A web home ...

I had planned on passing along this "tip" to you yesterday, as a follow-up to my post about creating networking cards, but my networking schedule got the better of me.  I'd gone off to an afternoon event being hosted by ChicagoNow's own The Local Tourist, launching the "Writing the Rails" tour, and had some very interesting conversations with the people there.  One of the attendees invited me to go check out "The Big Ooga" holiday networking bash last night, and I had scarcely time to get back home, load up more networking cards, read a bit of my backed-up Twitter stream, and head out again!

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Anyway, this tip is about having a copy of your resume available on-line, and how to best direct to it.  But, before I get to that specific subject, let me introduce you to a little-known, but very handy, web feature ... the ".info" TLD (top-level domain).  The .info domain is in the same class as .com, .net, .org, .edu, and other "standard" extensions, but is far less known.  Why is this a good thing?  It is very likely that, while you might not be able to get your preferred "handle" in the popular TLDs, you'll be able to pick up the .info version.  Plus, it provides a very short, simple, and memorable way to point people to your information.  

Over most of the past decade, I've had my .info URL pointing to a version of my resume posted somewhere online, making it very handy to have on my networking cards.  I've preferred to have this as a .PDF file (which can now be easily "printed" from a document via a free program like Cute PDF or Primo PDF) as it keeps the formatting the way it appears in the original; however, I've recently been convinced to primarily use a .HTML (web page) version, as this will be searchable by Google, etc.  While most word processors now allow you to export your document to a .HTML file, I generally find the results less than satisfying, and would recommend recreating your resume specifically as a web page if you're going to go that route.  On my current site I have a .HTML file with a background that looks like Classic Laid paper, and with small links up top which point to the .PDF version, and to my LinkedIn page.

Now, I've been developing and managing web pages since the mid-90's, and have various hosting sites that I've been using.  I assume that most people will have access to some web space via their phone plans, but I've never had to rely on that, so can't specifically speak to the possibilities that way.  I do know, however, that there are numerous free web hosting options out there, so do a search and see what fits best for you.

Once you have web space, you'll want to upload your resume file (in either .HTML or .PDF format), and note the specific address for that (for instance the location of the image in this post is at http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/job-stalker/post009.jpg), this is what you'll want to point your .info domain (for instance http://jobstalker.info) towards.  Needless to say, comparing those two URLs clearly shows the advantage of the .info domain name!

A final "tip" on this subject ... if you get web space that comes with a domain registration, you can do this all as part of your set-up, but if you're ending up with a free service that does not include that, I'd recommend using Active-Domain out of the UK as your "registrar" (the company that you get your .info address from), as they have the simplest, most direct, and logical form for setting up where your domain points that I've encountered, and it's been my experience that they (despite the time difference) are far easier to deal with than any of the registrars I've used here.

{Update} - I just found out that another UK registrar, 1&1, is having a "99¢ sale" on .info domains ... I just picked up that jobstalker.info (before somebody else did!) there, and figured I'd let folks know about it here.

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