Post Academic


Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Arnold Pan on June 20, 2010
Tags: , ,

This isn’t really a recap of the past week’s pieces on editing tests, but, since Caroline has been all over the topic, I thought I’d give a brief shout out to the wonderful, comprehensive website, which is very helpful in a self-explanatory way.  It’s pretty much a one-stop resource for anyone who wants to find out what goes into being an editor, whether you’ve edited before but need to brush up on skills that have gone rusty or if you’re a complete novice looking for some of the tricks of the trade.  The site is chock full of useful links to what you’ll need to at least think about if you wanna be an editor, including some primers for various formatting styles, from AP to Chicago to MLA. also covers important professional issues such as diversity in the workplace, First Amendment protections, and journalistic ethics.  Of particular interest to post academics who might be interested in changing professions are some lists of average salaries for copyeditors, graphic artists, and photographers.

But for my money–though is free!–the editing and basic current events tests are the best, most entertaining aspects of the site.  There’s a test of the 100 most common usage errors, deciphering, you know, the correct occasion to use there/their/they’re and that sort of thing.  There are some other tests, like ones for proper AP style and various sorts of subject tests.  It’s geeky fun, and you can tell yourself that you’re helping yourself professionally by doing them!  Which you actually might be.

How to Handle an Editorial Test, Part 2: During the Test

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on June 18, 2010
Tags: , , ,

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionTwo days ago, Post Academic gave tips for anyone who faces an editorial test, which is usually the first step to applying for a job as an editor, copy editor, or proofreader. Now here are tips to help you make it through the test while the clock is ticking:

Pace yourself. Speaking of, editorial tests are usually timed. Not only will you be graded on how many errors you catch, but you will also be graded on how quickly you can edit. Successful editors can strike a balance between the two. It’s fine if you can produce perfect copy, but not if you take all day to do it. Publishers have deadlines to meet.

Read the instructions for the test.
Any employer wants to know if you can follow directions. I cannot tell you how many people shot themselves in the proverbial foot by not paying attention.

Go over the document multiple times.
Truth is, you will not catch every error in a single pass, unless you are the best editor in the world. Read through the document once to catch the big, glaring errors. Then read through it for more subtle errors.

More after the jump! Caricature of James Burnett, Lord Monboddo from Kay’s Portraits, public domain on Wikimedia Commons.


How to Handle an Editorial Test, Part 1: Before the Test

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on June 17, 2010
Tags: , , ,

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionYeah, you thought you were done with tests when you chose to enter the Hamster World. Not so. If you decided to parlay your Humanities MA or PhD into an editorial career, you will likely encounter the dreaded editorial test as you apply to jobs. Here are some tips to prepare for yet another test:

Get to know the editorial test format. Editorial tests are administered to applicants as a weed-out process. Not only does the employer want to know if you can catch edits, but the employer also wants to know if you can handle the content they publish. Typically, you will have to edit a piece of content that the employer has published before, only the employer has packed it with errors for you to find.

Ask for a copy of the employer’s style guide. Before you take any editorial test, you need to know the employer’s standards. The employer might not give you the company’s entire style guide, but he or she will probably say if the company uses The Chicago Manual of Style or the AP Stylebook.

More after the jump! Still from the movie Rock River Renegades. Public domain on Wikimedia Commons.