Thursday, June 13, 2024

How to Become an Editor | Step-by-Step Guide

If you have great writing skills, a creative mind, sharp eyes, patience, and the ability to work with multiple voices, you should think about making a career in editing. The main goal of an editor is to transform someone’s writing into its best possible version. They work to refine the author’s voice, ensure that the audience will understand the content and the purpose of the piece will be achieved.

However, particular specifics of an editor’s job vary depending on the type of editing. For example, a developmental editor must check the “big picture” and adjust the narrative as well as overall style, while a copy editor corrects spelling and grammar mistakes as well as fixes small inconsistencies.

If you are sure that editing is a perfect career choice for you, take the following steps:

  1. Develop a reading habit

Probably, the most important stage of preparation for an editor’s career is reading. Only avid readers can become good professionals in this field. Particularly, it’s important to read a lot in your intended specialty. For example, if you want to make a career as a literary fiction editor, focus on novels and short story collections; but if you see yourself being a lifestyle magazine editor, keep up with the latest topics, and trends in Vogue magazine. However, if you haven’t decided what type of specialty you want to pursue, it’s not a problem. Your aim at this stage is to sharpen your editorial senses and get a deeper understanding of what makes good writing. While reading, you can highlight great elements of work and replicate them in your own projects.

  • Earn a degree

The minimum requirement to become an expert in editing is a bachelor’s degree. It’s almost impossible to obtain a position in a top company with skill alone because this professional field is flooded with people willing to get a job. Therefore, you should pursue a degree in journalism, English, or communications. While studying, try to tailor your bachelor’s to editing by choosing relevant modules, like composition, literary critique, and proofreading. This way, you’ll be able to build up your required skill set and boost your job prospects. Note, your degree also proves to potential employers that you are smart, hard-working, and dedicated. So if you want to demonstrate your diligence, you can do a master’s degree or take an additional course.

  • Take an internship at essay editing services

Once you’re done with your degree, it’s time to get some professional practice. Probably, the easiest way to start working as an editor is to find an internship program. Although an internship doesn’t offer high payment, it’s a good chance to get training. Almost every student turns to online writing services as he/she thinks ‘they can help editing my essay and boost my grades’, so employees at such services always have a steady stream of work to complete. This can be very beneficial for you as you can learn to apply your knowledge, master skills, and grow your portfolio. This way you can establish yourself as an editor and get your first real job later.

  • Choose a niche

After trying different types of editing work during your internship, pick a niche where your natural talents and skills lie. Think about what kind of work you enjoy doing moat and consider finding a related position. You can decide to be a book editor who works on full-length manuscripts or you can obtain a position at a news agency if you want to deal with short publications. Another option could be academic editing, which means that you have to work on research papers, essays, theses, and dissertations of different lengths. In case you have some basic knowledge of how to apply search engine optimization tactics, you can become a web editor and work with content for online platforms. As you see, there are enough different opportunities for editors depending on interests and abilities, which makes this occupation so appealing.

  • Get hired

The next step after getting some general experience and defining the most suitable niche is getting the job you want. Search for vacancies on the web or through networking and make a list of positions to apply for. Then create a resume that will fit the desired positions and send it together with your portfolio. After you get invitations to the interview, get prepared for them in advance. This is a culmination of all your efforts as you need to persuade an employer that you deserve to be hired. So do your best and get an editing job you’ve dreamed about!

Final thoughts

Detail-oriented people that enjoy tailoring content can be excellent editors. If you are one of them, follow the five steps listed in the article and apply your talents in the editing field. Remember that this occupation is both interesting and highly paid if you are a real professional.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
Sam heads up Cheshire-based PR Fire, an online platform that has already helped over 10,000 businesses to grab widespread media coverage on their news at an extremely accessible price point.

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