As a serious job seeker, you’ve likely spent a lot of time creating and polishing your resume. Whether you choose to go with a traditional print, visual presentation, or video format, the goals of any resume are the same: to showcase your skills and suitability for the job and make a memorable impression among a sea of applicants.
That’s why it can be a major bonus to take those goals a step further by creating a resume that combines both physical and digital elements. Think of it as your own Augmented Reality job application — and though it sounds like science fiction, it’s actually super easy to do.
Adding a QR Code is the easiest way to digitize a physical resume. And depending on the type of Code you choose, you can use it to speed up the selection process for hiring managers, simplify networking, and show off your personal brand and unique skill set.
Remind Me Again: Why Are Resumes Important?
According to some estimates, hiring managers to take a mere 7 seconds to screen a resume before deciding whether to shortlist an applicant for a pre-screen interview or not — and sometimes even less. Jobs listings can receive hundreds of applications and only a few are selected for interviews.
Memorable resumes take time to create and can involve hours of rewrites. It requires carefully researching the company and the specific job requirements so that your resume matches the job description. Your writing style, tone, and list of skills should all be adapted to fit the role. It should also have a pleasant visual appearance and a professional tone.
So why put in all this effort into a single resume?
The only way for a company to gauge whether or not you are a good candidate for their job opening is by first looking at your resume. With only seconds to do so, it’s important that you spend the time creating the most eye-catching resume possible.
7 Benefits of a Digitized Resume With QR Codes
In line with the current trend of digitalization, resumes have gone digital as well. Many businesspeople already consider LinkedIn or Xing profiles to be a form of a digital resume.
Nonetheless, hiring managers often need more than the LinkedIn profile to understand a candidate’s skills.
LinkedIn may be a start, but traditional resume formats are still required for many job applications. Whether you choose a traditional text format or go for more modern alternatives, such as visual or infographic, there is a way to easily digitize any type of resume: put a QR Code on it.
Arguably the easiest way to integrate a digital element into your printed document or visual presentation is to include a QR Code that leads to a downloadable PDF. This means that for anything from business cards, paper resumes, Powerpoint, video, or graphic material, you can add a QR Code that links to a more detailed document.
For more complex requirements, such as giving a visual or audio demonstration, providing additional references or linking to a complete online portfolio, the chances are good that, yes, there’s a Code for that. Below are some of the more surprising benefits of using QR Codes on a resume and tips for choosing the right one for the job.
Benefit #1 — Promote Your Digital Savviness
While it won’t make up for sloppy or disorganized writing, having a QR Code on your resume instantly piques a recruiter’s interest because it shows you are tech-savvy and at ease in an increasingly digital world. It also makes it easier for them to find you online and forward your details to themselves or colleagues.
Think about it — in a typical hiring process, the application is often printed out multiple times and shared in its physical form with all the members on the hiring committee.
Not only is this unsustainable if you’re trying to look out for the environment and reduce paper waste, but it’s also often completely unnecessary. With one printed resume and a cleverly designed QR Code, you make it easy for the hiring committee to access and share your resume on their tablet or smartphone.
Benefit #2 — Showcase Your Language Skills or Direct to an Online Video or Portfolio
A big advantage of digital resumes is that you can add to the limited space of print materials by essentially adding a digital button to showcase additional skills. Instead of simply writing “highly proficient in Spanish,” for example, you can add hard evidence of your foreign language knowledge with an MP3 QR Code. When scanned, the Code opens up to an audio file featuring your personal introduction en español.
Alternatively, you can take it a step further by directing the hiring committee to a personal introduction video with a Video QR Code. That way, you can put your best foot forward and they get a first impression of your personality without anyone having to leave their chair.
To provide another example: Artists, photographers or videographers, actors or anyone else whose professional background contains a lot of visual elements can benefit from using an Image Gallery QR Code. This can guide recruiters instantly to an online portfolio, image gallery, professional headshots, or graphic collection. This saves on resources, time and money and is much quicker than sending in a USB stick or CD, typing in a cumbersome URL, or sorting through printed images.
Benefit #3 —stand Out from Other Applicants
While it may save time when candidates are creating their resumes, using run-of-the-mill templates can result in less individualization when a hiring manager reads through them. And although it’s perfectly fine to use professional templates for writing your resume, it’s usually best to view them as a starting point and customize them to fit your needs.
Since QR Codes are still considered a novelty in most western countries (as opposed to China), adding the right one to your resume is a good way to differentiate yourself from other applicants. A QR Code shows you went the extra mile to simplify things for the hiring manager, as well as adding to the overall appearance of the resume with a bit of your own personality.
Benefit #4 — Build a Personal Brand With Customizable Designs
When creating your digital resume, don’t settle for the black-and-white. Make sure you choose a QR code generator that offers a wide variety of customization options you can use to build your personal brand. You can create QR Codes with specific colors, custom frames, and edges, add a logo or other image in the middle, as well as include a CTA (call to action), such as “Scan to view my portfolio” so that hiring managers to understand its purpose.
