screening will require the copyeditor to pass an editing test. The person who is selecting a copyeditor will send a candidate a sample of copy, usually a page in length that is representative of the type of written document that the company needs to have edited. The copy will have errors, usually grammatical or clarity errors, or the piece may need to be rewritten to a certain standard. If the company has editorial standards, they will also send a copy of their style guide or tell the candidate which one they use, such as the Chicago Manual of Style.

The interviewer will give the freelance copyeditor a deadline to return the edited copy, and the freelancer needs to meet the deadline or even hand in the sample of work early. This test screens for qualified copyeditors, but the test also determines how motivated the freelancer is and if she can make deadlines, which is a common concern of companies that use freelancers to complete work.

If you are new to the field, it is important to study for this test by reviewing common style guides, brushing up on grammar and learning copyediting marks or how to use track changes in your word processing software. Preparation for this test can help you get your first copyediting job, even if you have no samples of your work to show an employer.

Post a Copyeditor Profile

While brushing up on copyediting skills, a freelance copyeditor can also join and create a profile on several of the freelancer websites, such as oDesk, eLance and iFreelance. On iFreelance for example, a copyeditor can create a profile, provide samples of their work, rate their abilities in a wide variety of writing and editing tasks and bid on projects that employers post on the site. There are fees for some of these sites, so you should look for sites that offer the most projects for copyeditors, and look for employers that have received good ratings on the site.

Create a Website

Creating a website allows a freelancer to manage all of their samples, their online resume and their online profiles in one location. It also allows the freelancer to post reviews and testimonials from employers, which is useful if you don't have any ratings on a portfolio or freelancer website. You can also post other work on your site that will help you find clients. For instance, Robert Bly, the author of 88 Money Making Writing Jobs recommends that copyeditors write free newsletters or provide e-books on topics such as copyediting tips, which will improve your search ratings in search engines and help employers find samples of your work. These types of documents are best managed from your own website.

Join a Professional Association

Joining a professional association of editors or copyeditors will help you in several ways. As a member, you can be listed in the membership directory, which many large companies will use when they are looking for a reputable professional editor. You will have access to professional resources, such as job boards, networking meetings and professional development in your area. You can also network with other editors to find out about appropriate fees to charge for work and to get the 411 on employers.