For job-seekers today, the most difficult hurdle to overcome is simply getting noticed. Even with impeccable credentials, you will need something extra to separate yourself from the stack of identical-looking resumes or business cards on the hiring manager’s desk. Why not try something innovative? Including a personalized QR Code just might catapult you to the top of the stack.
A QR Code is a 2-dimensional “quick response” bar code that contains a set of data (text, numbers, or a hyperlink). This data can be decoded by QR Readers, which are widely available as Smartphone apps. Free options are available for iPhone, Droid, and Blackberry – simply take a picture of the QR Code with the phone’s camera, and the embedded information instantly appears.
If you have a Smartphone, let’s give it a try. Click on the QR Code to the right, print it out, and scan the image with a QR Reader. The data embedded within is a hyperlink to this very web page – like magic, it should take you straight to this page from within your phone’s web browser. Definitely cool, but how can this help your job search? Here are 3 ways:
1. Include a QR Code within your resume that links to your blog’s “About Me” page.
If you are pumping out awesome, niche-related content, your #1 goal should be directing hiring managers to your blog. Will they type in a URL included within your paper resume? Maybe, maybe not. Try capturing their attention by including a QR Code in the header of your resume. Maybe they won’t scan your QR Code either. But I guarantee they will take note of this unique aspect of your resume, which in itself is a major victory.
In all instances recommended here, be sure to include both your URL and the QR Code, so those without Smartphones can still reach your web destination. Also, consider optimizing your blog for mobile browsing.
2. Include a QR Code on the back of your business card, linking to your blog’s “Contact Me” page.
Chances are strong that the back of your business card is a blank slate, just waiting to be thrust into action. Why not include a QR Code? Link to your “Contact Me” page, and encourage folks to actually contact you. After all, isn’t that why you handed out the card in the first place? See below for a quick example of what this might look like.
3. Run a print advertisement in a trade show program or local newspaper, linking to your blog’s “Hire Me” page.
This option works particularly well if your industry holds local trade shows or conferences, and small, cheap ads are readily available. In this instance, you might be the only individual placing an ad – and if you aren’t, you are certain to be the one to stand out!
An alternative to linking to your “Hire Me” page is linking to a particularly relevant blog post, and making certain that your “Hire Me” call to action is extremely visible.
Want to create your own unique codes? Try this QR-Code Generator Tool. To really put this method to the test, monitor the results of your QR Code placements by using bit.ly to shorten your link before creating the code – and use the bit.ly analytic tools to track specific site visits.
Are you skeptical that QR codes are too obscure to become mainstream? Just yesterday, Google sent QR stickers to 100,000 small businesses, for display in storefront windows. These little codes just might make it big before we know it.
What do you think? Are these ideas crazy, or just crazy enough to work in one of the toughest job markets in recent memory?
Spark image by JonPayne.