You’ve seen them in magazines, posters, product packaging,.. those small, square, black and white patterned barcodes used to drive online traffic.   They are called QR codes and they are being used in lots of interesting ways these days.

The QR stands for Quick Response because the readable code can be instantly read by any Smartphone or other mobile device with a camera.   The information embedded in the code can be any alphanumeric data up to 7,079 characters long.    It can store website URLs, text, personal contact information, resumes and other alphanumeric data.   The automobile manufacturing industry first used QR codes to track machine components.  The Japanese have utilized them for many years, then they became popular in Europe and now its use is growing in the US.  Your Smartphone probably has the application pre-installed, but if not, there is software available to make your cellphone QR embraceable.

One innovative use of the QR code took place In August 2011, when MasterCard created an old fashioned scavenger hunt using QR codes in an interactive outdoor sweepstakes campaign called “Check-in to the Ballgame”.    Mastercard  took 20 old Yankees stadium seats, affixed QR codes on them and placed them in locations all around NYC.   It was an old fashioned localized scavenger hunt using state of the art technology.  Very clever.  Hunters scanned the seats’ QR codes and the winners received free Yankees tickets.  

Recently, QR codes have been popping up in really valuable ways as career tools.  They have been seen on business cards and resumes simply because they are super convenient, and not to mention, very hip.   On the QR code, you can embed a PowerPoint presentation, LinkedIn profile, a blog or a Twitter account, actually, any data that you would like to share to a potential manager, recruiter or business partner, for example.  Right now, QR codes on resumes are fairly rare so they can differentiate you in your job search.  Recruiters are always on the lookout for that unique resume that stands out from the pile.

According to comScore, Inc,  which conducts studies to measure the digital world, as of June 2011, “14 million mobile users in the US, representing 6.2% of the total mobile audience, scanned a QR code on their mobile device.”  More than half of the users were between the ages of 18 – 34 and 36% had a household income of at least $100,000.  A recent study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, reports that “some students put QR codes of their resumes onto business cards and hand them out to employers at networking events in lieu of paper resumes.”   Career counselors also advise jobseekers to put QR code on business cards.  It can demonstrate that you’re technologically savvy (even if you don’t think you are!) and it’s an easy way to reference your online presence and portfolios. 

How do you set up your own QR?  There are lots of QR sites out there, two of which are QR Stuff (
www.qrstuff.com) and BeQRious (www.beqrious.com/generator).  Both of these are pretty user friendly and can get you started setting up your own QR.  BeQRious has the option to store and manage your codes in folders.  An interesting new software provider, still in beta is Vizibility.   Vizibility calls itself a personal branding platform for online identity management.   Vizibility can produce a free QR code that “when scanned, the person scanning it... will immediately see your Top 5 Favorite results which you have pre-selected. “ Sounds like an interesting way to manage your online management. 

I can imagine walking around a job fair or trade show or even a coffee shop.  You bump into a potential hiring manager and start  a conversation about your job search.  

 “Send me your resume sometime”, the hiring manager says.  

“Sure,  here's my business card.  Just scan my QR code on the back and you can have it right now.“ 



Want to work for a hip, new startup company in Boston? And, do you want those companies to convince you that you should work for them? Well, there are eight startups that are looking to hire some good talent and they'll all be at the TechStars Job Fair on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 5:30. The event takes place at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center, One Memorial Drive, 11th floor, Cambridge. Better yet, it's free.

These companies will be pitching to you about what they have to offer. Nice for a change, huh? The evening's agenda starts with

5:30 Doors Open

6:00 Company Pitches

6:30 Networking and Chatting with Companies

The companies that will be present are Evertrue, Ginger.io, GrabCad, HelpScout, Kinvey, Promoboxx, Spill and The Tap Lab. Click on the links to find out more about the companies and the opportunities that are available.

To attend the TechStars Job Fair, you need to register here at Eventbrite.