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5 Freelance Copy Editor Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your freelance copy editor resume must showcase impeccable command of language. It should highlight your proficiency in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Demonstrate your versatility in various writing styles and consistency in delivering high-quality work. Illustrate your keen eye for detail and ability to enhance readability without altering the author's voice.

All resume examples in this guide

As a freelance copy editor, you may struggle with illustrating the variety and depth of your projects on your resume due to the diverse nature of freelance work. Fortunately, our guide provides targeted strategies to help you effectively showcase your editing prowess and project versatility to potential clients.

Perfect your next application for the freelance copy editor role with our quick guide on how to:
  • Format your freelance copy editor resume to ensure that it balances professionalism with creativity, and follows the best practices.
  • Match the freelance copy editor job requirements by including industry keywords on your resume.
  • Use various resume sections to showcase your skills and achievements to answer why you're the best candidate for the freelance copy editor role.

Take inspiration from leading freelance copy editor resume examples to learn how to tailor your experience.

Professional freelance copy editor resume format advice

Achieving the most suitable resume format can at times seem like a daunting task at hand.

Which elements are most important to recruiters?

In which format should you submit your resume?

How should you list your experience?

Unless specified otherwise, here's how to achieve a professional look and feel for your resume.

  • Present your experience following the reverse-chronological resume format . It showcases your most recent jobs first and can help recruiters attain a quick glance at how your career has progressed.
  • The header is the must-have element for your resume. Apart from your contact details, you could also include your portfolio and a headline, that reflects on your current role or a distinguishable achievement.
  • Select relevant information to the role, that should encompass no more than two pages of your resume.
  • Download your resume in PDF to ensure that its formatting stays intact.

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pro tip icon

If you failed to obtain one of the certificates, as listed in the requirements, but decide to include it on your resume, make sure to include a note somewhere that you have the "relevant training, but are planning to re-take the exams". Support this statement with the actual date you're planning to be re-examined. Always be honest on your resume.

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Essential sections that should make up your freelance copy editor resume include:

  • The header - with your contact details (e.g. email and telephone number), link to your portfolio, and headline
  • The summary (or objective) - to spotlight the peaks of your professional career, so far
  • The experience section - with up to six bullets per role to detail specific outcomes
  • The skills list - to provide a healthy mix between your personal and professional talents
  • The education and certification - showing your most relevant degrees and certificates to the freelance copy editor role
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Proficiency in various style guides (e.g., AP, Chicago, MLA, APA)
  • Attention to detail and ability to spot grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors
  • Experience with editing software and content management systems
  • Strong communication skills for interacting with clients and managing editorial feedback
  • Portfolio of past editing projects that demonstrates the ability to improve content quality and consistency

Creating your freelance copy editor resume experience to catch recruiters' attention

Remember that for the freelance copy editor role, hiring managers are looking to see how your expertise aligns with their requirements. Here's where your resume experience section can help out. Make sure you:

  • Include mainly roles that are relevant to the freelance copy editor job you're applying for;
  • Don't go too far back in your experience - recruiters will only care what you did a decade ago if it's really important for the freelance copy editor role;
  • Each bullet you include should say what you did, followed by the skills you used and the actual end result of your efforts;
  • Quantify each of your achievements with numbers and possibly the overall effect it had on the organization;
  • Highlight transferrable skills - or personal skills you've attained thanks to past jobs - that could be applicable within your potential workplace. This would showcase your unique value as a professional.

