Q: I’m switching from full-time nonprofit development and communications work to freelance writing and editing, and I’ve been told that I should use a concise one-pager to promote myself … something that summarizes my key strengths and work experience. Do you agree with this advice, and how would you say branding myself as a consultant might differ from looking for a full-time job?
There’s no absolute answer to this, but in general if you are going into the writing and communications world, it would be worth having your own website that quickly highlights your accomplishments in the area you are targeting. As a writer, your marketing materials must be concise and articulate, as well as free of any spelling or grammar problems.
Branding yourself as a consulting has some differences from looking for a full-time job if the actual job functions would differ (i.e. strategic planning consultant vs. development professional), but if you are open to either full-time or freelance work in the same field and job function, your branding could be very similar. The main challenge is communicating to employers that you are open to either full-time or consulting work, because most people are focused on only one or the other. On the other hand, these days, there are many professionals who take short-term consulting projects because it has become more difficult to find full-time jobs. In either case, you have to research your target market.