By Shawn McGowan, JobsInAL.com
Paper resumes may be a thing of the past, but the paper business card has valiantly survived the digital revolution. While apps like Bump allow you to transfer data from gadget-to-gadget, the business card is still the way many people represent themselves in-person.
But if you're like me, you've got more of a story to tell than can fit on a 2x3" slip of paper or even an entire page or two of a resume. Your professional network profiles and/or gallery of work won't fit on a business card, but a QR code will, offering easy access to your online info.
What Is a QR Code?
By now you may have seen them in the wild, on a movie poster, newspaper ad, or product label and wondered what it was. These square, block-shaped bar codes were first developed by car manufacturers so parts could be scanned and translated rapidly.
Since, they've become a way - if scanned with a smart phone camera and a QR reader app - to immediately link to web pages, email addresses, video and more.
Read a Code
QR code reader apps are simple to use and usually free. Two free scanner apps for iPhone are QR Reader for iPhone and Scan with many others available at the Apple App Store. Android users can check out GR Droid, Barcode Scanner and a host of others, while Blackberry phones can scan and read QR codes via Blackberry Messaging (BBM). If you have a smart phone, download a free app and try it out. They are a great way to direct people to your online content.
By taking a few minutes to experiment using a site like Kaywa, QRStuff, or Zxing and your handy QR reader, you'll see how easy you can create these image links to:
- vCal events
- vCard contact info
- Your website, blog or social media profile
- Your email address
- A phone number
- A map
- YouTube video(s)
Imagine your video resume or professional blog opening on a hiring manager's smart phone from a quick scan of your business card!
I recently signed up for a service called about.me that provides a super easy way to create a personalized web page for you to display a photo, background, brief description and links with corresponding icons to your blog, websites, social profiles, online articles you've written, or whatever you like. This could be an ideal landing page for your business card QR code.
Give It a Try
QR codes can be a fresh and innovative way to showcase your tech skills, resourcefulness and creativity. It's up to you to determine if one would be relevant to your audience. At the very least, any opportunity to stand out - even a little - from the crowd can go a long way to getting you noticed.
As a Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Shawn McGowan's passion for brand transparency and over 10 years of sales/customer service experience make him aptly suited for the job. A native of East Millinocket, Maine, Shawn grew up at the foot of Mount Katahdin and graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). When not writing, editing or immersing himself in the world of social media, he can be found enjoying the outdoors, art, music, tech, humor, Portland's amazing food scene, and all things nerdy. You can reach Shawn at smcgowan (at) JobsInAL.com and Twitter.com/shonymac.