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The Importance of Hiring an Editor

work from homeThe other day I looked up some writing jobs on Craigslist. I just thought I’d see what was out there and maybe try to make a few extra bucks working from home.

I filled out a couple applications and contacted a couple people.

One opportunity came up that seems like fun. It’s a collaborative writing project. The guy who wants to start it is an innovator, not a writer, so while his idea is cool, it may or may not pan out, but I’ll pursue it and see where it goes.

Anyway, one of the other jobs I clicked on had me fill out an online application.

Now, bear in mind, this was a company that does blogs and media for lots of online companies and is trying to sell itself on creating quality content. Within the application was a series of word usage questions, with fill-in-the-blanks for what is the correct word to use in various sentences as well as a multiple-choice spelling test, checking to see if you knew how to correctly word spell the given words.

Finally, they asked for a writing sample on a topic of your choice. Below the place to enter the writing sample was a disclaimer that said, essentially, you don’t get to retain the rights of your work, but it was so badly worded, it hardly made sense.

So, for my writing sample, I submitted this:

With the ease of online marketing, virtually any person or company can promote their business almost instantaneously. Unfortunately, many companies slap together promotional materials without considering the quality of their work. However, prospective clients notice things like spelling and grammar mistakes, and they judge businesses based on the quality of content they see. Thus, it is very important to make sure you’re saying what you intend to with your online content. Hiring an editor to check your work is a key component to producing quality content.

For example, suppose you created an online application wanted to add a disclaimer informing prospective applicants they would not retain the rights to their work, so you wrote, “I understand that any work that I complete, hand in and is paid for, I relinquish all rights of ownership for the work and give (the name of your company) the right of ownership.”

Most applicants would infer the meaning behind your statement, but you haven’t written an actual sentence. An editor would suggest rewording. One improvement might be, “I understand that any work I complete, hand in, and am paid for, is now the property of (the name of your company). Upon payment, I relinquish all rights of ownership to (the name of your company).”

A good editor will not only catch grammar and spelling mistakes, but will be able to decipher your intention and help you express your thoughts with clarity and precision.

Shockingly, I have not heard back from them. I don’t think I got the job.

But, then, chances are, I didn’t want to work for them anyway. Now, I know I’m not perfect and I know I still have plenty left to learn, which is why having a proofreader or even just a second pair of eyes to look at things is vitally important. I don’t want people to see the things that I am using to promote myself and stop taking me seriously because of something that could be easily fixed.

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About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

2 comments on “The Importance of Hiring an Editor

  1. One more thing I’d add to this helpful post: be careful filling out an online application if you aren’t familiar with the company. Search out reviews and business info for them via Google and so forth. Some sites troll for the personal information an application requires. Craigslist is both helpful and shadowy, like a few of our characters. 🙂 It’s a digital jungle out there!.

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