Within the past few years, QR (quick response) codes have risen in popularity, with “32% of smartphone users reporting they have used a QR code and 70% [saying] they would be interested to do so, either for the first time or again.”
Essentially, QR codes are those small square bar codes you see on everything from advertisements to candy bars. People with smartphones can scan the particular QR code and receive the information that is embedded in it.
But are QR codes just a fad? Probably not. All New York City building permits must contain QR codes by 2013, and three-quarters of smartphone users say they are more likely to remember advertisements better if they contain a QR code.
Even if you aren’t well-versed on all things “quick response,” it can be a huge asset to your personal and professional brand. Here are a few ways you can use it to your advantage:
Get you hired. Imagine being a hiring manager or recruiter. You have stacks of resumes and cover letters to go through on a regular basis, each one looking and sounding as generic as the last. Suddenly, you see a small barcode on the top of a candidates resume. You are immediately drawn to it because it’s so different. Suddenly, the candidate gets past the screening stage and is now considered for the job.
QR codes can serve as a way to help you stand out from the competition if you use them correctly. For example, Vizibility, the first SearchMe Button for Google, allows you to customise your top five verified Google results and gives you a QR code that points to them. So, when the recruiter or hiring manger sees this on your resume, you’ll immediately stand out because it paints a different story than a regular resume does.
Improve your image. Apart from your resume, QR codes can also be placed on personal websites, blogs, presentations, social networking sites, and more. Since it’s still a relatively new concept for personal use, utilising QR codes will help you seem versed on the latest technology trends, improving your image. We all want to find out the latest information from thought leaders, and reporting and utilising the next best thing is a way you can be seen as credible.
Find out information quickly. Say you are at a professional networking event. You meet someone in your industry who shows interest in your work experience. They ask for your personal website, blog, or a place where they can learn more about you. You hand them your business card, which happens to have your personal QR code on it. Scanning the code with their smartphone, they quickly find out all they need to know about you, impressing them on multiple levels. With Vizibility, you can also optionally include your contact information in your QR code, so the person can easily add your to their contacts on their phone.
We all want information quickly and effectively. A personalised QR code can give the researcher an added reason to find out more about your history. Think of it as a doorway to your personal brand; the more interesting your initial presence is, the more someone will want to know.
How would you use your QR code?