QR Code: Do or Don’t?

Because we work in marketing communications, the trends that affect design and technology are just as relevant to our job searches as they are to our work. The infrequent use of QR codes on design and project management resumes recently made headlines in Jacksonville as a local work agency asked for advice on using the technology as a networking graphic element.

What Is a QR Code?

Quick Response (or QR) codes offer a way for users to scan an image and instantly access a website or online profile rather than having to type a URL. Your portfolio, therefore, can be accessed by a hiring manager who scans the QR code you have judiciously placed on your resume.

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Sure, that sounds wonderful and easy, but most people scan QR codes with their phone to access information. Hiring managers interested enough in your resume to check your online portfolio will likely prefer to do so on their office computer, in part to compare you with other candidates during the hiring process and in part to see your work on the larger screen. And for that, a URL is far superior.

Consider the following before appending a QR code to your resume

Pro:

Differentiates your resume
Offers quick link to your work or profile
Offers you analytics on how and when people access your information
Makes your resume seem relevant without gimmicks

Con:

Can thwart resume-scanning software, sending your resume into the reject pile
Confusing to less-tech-savvy firms
Uses valuable resume space
Annoys some hiring managers
Puts you on hiring manager’s phone rather than onto the hiring desktop
Offers redundant information to your online portfolio and LinkedIn profile

I recommend, for now, including a URL even if you add a QR code to your resume. And since you’re adding a URL, just stop there. If you’re submitting online, the URL is a clickable link that is easy enough for hiring purposes. In addition, LinkedIn’s recent changes that allow portfolio uploads to your profile means getting a hiring manager into your LinkedIn profile is often enough. If you think the hiring manager might use resume-scanning software, definitely send a resume without a QR code. And finally, consider that the back of your business card might be the right place for a QR code.

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