Professional Toolbox: Forms and Graphics

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.
You should have .pdf versions of these files in addition to files you can work with. Many potential clients won’t accept files other than .pdf. 
Thanks for listening.

 

3 thoughts on “Professional Toolbox: Forms and Graphics

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