3 Ways to Spark Your Job Search Using QR Codes

by Ryan Rancatore

Post image for 3 Ways to Spark Your Job Search Using QR Codes

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.Personal_Branding_101_QR_Code

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.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jorgen Sundberg December 9, 2009 at 10:33 am

This is very hi-tech stuff Ryan, you are a trailblazer again ;-)

Ryan Rancatore December 9, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Thanks for reading, retweeting, and commenting Jorgen! I understand that these ideas are a bit too “out there” for most folks. But, you tell me – as a recruiter, what would you think if you received a resume with one of these codes linking to a blog? Have you ever received such a resume?

Jorgen Sundberg December 10, 2009 at 2:08 am

Well I'm not a recruiter anymore but never really seen these codes during 7 years in that job. If a recruiter receives it I'm sure they will be intrigued and it would help the candidate to stand out I guess so I say go for it!

Ryan Rancatore December 10, 2009 at 2:25 am

Thanks for reading, retweeting, and commenting Jorgen! I understand that these ideas are a bit too “out there” for most folks. But, you tell me – as a recruiter, what would you think if you received a resume with one of these codes linking to a blog? Have you ever received such a resume?

Jörgen Sundberg December 10, 2009 at 9:08 am

Well I'm not a recruiter anymore but never really seen these codes during 7 years in that job. If a recruiter receives it I'm sure they will be intrigued and it would help the candidate to stand out I guess so I say go for it!

Resume August 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

Yes really these codes are helpful for the candidate to stand out. I would like to go with these codes………

Alex February 5, 2011 at 1:31 am

Cool! Would you mind if I reference this for my Monday post on Internships.com’s Eye of the Intern blog?

Ryan Rancatore February 5, 2011 at 2:00 am

Go for it, Alex – look forward to reading it!

Andre Sturm April 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Berlin, Germany

press release – http://www.viscards.com – VISCARDS, the mobile website.

VISCARDS makes your contact data mobile for your customers and business partners!

Currently, no other similar tool is offered on the market because this mobile service can be used with all mobile terminals that are available on the market in all available networks.

After completing the simple registration process, each user can use the online service on http://www.viscards.com to set up and maintain his own mobile web sites – the Viscards – with his personal contact data and info.

The address data can be saved. A hit counter, links to social networks and a call-to-call function are additional product details. The Viscards are multi-lingual and also support Cyrillic, Greek and Asian characters.

Design your business card layout by using the online upload options for free text, images and logos which are made available in mobile form. At any time, the personal business card profile may be completely changed or deleted on the VISCARDS platform.

The business partners receive one’s data with a personal QR code, which is valid for life, that encrypts the mobile link, a URL. The recipient can then download the saved contact data into the address book on one’s own cell phone without any problems.

If the QR code is also still printed on the business card, then this provides the ideal support for appealing to customers and business partners. Once it is scanned, the QR code then opens the access link to the mobile web site in order to download all contact data.

The free-of-charge trial offer – which is valid for one month – on http://www.viscards.com includes all features of the premium version. If, after receiving a notification from VISCARDS, the user opts for the premium service after one month, then this service shall run for 12 months and cost 9.90 $ per year or 16.90 $ for 24 months.

If, after one month, the user opts for the basic version with his name and telephone number, then this version shall continue to remain free-of-charge.

Jackson Mobile Berlin GmbH (JMB) realises this product through its individualised “single-cast” solutions by means of which end customers can be directly appealed to in mobile fashion.

In addition to VISCARDS, JMB also provides important tools and instruments in order to individually develop, design, realise and market one’s own mobile distribution channel.

JMB also offers interesting sales conditions for the VISCARDS product to sellers through licensing and sales models.

MG April 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Very interesting stuff! I think the business card approach makes a lot of sense for someone with a personal brand that they are managing. There are so many different means of expressing interest in jobs these days – the Talent Exchange (http://www.talentexchange.com) recently added QR codes for every candidate to use that links to the candidate’s profile. Also, I know bit.ly was mentioned for tracking – and while an option, there is another one I recommend, JuicyTags (http://www.juicytags.com) This tool lets you not just track link hits (QR code), but tracks actual resume document and email views as well.

Ryan Rancatore April 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Glad you liked the article. Thanks for adding the extra links and info too
- will check those out.

Kimtag April 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Just read your blog. We (http://kimtag.com) have noticed a significant pickup in the amount of people using QR codes for CV’s and job applications. Having had a fair bit of feedback, one word of caution. Make sure you print it large enough and clear enough and test it. Printing a QR code for a CV is cool. Your potential employer fruitlessly trying to scan it – not cool.

Ryan Rancatore April 26, 2011 at 12:50 am

Appreciate the extra info. Will check out your site as well. Thanks!

qr code tracking April 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm

seraching using by QR codes is amazing information

Richard C July 4, 2012 at 7:01 am

I have had a QR code linking to my LinkedIn profile for over a year now. You also need to use TinyURLs for various links so that it limits the amount of typing to get someone to go to the web pages that you would like them to see. Also, print a copy of everything that you would like a prospective employer to see and put it together in a PDF and name it John Doe Professional Statement of Qualifications. This will set you apart from everyone else and allow the potential employer to see in entirety as to what you are offering them. It removes a lot of questions and eases their minds moving you to the top of the list. DO NOT provide them with the SoQ until after a face to face interview because you want that interview and the SoQ is used to close the deal.

Ryan Rancatore July 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm


This is great information, thanks for adding…very valuable stuff!

RoboShields June 11, 2013 at 11:17 pm

We have developed a software that makes one qr code have multiple uses. We even print them on cases for customers to use. Its a new way to go green, no more business cards. Watch the video for more details http://youtu.be/tFygwY6XgVU


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