My first post! Who the heck am I? I’m Jeannine Hamilton, and I’m a professional proofreader. I’m going to tell a little more about myself, and why I want to help you in your quest to slay time while representing the best version of you.
WHO AM I?
English in high school and college was always one of my strongest subjects. While I am not a writer, I do love helping others find the best way to communicate a message in the written word. Helping people correct grammar and punctuation so that the written text is accurate, understandable, and readable, is fun for me.
Why fun? I am the bookworm that enjoys nonfiction as much as fiction because I love to learn. Often others prefer to learn something through video; I prefer to learn through reading. If the only way for me to learn something is a video, I often look for the transcript or other resources to further understand the details.
Being detail-oriented is a prerequisite for excellent proofreading. Lucky for me, I like details, which explains why I continue to seek positions in my professional career that require it. Resumes, cover letters, training manuals, assessment reports were a few of the business documents I proofread.
Those positions were a way for me to have fun serving others. And now, I focus on verbatim transcripts and resumes.
SO, WHY IS USING A PROOFREADER VALUABLE?
I know all too well that if I am the author of something, it is easy to miss my errors. In a rush to get my thoughts on paper/screen or to record/type someone else’s words, it is easy to make mistakes that I become blind to.
When I transcribed letters for the president’s office as a work-study student, I was grateful to have my supervisor review my work for that very reason. That job taught me how valuable proofreading skills are and why I want to continue a career path of helping others put their best foot forward.
VALUABLE FOR JOB SEEKERS
Later in my career, I was able to help college students take that first forward step. I reviewed their resumes and cover letters. Crafting a customized resume for a job is already a challenge. Making sure you are not blind to the mistakes you make on that resume is equally challenging.
Professional proofreading acts as a safety net versus the proverbial basketball net with your resume as the ball for the two-point shot into a potential employer’s trashcan.
VALUABLE FOR COURT REPORTERS AND TRANSCRIPTIONISTS
Verbatim transcripts are the only written official record of the dialog in court proceedings and other important events. However, if the punctuation and grammar are not correct in those transcripts, readability is difficult and could cause confusion at a crucial time in a person’s life, like say a trial or technical instruction.
A video transcript makes it possible to understand the information even when the video is having technical difficulties playing. But if a transcript cannot be understood, what good is it? Punctuation alone can cause a sentence to be understood in a completely different way.
For an example of how costly this can be, the now famous Oxford comma lawsuit is a good example. The NPR article even provides excerpts of the court transcript. For more humorous examples, check out this older post from cyberText consulting.
PROOFREADING IS A SAFETY NET
When it really matters, a second pair of eyes is very helpful. But a TRAINED second pair of eyes, is invaluable. In that work-study job, my supervisor was a professional safety net that our president needed to make the best impression to all those he corresponded with.
A professional proofreader can help you make that same best impression when applying for a job or providing an accurate, readable official record of an event. I hope that you will allow me the opportunity to be that professional safety net for you.