We all know the job market is more competitive than ever, and for job hunters that means anything that can help separate your résumé from the competition is critical. Some tech-savvy applicants are now realizing that using a QR Code on a traditional resume is a practical way to immediately make your resume more engaging and gain a competitive advantage over other applicants.
If the practical applications of a QR Code on a resume aren’t immediately apparent, consider that the QR Code is basically a bridge that can immediately connect the reader/employer with interactive tools and media that would otherwise not be possible with a printed sheet of paper. For example, the employer reading your resume can simply scan your QR Code with their smartphone to immediately access your personal resume page with features such as:
Samples of your work (graphics and/or video)
Testimonials from clients or colleagues
Touch-friendly contact functions like click-to-call and click-to-email
Social media channels
Links to websites related to your skills and/or experience
With advantages such as these, it’s not hard to understand how QR Codes are increasing in popularity among savvy job seekers. The Boston Globe just printed an article on this very topic: “Multimedia resumes can help candidates stand out“. In the article, the Globe highlights the use of QR codes by one job seeker named Igor Kharitonenkov who used a QR code on his resume in order to highlight his video production skills, which ultimately helped him stand out enough to land a competitive communications coordinator position with City Year Boston over 200 other applicants.
The communications director for City Year, Jonathan Palumbo, stated the following about Kharitonenkov’s interactive resume, and the impact it had on his hiring decision:
“What made his resume really stand out was the use of the QR code,” Palumbo said. “It wasn’t the novelty of including the QR code, but rather the fact that it brought us directly to examples of projects he had completed with other organizations.”
The point here is critical – it’s not the novelty of the QR code alone that will give you a competitive advantage in the job hunt, but rather the way that it’s put to use to strategically reinforce your skills and desirability as a job applicant. In other words, it’s not the code on the resume that matters as much as what happens after the code is scanned.
For job seekers that want to create an interactive resume with a QR Code, It’s important to carefully consider what it is you want to offer viewers after the code is scanned; after all, a poor implementation can lead to an underwhelming user experience and leave a negative impression, rather than a positive one.
Ideally, the QR code will take the viewer to a highly personalized custom landing page or micro-site that is mobile-optimized for viewing on handheld devices used to scan QR codes. You’ll also want to make sure the code is of high quality and easy to scan, and avoid common QR code mistakes.
So exactly how do you create a QR code with a mobile landing page that’s professional and suitable for your resume? If you’re familiar with mobile marketing and/or have mobile web development experience, you may be able to put something together on your own. Otherwise, all-in-one platforms like Qfuse make it easy to not only generate professional-grade, dynamic QR codes, but also produce full-featured landing pages that look great on smartphones. Best of all, these platforms allow you to view the scan activity on your code (so you know how it’s performing), and even update where the code goes so that you maintain total control, even after the code has been printed and published.
QR Codes are but one of many tools that the contemporary job-seeker can employ to stand out from the crowd with an interactive multimedia resume. But it’s important to keep in mind that the technology alone isn’t what makes the difference – ultimately these tools serve to highlight your core skills and experience and bring them to the forefront, but it needs to be done well, and of course you need to have the core skills and experience in the first place. Assuming you do, QR codes are a great way to engage prospective employers in new and exciting ways.
There are millions of apps for our smart phones today, all trying to get our attention, make our lives better, or simply help keep us occupied when we have a few free moments (I am looking at you Angry Birds/Field Runners). So the question for a creator of one of these apps is how do you get someone to become aware of its existence, download it, and then use it?
The answer to the question is to bring the existence of said App to the potential customer’s attention at the very moment their interest for said product is at its apex.
The creative company ‘Stupid’—realizing this to indeed be the answer— found a way to solve the problem with the use of QR codes.
For example, what might be the perfect moment to make someone aware of the Angry Birds App and get them to download it? Most likely that would be when the individual has some free time and might be bored, perhaps when said person is waiting for a train, or airplane or whatever. So what Stupid has done is create print ads in the form of a large QR codes for Angry Birds that can be placed in such areas where there will be many people waiting around and in need of something to keep them busy. It is at this moment someone will be most likely to download the App.
This same thing can be done for an app like Instagram. A similar poster can be made with a large QR code and placed in an area where there might be many scenic panoramas like a park, or perhaps in a museum, at the beach, or in a tourist city like a Rome or Paris. Wherever people might be taking a lot of photos a QR code print ad for Instagram would be sure to drive downloads and use.
Most apps likely have a similar ideal advertising location or moment where a similar QR code ad would be incredibly valuable and would bring the best bang for your advertising buck, it is simply just a matter of figuring out where and when that is.
Do not underestimate the QR code and the imagination of the human mind; the two together are an exciting thing.
For those of a certain age you will remember the days of creating mix tapes (or CD’s), often times to be given to your friends, loved ones, or some high school crush. It was the time, effort and thought put into it that made it a special gift. With the invention of the mp3 however, such thoughtful gifts are rarely given anymore (how many people even own a tape player these days?). A company out of UK called ‘Stupid’ looked to reignite the mixed tape from our childhood, but did so using a much newer technology.
What Stupid set out to accomplish was find a way to bring this thoughtful gift back from the grave, and they did so using QR codes and greeting cards.
