If you’re thinking about applying to become a Verbal Ink transcriptionist – first of all, thanks for thinking of us! Here are six simple questions to consider as you prepare your resume and polish the latest draft of your cover letter:
Do you love learning?
Transcriptionists are called upon to transcribe audio from academic institutions, news organizations, and a myriad of government and private entities. These clients expect that transcriptionists possess general knowledge of current events and American popular culture. A good candidate will recognize and insert the names of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Trayvon Martin, foie gras and Groupon, Mount Holyoke and Cedars-Sinai, and SIM cards and Wi-Fi.
Can you tell the difference between similar-sounding voices?
Transcriptionists need to be able to differentiate between the voices of several speakers. Otherwise, they won’t be able to attach the right name to the right speaker in the transcript (otherwise known as “tracking”). Here’s a rule of thumb: if you can’t tell the difference between your siblings when they call you, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between ten focus group participants that you’ve never met.
Do you understand people who speak with heavy accents while airplanes are taking off?
For a transcriptionist, an ideal world might be one in which everybody speaks slowly, in standard English, in a quiet room, without any trace of an accent. Instead, the world is a beautiful mashup of regional dialects and international accents, technical jargon and ever-evolving slang. Just to make things more interesting, all of these voices are recorded in all sorts of different places and on all sorts of different devices. If you’ve ever found yourself deciphering the lyrics leaking out of someone else’s headphones while riding the subway, you’re probably a pretty great candidate.
Do you finish your work before it’s due?
Like it or not, we live in an instant gratification culture. Why settle for one-day shipping when we can have it today? Verbal Ink offers several options for transcript delivery, including next day and same day transcripts. This means that your careful parsing of every last dotted i and crossed t needs to be balanced with some serious time management skills. If you’re the type of person who sends in the automobile registration renewal the day it arrives, or keeps multiple calendars for multiple projects, we definitely want to know more about you.
Do you have a strong command of English grammar?
A great transcriptionist is never stymied by “there,” “their,” or “they’re”. He or she knows exactly where to insert a semicolon or add a dash. Our transcriptionists are all native English speakers, in part because of their familiarity with idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms – the sorts of phrases that computers and non-native speakers just won’t grasp. Is your interest piqued – NOT peaked – by Oxford comma memes? Send us your information, stat!
Are you computer savvy?
You don’t need to be able to build your own computers or have a decade’s worth of sysadmin experience (you don’t even need to know what that means!), but we do require our transcriptionists to have a working knowledge of email and Microsoft Word. We also require specialized transcription software and a foot pedal, and we highly recommend having QuickTime Player or Windows Media Player for video playback.