Is There Room for a QR Code on a Resume?

Recently I had the privilege of offering a webinar for CareeRealism.com members.  Near the end of the presentation, I mentioned the multimedia resume portal Purzue.  I neglected to tell the viewers about a unique aspect of their service:  They provide QR codes for the resumes on their system.

Of course, I’m making an assumption that everyone knows what QR codes are.  And you know what they say happens when you assume…

For those not familiar with the terminology, a QR (Quick Response) code is the funny looking box that you see on advertisements and the back of business cards, to name two popular locals.  Scan one with your smart phone and instantly you have uploaded the data the advertiser wants you to have.

How could something called a “Quick Response code” not be a positive addition to a resume?  What job seeker does not want instant gratification?

Well, a QR code is not going to get you a job, but it will make life easier for a recruiter, HR manager, or employer.  And making life easier for them is an important step to getting a job.

As noted, QR codes are used by advertisers.  In the case of a job search, the candidate is the advertiser.  If you have a QR code on your resume, with a simple press of a button a recruiter will have your name, address, phone number, e-mail and a hard copy of your resume on their phone.  Sooner or later, nine times out of ten, it will by synced to the recruiter’s Outlook folder.  Now you are on their hard drive and they did not have to type a word!

Anything that can make life easier for the person looking to hire will make the candidate stand out.  Standing out is key to a successful job search.  Surprising someone with something unexpected on a resume makes the resume stand out.

That’s the aesthetics component.  It’s so new that employers will be surprised to see one.  Many employers like candidates who are on the cutting edge, even if they are not applying for a job in any way related to IT. Having a QR code on your resume sends the message, “I get the importance of technology, I keep up to date, and am willing to try new things.”

Of course, there is the safety issue.  If a stranger submits a resume with a QR code, much like clicking on a link to a video on an unknown site, the recruiter may be concerned about viruses.  Who knows what they’re uploading?  In the case of Purzue, for example, since they create the QR code for their members, there is no reason for concern.  While you can create your own QR code for free, it may not be effective if no one scans it.  Would you?

Don’t forget to order your copy of my book,  A Hooker’s Guide to Getting A Job: Parables from the Real World of Career Counseling and Executive Recruiting, and receive  the pre-publication discount.

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Do You Run Towards the Fire or Away From It?

Some time ago I was interviewed by the website MainStreet.com for a story about weird interview questions.  Subsequently, they invited me to come to their offices to record some of my answers.

As I explained, my favorite question is, “In what direction would you run if there was a fire at work?”  Some people respond, because of where they are coming from, that they would leave the building in accordance with company policy.  I’ll give them a pass; they are following the book.

But what if there is no policy?  Now it’s a question of character.

Candidate Number One replies, “I’d immediately leave the building.  I’d get out of the way of the fire fighters.  I’d wait outside for instructions.”

Candidate Number Two replies, “I’d head towards the fire.  I would want to help anyone who needs assistance and make certain everyone gets out.  I’m a team player.  I don’t leave my colleagues in the lurch.”

Who would you hire?  Neither said anything wrong.  There is no wrong answer.  Candidate Number One is getting out of the way.  Cynics would say, “He’s sticking his tail between his legs and running for the nearest exist.”  I actually disagree.  He doesn’t believe he has anything to offer so he’s simply getting out of the way of those who can help.  What’s the point in standing around?

Of course, Candidate Number Two is showing leadership.  She believes she has something to contribute.  Some might say, “She’s just trying to play the ‘hero.’”  I disagree here as well.  If there is a fire, or a fool would be “playing” anything.

As far as I am concerned, Candidate Number Two gets the job.  Leadership trumps everything else.  Here’s what really happened:

I was conducting a search for fundraiser for a school for special needs children.  My candidate arrived.  The interview began with the principal and director of Business Affairs.  Not ten minutes later a teacher came running into the principal’s office.  A water pipe had broken and the place was flooding.

My candidate could have done a number of things.  He could have told them that he realized they had a crisis and he would wait patiently in the principal’s office.  He could have told them that he realized they had a crisis and he would wait patiently in the Reception area.  He could have told them that he realized they had a crisis and he would call them to reschedule.  He did none of those things.  What did he do?  He grabbed his overcoat, wrapped a drenched child in it, and helped.  He ran towards the fire!

And for the record, he got a second interview and the job.

Don’t forget to order your copy of my book,  A Hooker’s Guide to Getting A Job: Parables from the Real World of Career Counseling and Executive Recruiting, and receive  the pre-publication discount.