“What that black and white thingy?”
That’s what I said the first time I received a resume with it on the first page.
I later found out that the black and white ‘box thingy’ is called a QR code. Essentially, they connect the offline world with the online world. They don’t even have to be black and white anymore, they can actually be custom designed to be catchy using different colors and designs.
QR (quick response) codes are square barcodes that can be easily scanned by smartphones. You scan these barcodes by taking a picture with your smartphone and you’re directed to the link that’s imbedded in the code.
How QR Codes help your job search
They are additional marketing tools that can be printed on your resume, business cards, portfolio or any other printed material that promotes your personal brand and can help you get noticed.
This is especially true for the marketing, communications and technology industries where creativity is essential.
It worked for this guy
Here’s an example of how Victor Petit used a QR code printed on his resume to land an internship. Once scanned, the QR code on the face takes you to a video of the missing mouth. Here it is:
This is brilliant because it’s different…well, for now anyway.
Competition is fierce in today’s job market where people are still losing jobs left, right and center. Just sending out 20 resumes a day or applying for jobs online isn’t going to cut it anymore.
You have to have a job search strategy and and an approach focused on promoting your personal brand instead of just using a resume that looks like a laundry list of duties.
Like everything else in life though, there are pros and cons to using QR Codes.
- Ideal for digital media positions because it exudes creativity and a cutting edge approach.
- The QR code can be linked to your LinkedIn profile, which includes previous positions as well as recommendations (a lot more than a resume can relay).
- You can also drive potential employers to your ‘Hire Me’ and ‘About Me’ pages as well as your blog or just about anything else you’d like to showcase to a potential employer.
- The hiring manager will always have access to your contact information especially if you link it to a downloadable vCards.
- Excellent chance to build your personal brand.
- Not everyone has a smartphone to unlock the QR Code.
- Resumes are rarely even printed these days and most HR people don’t even accept hard copies.
- Most large companies request that resumes be sent through their own online forms or text only resumes attached.
Keep in mind that a QR Code aren’t meant for online job applications anyway, they’re meant for printed material.
How to create a QR Code for a URL
There are several QR Code generators. I use google, which to generate mine and it too me all of 10 seconds:
- Go to http://goo.gl/
- Paste your URL into the white box and click ‘Shorten’
- Your shortened URL will show up to the right of the Shorten button, and look something like this: http://goo.gl/nYOR6
- Get your new QR Code by clicking the Details >> on the right and you’re done!
Will it work on your resume?
A QR code on a resume isn’t going to work for everyone. For instance, an accountant will likely not get as much as a marketing professional can get from it, but it will definitely set you apart.
Because they’re still rare on resumes, I scan QR Codes printed on resume I receive … sometimes out of sheer curiosity.
Aside from resumes, I like the idea of putting them on the back of a business card – an excellent sales tactic. If you decide to take this approach, make sure the QR code isn’t too small.
Do you use QR Codes? If not, would you consider them?