Last week Seth Godin posted this on the “wrapper” – about how the box, the frame, the presentation matters, even if its not the point.
Earlier this week I saw a document that was sent to a client with no header, no footer, no logo, no title, and no page numbers – I was baffled. I asked myself, how could the project manager look at this document and think it was OK to send? Not only does it look unprofessional, but its also impractical – how can the client easily tell what this document is? If the pages get out of order, how much work will it be to put it back? If someone finds the document lying around, how will they know who wrote it?
It’s part of the project manager’s job to present the company and the work in a professional way – and that includes the wrapper. So make sure the document is correct, that it reads well and is written well and covers all the important information, and also that it looks professional.
First, if your organization has a document template with pre-set headers/footers/logo, etc. Use it! if it doesn’t, create one or lobby your boss to get one made, then insist that it be consistently used. Until then, make sure the document has:
- Your logo/company name
- The client/company name
- Version number
- Page number
- Header (sometimes repeats the document name beginning on page 2)
- Footer (often contains copyright information or contact information)
- Consistent font and font size
- Consistent headings
- Consistent use of bullets
- Consistent spacing
And last but not least, make sure all track changes have been removed.
To download a checklist of these items, click here: Formatting Checklist.
This final check into the look and feel of your document will go a long way to making your work look professional.