Adding a bar code to a paper resume can send employers directly to online portfolios, additional application materials or detailed contact information. It also is a quick cue into your tech savvy.

Adding a bar code to a paper resume can send employers directly to online portfolios, additional application materials or detailed contact information.

QR Code temporary tattoo. Image courtesy of Flickr user scott_bl8ke.

According to the Wall Street Journal, there are more dos and don’ts about resumes than ever before.

Some of the advice in “How to Make a Résumé That Works” has been around forever, and some of it is new-fangled and will be more appropriate for some industries than for others.

Highlights from the article and comments by readers:

Focus on your training and relevant work experience. Use the same keywords that are in the job description. Make sure the resume highlights quantitative data about your accomplishments and career progression.

Remember that most employers spend one minute, tops, on each resume. Be concise.

Consider including a QR code. Adding a bar code to a paper resume can send employers directly to online portfolios, additional application materials or detailed contact information. It also is a quick cue into your tech savvy. Include a short caption that explains what the QR code will go to. Here’s advice on how to make a quick QR code from the New York Times.

Concentrate on accomplishments within the past five to 10 years. That’s according to John Challenger, chief executive of outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas in Chicago. Don’t give equal weight to older work.

Consider using infographics. Graphics can be a good way to convey accomplishments at a job. Think about including in additional documents separate from the resume.

Mention awards or specific accomplishments. "You want to figure out how to stand apart from your peers with the same basic skills," says Joanne Pokaski, director of workforce development at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, in the Journal article. "Did you create a new process for scheduling patients, reducing waste? A resume that says 'You can count on me to get things done' makes an applicant stand out."

And, as always: make sure the document is free of spelling errors and grammar errors. It's surprising how many resumes have those problems, says Glenn Shagena, director of manufacturing human resources at Chrysler Group, also in the Journal article.

5 Comments On: Should Your Resume Have a QR Code?

  • Kirk Hazlett | July 23, 2012

    Excellent overview of resume construction. I especially appreciate your validating my own mantra of 45-seconds-to-one-minute read-time on resumes.

    The only suggestion I might make…based now on 10-plus years’ undergraduate- AND, I might add, graduate-level college teaching experience…is to move the last point (“And, as always, make sure the document is free of spelling errors and grammar errors.”) to the top of the list.

    I spend more time pointing out (I refuse any more to CORRECT) spelling and grammar errors to students at all levels than anything else.

    Very interesting suggestion on QR Codes, although I, being a bit of a skeptic, question the long-term viability of these gadgets. Certainly something to suggest to those of my disciples who fully comprehend the value of “of-the-moment” online communication options.

    Thanks for a very concise “how-to” that I will share with my troops.

    Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA
    Associate Professor, Communication, Curry College
    Visiting Lecturer, Communication, Regis College

  • Leslie Brokaw | July 25, 2012

    Thanks for the feedback, Professor Hazlett. It’s certainly true that spelling errors can crush an otherwise strong resume.

    I can add one more piece of advice: Get a second set of eyes to proofread an important document — whether it’s a resume or a college paper or a critical email. It’s easy for even the most detailed people to miss small and large errors. Asking someone to review materials is very valuable.

  • Ersoy Gulecoglu | July 29, 2012

    Great article, Leslie.

    As much as the quick response code makes you leave a good impression i.e. you are tech savvy and can utilize the power of social media, to me it is still tricky. First, not all readers will take the time to scan it and go read the additional information you stored online so you may end up missing on some extra points. Therefore a focused, customized resume that captures all key information is still key. Second, we know that many corporations store resumes in their databases for months even a few years and go back and search as new needs arise. In this case, your QR Profile may substantially grow away from your resume as you continue to control and update your online profile and this might limit your chances with that company. Third, you will need to create several different QR profiles in responding to different job openings as customization is key to move to the next stage in the application process. You definitely don’t want your one-size-fits-all online profile prevent you from getting your dream job and managing Several QR profiles is an onerous job.

  • mr.schfiftyfive | August 6, 2012

    I think having a QR code on your resume is a great way to get more interaction on your resume. I’ve seen a few on resumes, and unfortunately some were not pointing to mobile optimized sites/resource, which makes for a somewhat frustrating experience. I’d suggest making sure the QR code points to a resource that is optimized for mobile. LocalPlugs is a company that offers a mobile resume site/QR code. http://www.localplugs.com/resume.html It’s pretty cool actually. It’s a paid service, but for $7/mo you can have a mobile site that connects your QR to a feature rich mobile site.

    Shane Crockett–
    http://www.blumanfry.com

  • Adam Raber | June 3, 2014

    I don’t think that you should have a QR code in your resume, but your resume must shown in which area you are in touch with, for example if you are a designer or a code developer your resume design must show it. I designed one which is adjusted for this things.
    https://creativemarket.com/adamraber/42618-Flat-resume-CV

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