Most current advice for journalism grads and job-hunters includes starting their own domain and getting a professional e-mail address. The most common recommendation is to stake out your own literal name.
It’s extraordinarily useful (and professional) to simply send someone one clean Web link that has your resume, clips and accomplishments. Another thought: If you’re applying for an online position … and you don’t have an online resume/presence… do you think you’re gonna get the job?
And since reportedly 72 percent of bosses will Google you during the hiring process, this gives you a way to shape what they see.
In addition, every time you send an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org, you’re subtly advertising that you do have your own Web site. Some percentage of people who get your e-mails will be curious enough to go check it out. (At the very, very least, please get an e-mail address from Gmail or another reputable-sounding place, with a reasonable facsimile of your own real name rather than “foxxxykitn295.”)
For myself, I registered sues-news.com awhile back, but this “staking your claim” thing began to sound like a good idea. When I checked and saw that sueowenwhaley.com was still available, I thought, OK, I’ll time the process and make it into a tutorial. Bear in mind, this is only one way to do it. I use these services myself and I know they work.