Letter writing help! (janobonano)

    • Gold Top Dog

    Letter writing help! (janobonano)

    I have been doing some freelance graphic design from home since I got laid off over a year ago. I haven't really put much effort into it though. I have a friend/ex-coworker that works in the graphics dept. at the local community college. She has given me their overflow work, but it's sporadic and definitely not enough to help pay the bills.

    Rather than do design for the general public, I'd like to send a letter to some local businesses that do graphic design in-house (create ads for the local newspapers, ads/catalog layout for Foster & Smith, random jobs for local printers, etc.), but I am horrible at writing. I have a rough draft, but if anyone could pick at it and give me some tips, I'd really appreciate it. Here goes...

    Dear Mr. Soandso,

    My name is Janice Lastname and I am a professional graphic designer. I have been in the advertising and marketing field for ten years. Some of the companies I have worked for are ABC, Inc. and DEF, Inc. Most recently I started my own freelance graphic design company, GHI.

    I am writing to offer my service as a freelance graphic designer. I can take any overflow work you have and complete it in a timely manner. Much of the work in this field can be done via email, but I am able to meet in person if needed.

    You can view my résumé and portfolio at http://www.xyz.com. Please contact me at 000.000.0000, so that we can arrange a convenient time to meet. I will be looking forward to your call.

    Best Regards,

    Should I change the "Please contact me..." to "I will be calling to arrange/follow up..."?

    I'd like to elaborate a bit about why a freelance graphic designer could save them money, but I don't know how to word it. Something like...
    Hiring a freelancer rather than a full-time employee can help cut down on unnecessary overhead expenditures. Benefits include: pay per job as opposed to hourly (eliminate paying for "down time";), and they wouldn't have to provide benefits (insurance, retirement plan, vacation pay.)

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    • Gold Top Dog

    I stumble with words too, so hopefully someone more eloquent and I will stop by.

    Can you include a couple of color samples with your letter along with your resume?  I know I am just about as lazy and it gets and I am more willing to take a look at something in front of me vs go to website.  I know that since its web design it might be hard, but maybe just a sample page or something?

    I also would include reasons why hiring you would be better for their business's bottom line.

    Bullet points work well since its minimal reading, such as:

    Hiring a freelance graphic artist is more beneficial because:

    - Point 1

    - Point 2

    Can you include references for them to call?  I know you name a few, but are they able to contact them?

    I know the company I worked for in Milwaukee gave some work to a freelancer, but if you are interested, PM me and I will send you their info.

    • Gold Top Dog

    I look forward to talking with you soon and will plan to call the first part of the week to answer any questions you may have.

    How about something in the text of your letter where you talk about talking overflow work to the affect that by freelancing out the work they eliminate the expenses asociated with a full time employee for whom they may have only part time work?  Business owners KNOW the cost of an employee.

    Great idea.  I wish you much luck.

    • Gold Top Dog

    I write a LOT of cover letters for other people and my "thing" with cover letters is that they really need to expound above and beyond the resume.  The resume should list all of your applicable experience.  The cover letter goes beyond that an applies it specifically to the company you are writing to, or the job you are applying for (if it is know, obviously this is easier because most provide a job description that you can work into your cover letter).  What can YOU personally offer them other than what is listed on the resume.

    • Gold Top Dog

    All good advice.  And, I don't know why you think you have horrible writing skills.  I think it sounds great.  I agree that you should not ask them to call you, but you could say something like:  "I'll contact you soon to see if I may be of assistance to your company and to find a convenient time to meet.  Please feel free to contact me at 000-000-0000."  Give them about a week, then call...maybe they will end up calling you first...bonus!

    If you can, do some research on the companies to whom you will send the letters and personalize your letter to their needs. 

    The cover letter is key to grabbing their attention.  Its what will get your foot in the door.  Be confident, but not overly confident that it makes you sound arrogant.   Toot your horn...sell yourself in this cover letter and the material you send so that you can score an initial meeting.

    Good luck!

    • Gold Top Dog

     Thanks for the input, everyone!

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    You're probably already a master of graphic design after all these years?

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