6 skills you need to land flexible transcription jobs

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With flexible working hours gaining huge momentum recently, for both businesses and employees, you’ll find certain roles lend themselves perfectly to this trend.

Businesses need transcription services more than ever, whether for legal reasons or to create more content for their business. You can check this out to learn more about why businesses need transcription services more than ever.

If you’re swift on the keyboard and rate your writing skill, you may be just what businesses are looking for.

Before you jump head-first into application forms for transcription jobs, be sure to brush up on the following six skills to increase your chances of landing that dream flexible role.

Sharpen Your Listening Skills

A crucial part of transcription work obviously involves listening closely to the words spoken on recordings. In order to pass an online transcription test you need to type what you see to the best of your ability. Typing more words than are actually said will impact your test negatively.

It’s important to practice so you will be able to focus fully on the source material in the test without being distracted.

You may come across words that are hard to decipher or even unintelligible. In that situation it is often best to put the word ‘unintelligible’ into brackets or follow the guidelines set out for the test. Remember, these tests are timed so you need to make a judgement call and carry on with the next part.

Practice, Practice and Practice Your Typing

Although every organisation will have its own typing speed standard, it is a good idea to aim at achieving a solid 60 words in a minute without making any errors.

Although you can type at speeds of 35 words per minute and still pass online transcription tests, if you type any slower you will find it harder to pass.

Learn to touch type and set your fingers on the correct keys without look while you practice. Even if you don’t have proper transcription equipment, you can still practice transcribing your favourite YouTube videos.

Typing should become a habit if you are serious about a career in transcription. Accuracy is always most important, ahead of speed.

Though, you need to be able to type fast and accurately.

Familiarise Yourself With and Learn How to Format Transcription Properly

If you want to score the best test score possible, you need to familiarise and learn the correct formatting for transcribed audio.

Schools and organisations who offer transcription services normally have a specific style of formatting they look for.

As this can be different from organisation to organisation, it’s vital to look over the study guide provided.

You need to put in a line break between each of the speakers. Use bold formatting for identifiers in your transcription like audience and speaker.

The font sizes, types, margins and page layouts used are also involved in transcription formatting.

Use Correct Punctuation

The subject of punctuation is very difficult because there are different rules for different sources and it also depends on the purpose of the text too.

For instance, with academic writing there are strict rules regarding punctuation that are different in the UK and the US.

Commas and periods are normally placed on the inside of quotes in the US, and they are placed on the outside of quotes in the United Kingdom.

You can be easily be confused by correct English if you tend to read lots of literature.

It’s best to play it safe and use standardised academic punctuation rules when practicing audio transcription.

But, always follow the rules set out by your employer or client.

Always Utilise Critical Thinking

When practicing transcription, critical thinking is crucial. You will always come across times when you need to decide on the speaker’s words and their context.

As words often have a variety of different meetings, you need to judge it.

Improve your Spelling and Grammar

When taking transcription tests, it’s crucial you improve your spelling and grammar skills.

When practicing, use spellcheckers to determine how accurate you are.

Learn the functions of the English word classifications below and use them properly:

  • Verbs
  • Adjectives
  • Nouns
  • Pronouns
  • Adverbs
  • Interjections
  • Conjunctions
  • Prepositions

There you have it. Providing transcription work for businesses can be life-changing for any employee who needs flexible hours in their lives. The same can be said for businesses who don’t want to hire someone full-time.

The flexibility is a win for both parties and nailing these six crucial skills is likely to leave you with more work than you know what to do with.