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How Much Contact Info Should I Include? Ask Anne

Questions about freelance writingHello Anne,

What do you think about being asked to give a contact phone number and resume on a job that doesn’t list the name of the company? I’m specifically referring to a job on for a book editor.

I’ve certainly sent my resume out before, but without a name or website, I’m hesitant. Of course, it’s not hard to find any one’s phone number these days, and I’m certainly in the phone book, but wondered if you had any thoughts on this.

Thank you for your time!

RFM

Hi RFM,

I’m not sure why you’re hesitant. As you say it’s pretty easy to find most folks these days and you’re in the phone book. You want them to be able to contact you don’t you? Of course you do.

I suspect if you don’t include your name, phone number and email on your resume you won’t get many responses. The competition is huge and the more barriers you put in front of prospective employers or clients the less likely you are to land one. I assume you included at least an email address, which I suspect makes you trackable unless you’re working through a site that makes you anonymous. But what are you afraid of? And does it make sense to be fearful?

I haven’t counted, but I’d guess at least 20% of the jobs posted for writers online are by individuals who want a writer for something they are doing. They don’t own a company or have a store front. They often don’t even have a website, yet they are totally legitimate people, capable of paying a writer, sometimes well.

My truth has become sort of there is no privacy, not really. I began to live that way years before the net after dating a detective and discovering even back then how difficult it was to hide. My goal is to live transparently – it’s just easier and it means potential clients can call me.

That doesn’t mean I’m unaware of identity theft – I am, and I take reasonable steps to protect myself. But if I want a gig or a job I want the person who I hope will hire me to be able to contact me in ways that are easy for them, and that includes phone, email and snail mail.

You, of course, can do it anyway you want and if you can make not including easy contact information work for you, go for it. But think it all the way through.

Do you have a question about freelance writing? Contact me with Q&A in the subject line and I’ll probably answer it.

[sig]

Hello Anne.
Thank you for freelance writing resources and for the freelance writing
jobs. I enjoy being on your thrice-weekly email list.
What do you think about being asked to give a contact phone number and
resume on a job that doesn’t list the name of the company? I’m specifically
referring to job #25 from Craigslist on yesterday’s list of freelance
writing jobs (editor for books). I’ve certainly sent my resume out before,
but without a name or website, I’m hesitant. Of course, it’s not hard to
find anyone’s phone number these days, and I’m certainly in the phone book,
but wondered if you had any thoughts on this.
Thank you for your time!
Rhonda Franz  rgbfranz@gmail.com
http://coffeehousemom.wordpress.com

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • There’s a price to pay for having too much imagination.
    .-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Watcher in the Night =-.

  • This is great information. I’m starting to get story ideas zooming in my head.

  • There are certain behaviors that raise a flag. An example: Watch out for anyone who tries to get irrelevant personal information early on, even apparently minor questions like whether you go to church, whether you own a dog, or what your roomie’s name is. A little thought will reveal the answers to be potentially dangerous in the wrong hands. Just the fact that they’ve been asked (however cleverly) should put you on alert. Elliptical versions of those same questions: “I can’t meet you Sunday; I go to church that morning.” “I just got the cutest little dog at the Animal Rescue Shelter!” “I’ll call you tomorrow at 7 am. Will that bother anyone there?”

    Most people are smart enough to turn down a gig when they see a flag or two go up. But it’s best to have a procedure and stick with it, even if there are no obvious signs that you’re dealing with a wackazoid. Meeting only in safe, public places, if at all, is good, but be careful where you park, too. Take a friend along; have your cell phone(s) handy. Be prepared; be observant; be alert. Tell them your room-mate’s name is Mungo.
    .-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Watcher in the Night =-.

  • When I write marketing copy for clients, I make sure their contact info is easy for prospects to find. I do the same for myself. I include my mobile phone number and email address on my website, social networking profiles, business cards and responses to Craigslist ads.
    My home phone is in my roommate’s name, so that slows down potential stalkers. I do include my address on my invoices, once I have gotten to know the client a little. Trina is right – trust is a two-way street.

  • My first experience with something fishy occurred just the day before yesterday. I was contacted over the phone by a man who owns a sort of intermediary company, to put writers together with those needing writing services. He put me in contact with a guy who, at the end of several vague emails and instances of phone tag informed me through an email he was looking for someone to work in his home state, in fact in his hometown. This was because he wanted to deliver the job materials (a hand-written document to be proofed and typed) to me personally.

    I understand there are college students and non-professionals who do not have websites and the like who need writing services. But honestly, I was thinking, “Hello? Kinkos? Office Max? Fax machine? Postal mail?” So, yes that one threw me for a loop. When I informed the man who had originally contacted me, he laughed and said that was, indeed, quite strange. I’m just waiting for Fox News to report some new Craigslist killer in this certain large town which I will not name. I’m holding on to this guy’s phone number and email for the FBI.

    That being said, I’m still going to put all my information on my resume anyway, because I just understand in this industry it’s the way it’s done. But there is still no need to take risks. I use my cell phone number for my business, and I have a post office box. I try to go through the net occasionally and look myself up and remove myself from the white pages. If you want employers to trust you, you have to give them a modicum of trust as well.
    .-= Trina L. Grant´s last blog .."Charging Bull" Artist Charges Copyright Infringement =-.

    • Anne

      Always always trust your gut… this guy seems strange because he is strange. Let’s hope he doesn’t kill anyone.

    • 0_o Creepy!

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