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Can having and using a QR Code be helpful to a job seeker? Today’s job market remains highly competitive.  Unemployment remains over 8 percent and gains in the number of new jobs remain modest.   Recruiters and H.R. departments alike are often inundated with dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants for each open position.  Highly qualified (if not overqualified) job seekers submit resumes by the proverbial truckload, resulting in what could be described as a job search “resu-mess.”  Outstanding candidates find it more difficult than ever to stand out from their peers.

Michelle Dumas' QR Code

An example of a QR Code created for Michelle Dumas. Scan with the QR Reader on your smartphone.

Social networking sites (SNS) have become increasingly popular to job seekers because, frankly, failure to have some type of social media presence as part of a job search renders you virtually invisible.  The savvy job hunter uses one or more SNS in his or her toolbox.  The more creative you are, the more you stand out.  No amount of savvy or creativity helps you, however, if the recruiter or H.R. professional doesn’t ever visit your online presence.

By simply including a QR Code on your resume, you get yourself noticed.  As you  may already know, a Q.R. (“quick response”) code is, in essence, a two dimensional bar code, a matrix where specific data can be stored and is readily accessible via widely available iPhone, Android or other smartphone scanning applications.  These apps take the person scanning it to wherever you want him to go.

But where is that?  When someone scans your QR Code, where does that take them?  What data is stored in the code really depends on what you want others to know about you.  Some people make the mistake of sending the reader to an online resume/career summary page, somehow assuming that making a more professional presentation of what the reader already has makes it more relevant.  It doesn’t.

Here are some things for you to consider before you use QR codes in your job search:

  1. If you’re not comfortable with this technology, there is all sorts of “QR codes for dummies-type” information available.
  2. Once you’ve gotten a feel for QR codes and how they work, set one up.
  3. Determine what you want people to see.  Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that.  Determine what you want each prospective employer to see.  You can tailor your resume’s QR code to the intended audience for that specific resume.   Applying for a writing job?  Have the code direct the reader to a PDF collection of writing samples.  Visual artist?  Send the recruiter to an online photo album such as Picasa or others.  Looking for a job in litigation or to be a teacher?  A YouTube video of you in action, whether it’s making a mock oral argument or giving a short lecture, is highly effective.  Perhaps you can post examples of prior work.  It may take a little time, but the potential payoff is well worth the investment. We highly recommend a service that allows you to create not just a QR Code but also an online business card that provides your contact information as well as links to whatever online resources you wish.
  4. The benefits of QR codes are not simply limited to the information you use them to provide, however.  The optics of using such sophisticated technology should put you in good stead, even if the person reviewing your resume doesn’t actually scan the code.  Why?  Because using a QR code as part of a job search indicates that the applicant is technologically savvy, especially important if you are a somewhat older worker.
  5. Finally, QR codes can be used to gather information, not just provide it.  Stay current on the headhunting firm assisting you, the employer(s) for whom you’re interested in working or industry association sites.  Remember the most relevant information in a job search is current information.  Stay up to date with QR codes.

Quick Response in job search:  The code for success.

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