I listened to an NPR interview a few years ago where an author talked about the increasing importance of aesthetics in the modern business world. Twenty years ago, you could send in a photocopy of a typed resume with no fancy text. Today, everybody has access to word processing — meaning that laser-printed paperwork with appropriate bold and italic type is the minimum requirement.
As a freelance writer, you’re not just a job applicant — you’re a business. It’s worth taking a day or two to develop a handful of forms and graphics to form a best foot for you to put forward. It’s possible to go overboard with tri-fold brochures and similar business collateral, but as a simple contractor you will definitely need the following:
- A business card with a simple graphic, your name and contact information. If it’s legible, this can double as your email signature and your logo.
- A banner logo for the top of your website and paperwork.
- A letterhead with your banner logo on top, preferably formatted for easy entry.
- A solid resume, preferably checked over by a professional, ready for customization to each job you’ll bid on.
- A form cover letter. You should never turn it in unaltered, but it will form the bones of the application letter. You can send this as a data file, or copy and paste it into your email applications.
- An invoice. MS Publisher and MS Excel come with a selection of form invoices, which you can customize using your banner logo and/or letterhead.