Formatting the experience section of your resume doesn't have to be an over-the-top deep dive into your whole career. Follow the freelance copy editor resume examples below to see how industry-leading professionals are presenting their experience:

Freelance Senior Copy Editor
Freelance Senior Copy Editor
  • Led a team of freelance writers and editors to revamp the web content for a major tech company, enhancing the brand's voice and increasing user engagement by 25%.
  • Performed in-depth technical editing for 100+ scientific articles, ensuring accuracy in data and compliance with industry standards, thus enhancing the publisher's credibility.
  • Conducted quarterly workshops for junior editors on current editing software, improving team efficiency by 35% and ensuring error-free deliverables.
Independent Editorial Consultant
Independent Editorial Consultant
  • Provided strategic editorial guidance for a startup lifestyle magazine, growing its subscriber base to over 50,000 within the first two years.
  • Created and enforced a comprehensive style guide for a new online journal, resulting in an award for Best New Digital Publication.
  • Negotiated with freelance writers to procure high-quality content within budget, reducing overall editorial expenses by 20%.
Expert Copy Editing Freelancer
Expert Copy Editing Freelancer
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to edit and finalize 150+ technical manuals for a leading software developer, directly impacting product usability.
  • Initiated a peer-review workflow that reduced editorial turnaround time by 40%, allowing for timely publication of monthly trade magazine issues.
  • Meticulously edited top-tier academic dissertations, with two of them receiving national awards for research excellence in their respective fields.
Copy Editing Specialist
Copy Editing Specialist
Amazon Publishing
  • Successfully managed the editorial process for a series of e-books, which sold over 10,000 copies in the first year post-release.
  • Implemented and maintained editorial standards for a consortium of indie authors, significantly boosting their aggregate book sales by 30%.
  • Spearheaded a bi-annual newsletter creation for a non-profit organization, effectively doubling their online donations year-over-year.
Freelance Editorial Assistant
Freelance Editorial Assistant
Khan Academy
  • Assisted in content development and editing for an online educational platform, which saw a 40% increase in user retention after launching the revised courses.
  • Managed the proofreading and content consistency for 20+ marketing campaigns, resulting in a 15% higher click-through rate for the client's ads.
  • Optimized and standardized a backlog of over 500 historical articles, increasing search engine rankings and driving a 50% traffic increase.
Professional Copy Editor and Proofreader
Professional Copy Editor and Proofreader
  • Delivered high-quality editing for a leading law firm's document database, improving document accessibility and retrieval by 60%.
  • Pioneered an editorial process that enhanced clarity and coherence in governmental policy briefs, bolstering public comprehension and policy outreach.
  • Refined and edited a suite of business proposals that secured over $2 million in funding for small business clients.
Freelance Copy Editor and Content Specialist
Freelance Copy Editor and Content Specialist
The New York Times
  • Provide consistent and quality-driven editing for a well-known news outlet, tripling readership for the op-ed section through targeted content refinement.
  • Develop tailored content strategies for individual authors, enhancing their online presence and multiplying their social media following by an average of 150%.
  • Implemented a CRM system to track and analyze content performance, driving a data-informed approach that increased overall content engagement by 45%.
Copy Editor Contractor
Copy Editor Contractor
Lonely Planet
  • Facilitated a large-scale rebranding effort by editing promotional materials, playing a pivotal role in a 30% market share increase for the client's flagship product.
  • Orchestrated a bilingual publication project for a travel company, enhancing the appeal to both English and Spanish-speaking markets and boosting bookings by 25%.
  • Piloted an author support program that cut down editorial errors by 50% and scaled the program to include over 100 freelance contributors.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Highlight the number of articles you've edited to showcase your experience and workload capacity.
  • Include the percentage of repeat clients to demonstrate client satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Specify the average word count of editing projects to illustrate the scope of your work.
  • Mention the number of editing guidelines you're proficient with to prove your versatility.
  • Indicate the percentage improvement in client content engagement post-editing to show the impact of your work.
  • List the number of authors or brands you regularly work with to reflect the breadth of your client base.
  • State the reduction in turnaround time achieved through your editing processes for efficiency metrics.
  • Quantify the range of document types you edit to highlight your adaptability to different content forms.

Action verbs for your freelance copy editor resume

Action or power verbs add depth to your experience. They also help you prove that you’ve taken charge of things in the past and are great at problem-solving and decision-making. Use them instead of buzzwords to make your freelance copy editor resume the center of attention!
Read The Guide

Remember these four tips when writing your freelance copy editor resume with no experience

You've done the work - auditing the job requirements for keywords and have a pretty good idea of the skill set the ideal candidate must possess.

