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QR Codes on Resumes – Hit or Miss?

I am a fan of the QR code when it is used properly. However, Business Insider recently wrote an article  entitled, “Why Having a QR Code on Your Resume Can Help You Stand Out” and said that it will help the HR person get more information about you and that,

Photo credit: Mashable

“having a QR code on your resume also makes you appear wildly tech-savvy and willing to embrace a future where technology reigns. For older applicants, this could be important if an employer fears that you have an aversion to social media and new tech tools. “

Really? Because I disagree. I think that QR Codes on both resumes and business cards are good in certain circumstances. For example, a QR code on a resume is only really useful if you are going to hand your resume to the person who is interviewing you. Otherwise, uploading it into one of those online job application sites will be futile because only the text will pull over into the database. Sure, you can upload your PDF or Word document but that requires someone to print it out and these days recruiters get hundreds of resumes a week, they are not going to kill a bunch of trees to print out your resume.

Now if you are lucky enough you might find a recruiter who works for a small agency and likes to print everything out, in those cases – go for it. But the truth is that most recruiters and HR professionals scan job application databases for keywords and attributes in under two minutes.

If you must, include a call-to-action

Another good example is if you are a designer. But only put a QR code on your resume if you have something of value to link it to that you cannot otherwise include in your written resume. For example, if you want to include a portfolio or a video, then a QR code is a great idea – especially if it has a cal to action that says “Learn even more about me through this video or through my online portfolio.” But don’t just place the QR code on the front or back and expect someone to be curious enough to scan it.

Don’t limit your audience

Plus you are limiting your audience. If you really want someone to see something that’s not on your resume, how about including a link to your portfolio or video in your cover letter instead. That way you don’t throw up any barriers to the HR person. Because believe me, just because QR codes are mildly popular does not mean that everyone has a QR code scanner on their smartphone.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.

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