Using QR Codes to Recreate the Mixed Tape Experience
How it works is they designed various greeting cards with creatively designed QR codes on the front for various types of people/moments. Upon scanning the QR code the recipient is taken to the ‘Spotify’ app where a playlist—hopefully painstakingly created by the giver to capture the recipient’s humanity by song, or something like that—awaits, to be listened to as many times as he/she may choose. Keep the card and the recipient can forever scan the QR codes and be taken to the thoughtful playlist created for the special occasion.
Assuming this creative use of QR codes eventually takes off and people begin to see its fantastic possibilities, the art of the mixed tape and its romantic gesture may soon be back in the world of popular culture. And really what would be better than that?
This is just one more example of a million amazing uses people have found for QR codes. If you have other creative examples you find particularly interesting we would love to hear about them in the comment section below! Maybe I will even write a blog post about it if it intrigues me enough.
Companies around the world are always looking for that new technology or new way of doing things to improve customer experience and drive sales. One company in South Korea has done this using QR codes with great results.
Using QR Codes to Drive Retail Sales
Tesco, now called Homeplus, is a grocery chain in South Korea and they were looking for a way to increase sales without the overhead costs of new stores and in turn find a way to improve the shopping experience of their customers. Their solution: QR codes.
What Homeplus decided to do was create a virtual shopping experience for customers. In many subway terminals they plastered photos of shelves with various products on them and under each item a corresponding QR code. This allowed South Koreans to do all of their food shopping while waiting for the train! They simply walked the fake shelves scanning the codes of the various products they wanted and placed them in their virtual shopping carts. When they were ready to check out they paid on their phone and by the time they get home from work their shopping bags would be waiting for them at their doorstep.
Mobile Marketing Creativity Leads to Massive Growth in Sales
This ingenious idea by Homeplus helped improve the busy lives of South Koreans while also achieving their goal of driving sales without the large overhead of new stores. In fact, the number of registered users increased by 76% and their online sales increased by 130% in just over a month, jumping them into first place for the online market.
This creative use of QR codes is just one of many examples of how this technology can be used to improve experience for customers, drive sales and in the end make everyone better off.
Progress is achieved when people find ways to improve efficiency, decrease costs of goods, free up people’s time or improve experience or product quality. For such progress to occur it is not necessary for said improvement to be as significant the wheel or the internet, instead most progress comes from small incremental improvements, oftentimes from seemingly insignificant technological advances or creations. It is of this latter kind that we see small improvements in progress from the use of a still relatively obscure (at least in the United States) technology: the QR code.
There are daily examples of QR codes being used to increase progress and make the lives of people better off, tiny increments at a time. One interesting example is that of the men’s clothing store ‘Hointer’. Hointer noticed that men have a general antipathy towards shopping and prefer to get in and out as quickly as possible. Hointer’s, in response to this general view of men, found a way to ever so slightly improve the experience of men everywhere with the use of QR codes.
What Hointer did was clearly display a single unit of each men’s pant style in their show room in a way that the customer can decide if they like the style without first having to dig through piles of pants to see the wash, the style, or find the right size. From here—after you have downloaded their app to your smart phone—you simply scan the QR code on the pant(s) style/color you liked, pick a size, and place it in your mobile shopping cart. Once you are ready to try your selection on you click the ‘try on’ button and it tells you which dressing room to go to. Once in the dressing room your pant selections will be waiting for you to try on. If you like them you simply scan the code again and pay for them right there on the app, no waiting in lines, no waiting for a cashier to appear, and almost no time spent ringing you up.
What is so fascinating about this use of QR codes is not that it simply makes the shopping experience slightly better for the shopping male, but that this use of QR codes, in order to improve the customers experience, actually does so much more than this one seemingly little improvement.
First, the QR code improved the shopping experience by saving the customer time. There is less hassle, no searching for your size, no unfolding and folding clothes to see if you like them or not, the shopping experience is made a good chunk of time shorter. This frees up the customer to spend more time shopping somewhere else , more time working, hanging at home or doing whatever, even if it is only a few minutes. Here we see small incremental progress.
Second, we see an increase in efficiency, but not just for the customer who finds his shopping experience easier. We also find that this use of QR codes increases the efficiency of the store owner and store workers. Having such a system means fewer employees are needed to stock shelves, unload boxes, ring up customers and so forth. And for the employees that remain they have far less to worry about and can spend more time helping the customer. Improving the total efficiency and experience of all parties involved.
Last but certainly not least; such increases in efficiency can lead to a reduction in cost to the consumer and the supplier. Due to the increase in efficiency the store now has lower costs since they don’t need as many employees. Such a system also allows the owner to rent a smaller storefront since they do not have all the clothes out on the floor at once, freeing up space for other stores, decreasing demand for commercial space and decreasing (likely in some minimal way) average rents. This increased efficiency allows for much smaller overhead and therefore an increase in profit margin, and as other consumers come into the market and begin using QR codes themselves competition will begin to drive down the costs for consumers, and in turn free up more of their resources to spend on other clothes, other goods or be used to invest or save etc. Ever so slightly driving other future growth.
So here we see the fascinating way in which QR codes are helping to drive progress and make the lives of people better off, even if it is just in some small incremental way.