I have the opportunity to review a lot of resumes, so I have a front seat to emerging trends. Two increasingly popular approaches are to include Quick Response (QR) Codes and company logos on resumes. Both of these ideas make sense on the surface, but neither holds up when one really considers what’s most important – the resume’s audience.
While I understand the motivation to include QR Codes – to highlight knowledge of the emerging technology and appear cutting-edge – I think this speaks to a fundamental misunderstanding of how the resume is being “consumed.”
A QR Code makes the assumption that the reader is going to scan the code with a mobile device. This is not likely going to be the case. In most instances, the resume is delivered electronically (email, applicant tracking system, etc.), which means users are reading your resume on their computers or mobile devices. In this case, a QR Code is actually less effective than a simple URL / link.
Of course, a QR Code might make perfect sense if you are creating a marketing piece – something you plan to distribute via hardcopy. Here again, it is about considering the way in which your audience will be consuming your information.
I can imagine why including company logos seems like a no-brainer for those who have worked with widely recognized organizations like Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. – companies that have a clear brand and some real cache. While highlighting that you have worked for a well-respected company is key, including company logos actually takes this a step too far. The result is that your resume veers into the realm of marketing the organization, not your skills and experience. Colorful company logos only serve as a distraction and keep the reader from focusing on what is really important – your unique qualifications and the positive impact that you have made in each of your positions.
Regardless of the trend, when writing your resume, it is critical to keep the end user in mind. This applies to all aspects of the document – content, formatting, length, etc. Remember, the resume is about you, but it is written for them.