What’s more, as long as you use a software that offers dynamic, or changeable, QR Codes, you can edit and update your QR Code information without changing its original appearance. This is ideal for candidates who have different resumes per type of job or want to update the resume later on.
Furthermore, the appearance of the screen that loads once the QR Code is scanned (e.g., the landing page) should also be completely customizable.
Here again, you can add colors that match your resume and QR Code, creating a unified look that supports your personal brand. Be sure to write a short introduction, a description of yourself and give an image preview of the PDF.
Benefit #5 — Simplify Networking
QR Codes and digital resumes have a big advantage for candidates when it comes to job fairs, networking meetings and conferences. At these types of events, it’s common for applicants to bring business cards and paper resumes along to apply directly. But for hiring managers, that often means a huge stack of papers to go through later on.
Rather than get lost in this chaos, have the hiring manager scan your QR Code on your business card or resume and send them your digital resume automatically. This way, you know it won’t get lost in the paper stack and you’re one step closer to getting hired than everyone else!
Benefit #6 — Track When & Where the QR Code Was Scanned
Searching for a job sometimes means sending dozens of applications before you find the right fit. You can keep track of which applications had their QR Code scanned with professional scan tracking information, such as from QR-Code-Generator.com. For all Dynamic QR Codes, you can view insights such as total scans, time scanned, and location scanned. This lets you know which types of resumes with QR Codes are having the most success.
Benefit #7 — Easier for Hiring Managers to Access Links
Remember the rule of resume writing, that it should be no more than two pages in length? A big advantage of digital resumes is that you can bypass the limited space of print materials and fit in more information by adding what is essentially a complete online portal. This makes it easier for hiring managers to find you on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, on social media, or any other URL you might want them to access. If you don’t want them to find a disreputable Facebook profile from someone else with the same name as you, make sure they have the direct link to the correct profile!
5 Top Tips and Tricks for a Digitized Resume
Time to get started on your new digitally enhanced resume! We’ve collected a few suggestions to help you leave a lasting impression and land your dream job.
1) Highlight the Most Relevant & Recent Positions First
The purpose of a resume is not to list every single job you’ve ever had (unless you’re just starting out). For many of us, it should be a summary of the most recent jobs that are relevant to the specific job listing. An odd job from ten years ago is most likely just taking up space, while a prominent managerial position should be at the top of the list.
2) Keep Descriptions Brief & Organized
Bullet points are now your best friend. Organize different job descriptions in a brief manner written with active verbs such as “managed xxx responsibility,” and choose a professional font. Times New Roman is considered old school, so search for a font that is easily readable but also helps your resume stand out a bit more.
How QR Codes can help — If you need to attach additional elements to your resumes like a digital portfolio, your LinkedIn profile, or other types of digital files, add a QR Code to make it easy to access without clogging up your resume with long, ugly links.
3) Match Resume Keywords to That of Job Listings
Your descriptions should include only the relevant information for a particular job listing. When you look through a job listing, they often include their own bullet point list of requirements for that particular job. When writing your job descriptions, make sure that your keywords used match theirs for as many of them as possible. In addition, you might want to review your skillset and add the particularly relevant skills as a summary at the top of the resume.
4) Try the Skim Test
Resumes are definitely not the place to write out your life story. Keep them to two pages maximum and make sure they’re easy to read (this is again where bullet points help). To put your resume’s readability to the test, ask another person to skim your resume in 10 seconds and summarize its main points. Were they able to understand the concept of your work history at that time? Then you passed. If not, it’s time to edit further.
5) Customize Styling
It was already mentioned above that there is a downside to templates. While templates can definitely give your resume a great structure and help you get started, you need to spend time customizing it. Otherwise, it will look the same as everyone else’s, which you want to avoid if you want to be hired.
How QR Codes can help — If you’ve opted for a QR Code to make your resume digital, match the QR Code to your chosen colors and style. Use matching colors across your resume and keep your written sections and graphics clear. Make sure your QR Code is the appropriate size and doesn’t detract from other graphic elements on the page.
6) Consider Adding Reviews or References
If you’ve kept a record of reviews or would like to showcase references from previous work, adding them to your resume can increase your likelihood of getting hired. You may even want to add their contact information so that hiring managers can double-check. This is particularly relevant for freelancers or those that work on a project basis with clients, as reviews can convey your level of trustworthiness and be the factor that convinces a new client.
How QR Codes can help — Particularly if you have reviews on your website or other public review sites and are applying for projects, you can also link these with QR Codes. For your own website, you can link to a review page or portfolio, while public review sites like LinkedIn can be linked with a Social Media QR Code that directs the scanner to a custom landing page where they can select their favorite social media channel.