Yet, your professional experience amounts to a summer internship .

Even if you have limited or no professional expertise that matches the role you're applying for, you can use the resume experience section to:

  • List extracurricular activities that are relevant to the job requirements. Let's say you were editor-in-chief of your college newspaper or part of the engineering society. Both activities have taught you invaluable, transferrable skills (e.g. communication or leadership) that can be crucial for the job;
  • Substitute jobs with volunteer experience. Participating in charity projects has probably helped you develop an array of soft skills (e.g. meeting deadlines and interpersonal communications). On the other hand, volunteering shows potential employers more about you: who you are and what are the causes you care about;
  • Align job applications with your projects. Even your final-year thesis work could be seen as relevant experience, if it's in the same industry as the job you're applying for. Ensure you've listed the key skills your project has taught you, alongside tangible outcomes or your project success;
  • Shift the focus to your transferrable skills. We've said it before, but recruiters will assess your profile upon both job requirements and the skills you possess. Consider what your current experience - both academic and life - has taught you and how you've been able to develop your talents.
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List all your relevant higher education degrees within your resume in reverse chronological order (starting with the latest). There are cases when your PhD in a particular field could help you stand apart from other candidates.

Key hard skills and soft skills for your freelance copy editor resume

At the top of any recruiter freelance copy editor checklist, you'd discover a list of technical competencies, balanced with personal skills.

Hard or technical skills are your opportunity to show how you meet the essential responsibilities of the role. The ability to use a particular job-crucial technology or software would also hint to recruiters whether you'd need a prolonged period of on-the-job training - or you'd fit right in the job.

But to land your dream role, you'd also need to demonstrate a variety of soft or people resume skills . Employers care about soft skills as they show how each candidate would fit into the team and company culture.

Both types of skills are specific and to best curate them on your resume, you'd need to:

  • Create a skill section within which you showcase your hard and soft skills and present how they help you succeed.
  • List specific examples of projects, tasks, or competitions, within which your skill set has assisted your results.
  • Soft skills are harder to measure, so think about situations in which they've helped you thrive. Describe those situations concisely, focusing on how the outcome has helped you grow as a professional.
  • Metrics of success - like positive ROI or optimized workplace processes - are the best way to prove your technical and people skills.

Take a look at some of freelance copy editor industry leaders' favorite hard skills and soft skills, as listed on their resumes.

Top skills for your freelance copy editor resume:

Grammar and punctuation expertise

Knowledge of style guides (AP, Chicago, MLA, etc.)

Proficiency with editing software and tools

Attention to detail

Understanding of publishing processes

Copyediting and proofreading

Knowledge of specific subject matter or industry

Research skills

SEO principles

Familiarity with content management systems


Communication skills

Time management


Critical thinking



Client relationship management

Negotiation skills



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Bold the names of educational institutions and certifying bodies for emphasis.

Discover the perfect certification and education to list on your freelance copy editor resume

Value the insights your resume education section offers. It can shed light on various proficiencies and experiences tailored for the job.

  • Add only college or university degrees, stating the institution and duration.
  • If you're nearing the end of your degree, note your graduation date.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of including unrelated degrees - it might not be your best choice with so little space on your resume.
  • Talk about your educational achievements if they amplify your relevant experience.

There are so many certificates you can list on your resume.

Just which ones should make the cut?

  • List your prominent higher education degree in a separate box, alongside the name of the institute you've obtained it from and your graduation dates
  • Curate only relevant certificates that support your expertise, hard skills, and soft skills
  • Certificates that are more niche (and rare) within the industry could be listed closer to the top. Also, this space could be dedicated to more recent certifications you've attained
  • Add a description to your certificates or education, only if you deem this could further enhance your chances of showcasing your unique skill set

When listing your certificates, remember that it isn't a case of "the more, the merrier", but rather "the more applicable they are to the industry, the better".

