QR Code on a Resume is the Coolest Way to Get a Hiring Manager’s Attention

Add another dimension to your job application and boost the chances of landing your dream job with this simple yet effective resume hack.

An excellent addition to Technology, Sales, Marketing, Executive, and, well, really any type of resume, QR Codes are all the rage. An exception might be for more conservative professions such as those in the legal, financial and medical fields.

Some of my Senior Executive clients who review resumes themselves have said that when they see a resume with a QR Code on it, they are immediately drawn to that resume and candidate and want to know more!

When searching for a job, you want all tools at your disposal and nothing left to chance. If you can stand out with something as simple as a QR Code, why not go for it?

What is a QR Code?

First, the technical mumbo-jumbo.

The amount of data stored inside a QR Code affects its appearance

A QR Code, or Quick Response code, is a 2-dimensional barcode that connects to a set of data (e.g. text, numbers, hyperlinks). Originally designed for the automotive industry, it gained broad popularity due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity as compared to standard UPC barcodes. It now has many applications, among them document management and all kinds of marketing—including resumes!

Benefits of a QR Code on a Resume

A QR Code can make a hiring manager’s life easier (believe me, you want to do this) while providing you with your own little “web portal.” Below are just some of the things a QR Code does.

Grants instant access to your digital profile

The hiring manager scans your resume QR Code with their smartphone for instant access to your name, logo, contact info, LinkedIn URL, website, online portfolio, a hard copy of your resume and anything else you want them to see. They then have all your designated info saved on their phone and can sync it to their hard drive, an extra benefit for you.

Makes you stand out

It positions you as extra “tech-savvy,” not a small enhancement for a job candidate to have. If you are a Tech professional it provides an extra bonus, but even if not, hiring managers love to see that job seeker are on the cutting edge of technology.

Adding a QR Code on a resume makes you stand out from other job-seekers

Fights ageism

If you are worried about your resume “showing your age,” having a QR Code indicates that you are “cool,” tech-sophisticated, innovative and keeping up with the times.

Helps guard against mistaken identity

A hiring manager is going to look you up on Google. To make sure they don’t find someone with your name who just happens to be on the FBI’s most-wanted list, having a QR Code ensures they are directed to YOU—your name, contact info, portfolio, links, resume, accomplishments and so on.

Adds extra dimensions

They are especially good for job seekers who have an abundance of features they want to showcase, such as a blog, logo, website, social media sites, online portfolio, or video.

Allows you to track your exposure

Through professional scan tracking software and administrative tools, you can find out via texts or email alerts who is scanning your code, when, and where. This will help you gauge interest in your resume and know if your candidacy is “hot.”

Clever Ways to Use a QR Code to Spark a Hiring Manager’s Interest

Now you’re probably wondering, “Just how exactly can I use a QR Code in the most imaginative way possible to stand out in a sea of resumes?”

  • First off, just the presence of a QR Code on a resume, something a hiring manager is not used to seeing, will spark interest, as attested to by some of my senior executive clients.
  • You can get creative with them! You can use decorative frames, draw lines under them, spruce up the entire resume page with them. This draws more attention to the code and adds to the overall visual appeal — of the resume. I’ve seen and created fancy QR Codes on resumes— there’s virtually no limit to what you can do with them.
  • Aside from a link to your resume, you can include a link to your References Sheet, Publications, Value Proposition, 30-60-90 Day Plan—there are so many ways to dazzle the hiring manager with a QR Code. 
  • You can hand out business cards with QR Codes on them at job fairs, networking events, and conferences—it sure beats having to pull out your resume! In fact, the recipient won’t even have to hold on to your business card (ever try to find one of those after the event?). They simply scan the code with their phone, and, voila! Your info is saved.
  • While you’re placing a QR Code on your resume and business cards, don’t forget to place the corresponding URL link on your resume, cover letter, E-note (you DO have one of these, don’t you?) email signature, online bios, and anywhere else you want to be sure can be accessed with a mobile device or computer.

Pro tip: Avoid these 8 resume mistakes that will get you screened out.

Now you probably think, as a resume writer I must see these cool little additions to resumes all the time—WRONG!  I practically never see one of these on the crusty, old-fashioned, outdated resumes that cross my path. This is exactly why you should use one on your next resume. You do want to stand out, DON’T YOU? Remember those Senior Executives I said are immediately drawn to resumes with QR Codes on them? That’s because they are such a novelty! Most people, still using resumes from the stone age, are not going to have a clue to include one of these. Be a trendsetter!

A sample virtual contact card customized with vCard Plus QR Code

And again, though you might place each piece of data and links on the resume itself (e.g. phone number, email address, LinkedIn URL, online portfolio) when a hiring manager scans the QR Code, the information is displayed all in one place and stored on their phone or synced with their hard drive—a very nice bonus!

QR Codes Won’t Interfere with ATS

And just in case you’re thinking, “But the QR Code will interfere with Applicant Tracking Systems.”

It won’t.

In fact, none of the “bells and whistles” we place on resumes these days (e.g. charts, graphs) interferes with ATS—the ATS completely ignores them with just a few simple formatting tricks. Plus, we know that over 90% of recruiters are going to see the original resume anyway. A WIN-WIN!

Graphic Design Resumes are IN

Another thing to consider: Inside industry knowledge tells us that Gen Z recruiters, taking over for Baby Boomers and used to seeing graphics, icons, and photos everywhere as we move deeper into the digital age, are becoming less interested in boring old black-and-white resumes and expect to see a more interesting display — Bingo!

(Editor’s Note)

How to Add QR Code on a Resume?

In just five simple steps, you can create a free vCard QR Code on your resume to make it easier for hiring managers to contact you with just a single scan.

Free vCard QR Code generator from QR-Code-Generator.com

Step 1: Go to QR-Code-Generator.com and select the ‘vCard’ tab.

Step 2: Enter your information as well as important contact details for hiring managers to reach you.

Step 3: Pick a color scheme that complements the design of your resume.

Step 4: Add a ‘Scan Me’ frame as a call-to-action for the hiring managers to scan your QR Code.

Step 5: Download the QR Code and add it to your resume. Make sure that the QR Code is at least 2 cm x 2 cm (0.5in x 0.5in) in size to remain scannable.

Include a QR Code on YOUR resume now, sit back, and watch the calls come in.

Karen Bartell

Karen Bartell is a nationally published, multi-certified professional resume writer and President of Best-in-Class Resumes. She has received global TORI (Toast of the Resume Industry) recognition for excellence in resume and cover letter writing. She specializes in resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and other career documents and services for executives, managers and mid-career professionals of all industries and for IT / Tech professionals.

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