Tag Archives: QR codes

Need a job? Get creative.

15 Dec

Scott Rocketship just lost his job, joining 13.3 million other Americans in the world of unemployment. That sucks. But instead of sending Debbie Downer tweets about his new situation, he is harnessing social media to find work. Scott has the right idea—and other job seekers would be wise to take a page from his (virtual) book.

I’m just old enough to remember when job searching meant reading the Sunday newspaper (and I mean the PRINTED edition) and then sending resumes and cover letters (and I mean via SNAIL MAIL) and hoping someone would call you back for an interview (and I mean on a LAND LINE). Then came the Internet. By the time I graduated college, job searching meant searching online classifieds, emailing a resume, and waiting for a return call via cell. And that’s the method many people are still using nearly two decades later.

Emailing a generic resume to every Monster.com listing just doesn’t work. Not when unemployment is 8.6 percent, and definitely not if your skill set is outside high-demand fields like nursing and IT. In a crowded unemployment market, you have to get creative to stand out.

Back to Scott. In just a few hours, he created an interactive online resume on Storify, a web service originally designed for curating news stories from social media sources. It includes an Instagram photo of him, tweets from people who recommend him (and some from himself about his skills), and links to his writing projects. The site is simple yet dynamic, which is important when you are one of hundreds or thousands competing for one job opening. It’s only been a few days since Scott lost his job but I’ll be interested to learn how well his creative approach works.

I’m always on the lookout for cool freelance writing and project management work and, as such, I’m always interested in cool ideas for marketing oneself. A quick online search uncovered a few creative ideas for modern-day job searching:

• Creating a video resume, posting it on YouTube, and then linking to it on Twitter and other social media.
• Adding QR codes to resumes to link to online portfolios or other supplementary information.
Stalking hiring managers like prey on LinkedIn. It doesn’t have to be creepy.
• Advertising yourself like a business on Facebook, Google, and more. This 28-year-old got his dream job for $6.

I’m sure there are many more amazing ways one can get creative in their job hunt. If you’ve done something unusual or know someone who has, please share your stories with me (just leave a comment here). If you are searching for a job, maybe you will be inspired by what others are doing and try a new approach.

QR codes are useless

27 Oct

Should I care about QR codes? I posited the question on Twitter today…and it seems I shouldn’t care. I’m glad to know I’m not alone.

QR codes (or quick-response codes) are like barcodes that can be scanned by a mobile device’s camera and read with an app. As I understand it (and I don’t understand much about these types of things), the cool-looking black squares can be encoded to include any kind of data. They can be used to direct someone to a website, contact information or a map, product details, a coupon, a Facebook fan page and more.

The first time I saw a QR code was about a year ago on a business card for a tech startup. I didn’t and still don’t have a QR code reader on my smartphone so I never bothered to scan that card to see where it took me, but I’d put money on it being a direct link to the guy’s website. Big whoop. That saves me maybe 2 seconds of entering the address into my web browser.

Marketers are now putting these pesky buggers everywhere. They show up frequently on magazine pages, but who reads printed media anymore? I can just touch a link to the same content on my iPad newsstand magazine. I’ve noticed them on the windows of restaurants and retail shops, but then I’m on the move and can’t be bothered to stop and scan with the hopes it yields something worthwhile. I even hear they have a giant one on top of a barn targeted to airplane passengers. I won’t even touch that silliness.

Until today, I thought I was just a non-geek who didn’t get QR codes. Perhaps these ugly black boxes are really cool and I’m missing out on something awesome. Researching for this blog, however, I found out I’m not alone. Even some tech-savvy marketing folks agree with me. From memeburn: “QR codes are not the Next Big Thing (at least, not yet).” Even better, from iMediaConnection: “From the relative lack of public understanding of what they even are, to the dearth of creativity in their usage, the QR code is destined to become just the little box that geek built.”

My sentiments exactly. Can’t we just agree to stop already with QR codes? Yes, they are nifty and new but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are helpful or worthwhile. Until someone can show me value in stopping to scan that little black box when I’m reading a flyer, walking down the street, or flying in an airplane, I’m not downloading a damn QR reader.