It’s getting tougher and tougher to make your resume stand out on a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s desk.
Most resumes adopt similar formats, and virtually all are created in Microsoft Word, using its default fonts, so making your resume stand apart requires some creativity.
Since your job search is really just a personal marketing exercise, why not incorporate the latest trend in marketing technology – QR codes – directly in your resume?
What is a QR code?
A QR code is a square 2-D barcode that can be scanned by a smart phone’s camera that generates an immediate action. Based on the type of code it contains, it might direct the viewer to a website, display a custom text message, deliver a vCard or more.
How can I market myself with QR codes?
Although they’re huge in Japan, QR codes are fairly new here in the States so many people won’t understand what they are or won’t have a smart phone with a QR reader installed, which could limit their impact. However, in certain industries or for those job seekers pursuing specific technology or marketing related positions, incorporating a QR code in your resume can help you stand out from the crowd.
How to Create a QR Code
Creating your own QR code, or even multiple codes for different purposes, is incredibly easy. Simply visit the Kaywa or QRStuff websites, select the action you want to generate, enter your website address or custom text, and click generate. The websites will automatically generate your personal QR codes which you can download and insert into your resume file as an image.
Whoever reads your resume can use their smartphone to scan your QR code to see where it takes them. That’s when you can get creative.
Creative Ways to Use Personal QR Codes
- LinkedIn page – direct the reader to your personal LinkedIn page to provide more detail and depth to your professional background. It would be best if you have a robust LinkedIn page, complete with blog links, social media feeds and recommendations.
- YouTube video – link to a YouTube video page where they can view you describing your professional strengths and detailing the value you can bring to their organization.
- vCard – although this might not be the best idea if you’re applying to a very large corporation through HR, it could work well if you’re submitting your resume directly to an identified hiring manager. Knowing that they will likely want to contact you directly at some point, you can have your QR code download a vCard with all of your contact information directly into their smartphone.
- Blog page – if you have a professional blog, direct the reader to your page so they can read your posts and get a sense of how you think about industry issues and gauge how well you communicate.
- Display a creative text message – The QR code can instruct the reader’s device to immediately display a text message on their screen. This is a perfect place to present your unique positioning statement, like: Tim Johnson is the person who will build lasting relationships with the people you want to do business with.
- Custom landing page – create a custom landing page that highlights your professional strengths and direct the reader to your personal sales page.
- Portfolio page – Showcase your work and direct the reader to an online portfolio of your best work. This is especially powerful for those candidates in design and marketing who can display visual examples of previous design efforts or marketing campaigns.
Even if the individuals reading your resume don’t know how to act on the QR code, including it on your resume can still position you as someone who is technically proficient, stays up to date on business trends and technology and is an early adopter of powerful and creative ideas.
I’d love to hear other creative ways that QR codes can be used. Comments are welcome.