We often hear from new typists that trying to get a job as a transcriptionist is a real Catch 22. It very hard to get hired without experience, but you can not get experience until you get hired.
Why don’t transcription companies give new people a chance?
Often services will not hire inexperienced transcriptionist because it takes so long for people to learn the ropes and come up to speed.
A common misconception is that transcription is just typing.
This is not the case.
Transcription requires, for example, listening to hours of focus group discussions, that are poorly recorded, identifying who is speaking, inserting time codes, and googling the spelling of uncommon terms and acronyms.
Projects such as this take patience, extreme attention to detail, as well as plain old typing speed.
It takes time to get used to transcription equipment such as foot pedals and software – and build up both physical and mental stamina to type recordings for 8 hours a day.
The trick is to build this stamina slowly, and gain experience and skills before applying.
But how do you do that? Well, here is a four step approach to landing a job.
4 Steps to landing a job as a transcriptionist
- Do a Transcription training course. Although you probably don’t want to hear this … but… doing a course should be looked at as a first step. A medical transcription course will provide the basics all transcriptionists need to know.
- Start: One of the biggest hurdles with anything is to make a start. Once you complete a course the next step will be to get as many hours of transcribing under your belt as possible. This should be seen as your apprenticeship. What I suggest is starting off bidding for and working small contracts. Although often paying below minimum sites like freelancer, or Fiverr provide great insight and varied opportunities to flex your typing muscles.
- Build a Work History: Build your client base and reputation. Get references from clients. Start with simple dictation, move to interviews, then to groups. Start going for larger and different jobs.
- Become the low risk/high performing option: Finally, start approaching companies and sell yourself as a “low-risk asset”. Nothing is more attractive to a transcription service than a person looking for work who is already doing the same job successfully somewhere else. Prove that you can do the job and are successfully doing the job in your cover letter to an employee. Give examples, refer to clients.
Someone who can show that they have built their own business and client lists show that they can not only type – but they understand the business and what it takes to succeed. Well rounded transcriptionists are a great asset to a service – don’t forget to include transcription jobs with us in your job hunt. Good luck!