Recruiters have hinted that these are some of the most in-demand certificates for freelance copy editor roles across the industry:

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The top 5 certifications for your freelance copy editor resume:

  1. Certificate in Editing (CIE) - University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education
  2. Professional Certificate in Editing (PCE) - University of California, Berkeley Extension
  3. Editing Certificate (EC) - University of Chicago Graham School
  4. Certified Professional Editor (CPE) - Editors Canada
  5. Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS) Certification - Board of Editors in the Life Sciences
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Showcase any ongoing or recent educational efforts to stay updated in your field.

Your freelance copy editor resume top one third: choosing between a resume summary or an objective

The top third of your resume is crucial, as recruiters might focus only on this section rather than reading the entire document. Therefore, it's important to carefully decide whether to include a resume summary or an objective.

  • The resume summary encapsulates your most significant experiences, key achievements, and skills in the field. Ideal for candidates with substantial relevant experience, the summary previews what recruiters will find in the rest of your resume.
  • The resume objective outlines your professional aspirations. It describes your career goals for the coming years and how you envision your role evolving in the prospective company. The resume objective is suitable if you have less professional experience and wish to emphasize various soft skills such as motivation, vision, and planning.

Explore some of the best examples of resume summaries and objectives from real-life professional resumes in the industry.

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Resume summaries for a freelance copy editor job

  • Seasoned freelance copy editor with over 10 years of experience refining content for major publishing houses. Demonstrates a mastery of the English language, coupled with an eye for detail that has resulted in multiple award-winning publications. A continual learner, committed to staying abreast of the latest editorial standards and technologies.
  • Former marketing professional with 5 years of experience, seeking to pivot into copy editing, bringing expertise in creating compelling narratives and adjusting tone to audience needs. Possesses a solid foundation in SEO and content optimization, aiming to enhance readability and engagement through meticulous editing and proofreading.
  • With a background in legal documentation and over 7 years of precise editing for clarity and compliance, now aspiring to apply a honed skill set to copy editing in the literary world. Excited to contribute to crafting engaging content while upholding the highest grammatical standards.
  • Eager newcomer with a recent degree in English Literature and a passion for the written word, eager to embark on a career in copy editing. Bringing an academic background in syntax and grammar, along with a dedication to contributing to high-quality published work in a dynamic editorial environment.
  • An accomplished technical writer with 8 years of experience, transitioning to freelance copy editing to focus on refining varied content types. Expertise in distilling complex information into clear, accessible copy and leveraging technical knowledge to enhance document accuracy and reader understanding.
  • Recent English graduate with a fervent interest in language, seeking to apply a solid grounding in editing and proofreading gained through university coursework and internships. Objective: To build a reputation for meticulous attention to detail and contribute to the production of flawless, engaging content.

More sections to ensure your freelance copy editor resume stands out

If you're looking for additional ways to ensure your freelance copy editor application gets noticed, then invest in supplementing your resume with extra sections, like:

These supplementary resume sections show your technical aptitude (with particular technologies and software) and your people skills (gained even outside of work).

Key takeaways

We trust that this Enhancv guide has been informative and useful. To summarize the essential points:

  • Opt for a simple and readable format, focusing more on your freelance copy editor achievements rather than just duties;
  • Emphasize your accomplishments in the freelance copy editor experience section over mere responsibilities;
  • If lacking relevant experience, utilize various resume sections like education and volunteering to demonstrate your suitable skill set;
  • Never overlook the significance of pertinent higher education, training, and certifications;
  • Incorporate diverse sections in your resume to highlight not just your skills expertise but also your personality.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He has written more than 500 resume guides and deep-dive articles on how to create your resume and cover letter, that inspire job applicants to make a resume to be proud of. His work has been featured in Forbes, Zendesk, HubSpot, and Business Insider, and cited by top universities and educational institutions, like Thunderbird School of Management, Rochester University, University of Miami, and Udemy. Volen applies his deep knowledge and practical experience to write about career changes, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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