Building Your Copy Editing Portfolio

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What should go in my freelance editing portfolio?

Building Your Copy Editing Portfolio

A portfolio isn't a necessity for an editor with experience and good references. Many organizations will administer a copy-editing test rather than asking for samples. Still, assembling a portfolio may be a useful marketing tool, particularly if you expect to do a great deal of work outside of established publishing channels.

Things that go in your freelance editing portfolio:

  • Samples of headlines
  • At least one story presented in a before-and-after version (be sure the "after" version is perfect, readable and shorter than the "before")
  • Samples of other types of editing you've done -- news briefs, obituaries, any specialty fields in which you work.
  • Sample Web or print page designs, if you are marketing layout skills as part of your services.
  • An attractive, easy-to-read business card.
  • Of course, an excellent (and letter-perfect) resume and cover letter.
Once your portfolio is done, put it on your Web site (you DO have a Web site, don't you?) in PDF form for easy printing, and in an easy-to-read Web format.



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Lynne Christen