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Miss Molly Mack

Hi Carol!

I just bought your book, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. As to this post, I was wondering if you could be more specific about who exactly is hiring a freelance copyeditor in this instance? Do you mean a book publisher looking to hire copyeditors for specific projects?

What made me wonder was the fact that you noted that freelance copyeditors should use CMS style in their resume/cover letter, when many freelancers work from other stylebooks (AP, APA, MLA), or switch back and forth depending on the work they are editing.

Can you post a little bit more information about the person or company looking for these specific traits in a copyeditor? Thank you so much for your valuable insights, by the way. I'm glad I discovered your work!

Carol Saller

Molly, thanks for asking. My list was definitely in response to the question of what my company (the University of Chicago Press) looks for in freelancers, which is why I specified Chicago style.

If a freelancer is fluent in MLA, APA, or any other style, we consider that a plus, but we like to see Chicago style demonstrated in the application materials.


I read this post and the 2010 post on application turnoffs. Alongside your other writings, the posts made me wonder whether you do anything in particular to weed out zombie-rule-enforcing editors. I'd love to hear about your approach to freelancers with that tendency and to their editing.

Apps 55753818692 1673506752 E7d0f159c4adc94fb72d8b2b51ed79c0

This is a great list of necessities for a resume. Though it may be short, these items are crucial--and by no means easy to accomplish to perfection on a resume. Thank you, Carol, for sharing these items. I will definitely have to review my resume to be sure I follow the dos and not the don'ts!

Even though these items are specific to the University of Chicago Press, I think they are highly applicable for any employer, though the resume may need to be tailored to that specific employer.

Carol Saller

EditorAM, some of our freelancers are former colleagues, now retired, so they have more experience than I do and end up teaching me things I didn't know. But when I work with a new editor, I look closely at the first edited chapter. If I were to see a pattern of rigidity, I would give detailed feedback and ask to see the next chapter as well. If the problem continued, I might have to take back the manuscript. Fortunately, this has never happened to me!


Yeah, I know this is quite a while after you wrote this post, but as I just found your blog recently, I thought I'd add a comment anyway (it's a great read, btw).

You mention experience as being the most important thing, so what do those of us just starting out do? How do we get the experience to put on those resumes?

Carol Saller

Stom, it's a great question, and the answer is longer than I can post here. If you don't mind my using your question as a jumping-off point, maybe I'll blog about this topic soon.

Meanwhile, I suggest that you take a copyediting class or otherwise learn one of the most popular style manuals. If you can ace a copyediting test, you'll be well positioned for an entry-level job, since most candidates are not able to do that, even those with experience.


Thanks forthe response :) I look forward to reading it.

I'm British, so not too familiar with some of the nuances of Chicago. For freelance work, though, I guess it's quite necessary...

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