Log InSign Up

12 Freelance Editor Skills: Definition and Examples

If you're a freelance editor, there are certain skills you need to have in order to be successful. In this article, we'll go over 12 of those skills and their definitions. With these skills, you'll be able to take on any editing project and deliver quality work.

Freelance Editor Resume Example
Use this template

Freelance Editor Skills


Writing is a skill that is essential for any freelance editor. As a freelance editor, you will often be working with clients who have different writing styles and levels of proficiency. It is important to be able to adapt your editing style to each individual client in order to ensure that their needs are met. Additionally, being a skilled writer yourself will allow you to better understand the challenges that your clients may be facing and offer more helpful suggestions for improvement.


Editing is the process of reviewing and correcting a document for errors. As a freelance editor, you will need to be able to identify errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You will also need to be able to suggest ways to improve the overall clarity and flow of the document.


Proofreading is the process of reading a text carefully to find and correct any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. It is an important skill for any freelance editor, as it ensures that the final product is free of any mistakes that could potentially reflect poorly on the editor or the client.


As a freelance editor, it is important to be able to research effectively in order to be able to find the information and resources you need to do your job well. This includes being able to find reliable sources of information, using search engines effectively, and knowing how to evaluate sources.


Grammar is the set of rules that govern how a language is used. As a freelance editor, you need to be able to identify and correct errors in grammar so that your clients' writing is clear and error-free.


Punctuation is the use of symbols to create pauses or divisions in a sentence. They can also be used to signal changes in intonation or emphasis. Punctuation marks are essential for helping readers understand a text by making its structure clear. Without punctuation, texts can be difficult to interpret and can often be ambiguous.


A good command of spelling is essential for any freelance editor. This is because even the most well-written and well-edited piece of text can be marred by a few misspellings. Not only do misspellings make text look unprofessional, they can also change the meaning of what is being communicated. For example, a document that is meant to convey a positive message may come across as negative if there are several misspellings throughout.

There are a few different ways to improve your spelling skills. First, you can practice regularly by taking spelling tests or playing word games. Second, you can use a spell checker tool when editing your own work or someone else's. And third, you can consult a dictionary when you come across an unfamiliar word.


As a freelance editor, it is important to have a strong understanding of structure in order to be able to effectively edit a piece of writing. This skill is important because it allows you to see how the different parts of a piece of writing fit together and how they contribute to the overall meaning of the text. Without this skill, it would be difficult to make meaningful edits that improve the overall quality of the writing.


As a freelance editor, you need the skill of clarity to be able to understand the author's intention and communicate it effectively to the reader. This skill is important because it allows you to make sure that the author's message is conveyed clearly and accurately, and that the text is easy to read and understand.


Flow is a state of mind in which you are completely focused on the task at hand and are able to work on it for extended periods of time without getting distracted. This is an important skill for freelance editors because it allows them to stay focused on their work and get it done quickly and efficiently.


Voice is the unique style and perspective that an author brings to their work. As a freelance editor, it is important to be able to identify an author's voice so that you can help them to maintain it throughout their work. This skill is especially important when working with non-native English speakers, as they may not be aware of the subtleties of the language that can affect their voice.


The ability to maintain a consistent tone throughout a piece of writing is important for a freelance editor. This is because it helps to create a cohesive finished product that flows well and is easy for the reader to follow. It can be difficult to achieve this if the editor is not familiar with the author's style or if the piece is particularly long or complex. Having a good understanding of grammar and style conventions can also be helpful in maintaining a consistent tone.

How to improve freelance editor skills

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to improve freelance editor skills will vary depending on the individual's current skill level and areas of improvement. However, some tips on how to improve freelance editor skills include studying the craft of editing, practicing editing with real-world clients, and seeking feedback from experienced editors.

Studying the craft of editing is important for any freelance editor, regardless of skill level. There are many resources available on the basics of editing, such as books, online articles, and even courses offered by organizations like the American Copy Editors Society. In addition to learning the technical aspects of editing, it is also important for freelance editors to understand the principles of effective writing and communication. This understanding will help them not only edit more effectively, but also work with clients to ensure that their vision for a project is realized.

Practicing editing with real-world clients is another great way to improve freelance editor skills. Many editors start out by working with friends or family members on small projects, but it is important to get experience working with paying clients as well. This experience will not only help editors hone their skills, but also give them a better understanding of the business side of freelancing, such as how to manage deadlines and expectations.

Finally, seeking feedback from experienced editors is a valuable way to learn and grow as a freelance editor. Feedback can be sought through formal channels such as professional mentorships or internships, or informally through networking and peer groups. No matter how it is obtained, feedback from those with more experience can help identify areas where an editor needs improvement and provide guidance on how to make those improvements.

How to highlight freelance editor skills

As a freelance editor, you will need to be able to effectively communicate with clients and understand their needs. You will also need to have a keen eye for detail and be able to spot errors in text. It is also important to be able to work quickly and efficiently in order to meet deadlines.

On a resume

In order to highlight your skills as a Freelance Editor on a resume, you should list any relevant experience you have in the field. If you have worked as an editor for a specific publication or website, be sure to list that experience. You should also list any skills you have in copy editing, proofreading, and writing. If you have a degree in English or Journalism, be sure to list that as well.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, be sure to highlight your skills as a Freelance Editor. Include your experience working with different types of documents, as well as your attention to detail and ability to spot errors. Mention any relevant software programs or editing tools you are familiar with. Be sure to emphasize your commitment to meeting deadlines and providing quality work.

During an interview

When you are interviewed for a freelance editor position, be sure to highlight your skills as an editor. Discuss your experience editing documents, as well as your attention to detail and ability to work with clients. Be sure to mention any specific software or editing experience you have. Finally, discuss your availability and willingness to work with clients on a variety of projects.