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Inspired use of QR code on resume (mobileinc.co.uk)
102 points by muratmutlu on Apr 25, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments

Am I the only one that doesn't like QR codes? Just use a URL instead.

1) You need a smartphone to scan them. People without a phone handy can't scan them, so if you see an ad somewhere, and want to check it out later you can't just remember the URL. For example, you might not want to take out your fancy new superphone in the subway.

2) It's slow. If you have a current top-model, it might be tolerable, but it's easier to just type in a URL on many phones.

3) It only works ok in the best cases. QR-codes on non-flat packaging, or codes that you can only scan at an angle (people have different heights), or codes behind reflective glass (bus stops) are difficult to scan

4) You need an app before you can actually scan them. Right there you're already missing half your user base.

5) I don't know where the code points to. If you give me an URL, I can already know something about it (e.g. cnn.com/ad2), with a QR-code, anything could happen. No thanks.

6) It looks stupid when you're scanning the code.

> You need a smartphone to scan them. People without a phone handy can't scan them, so if you see an ad somewhere, and want to check it out later you can't just remember the URL

No problem, just put them both. For smartphone (or at least not-completely-stupid-phone) users (which are very common in e.g. Japan, where the use of these codes is extremely widespread) qr-codes and the like are a godsend: typing a 50 characters url correctly is a pain, scanning codes is trivial and just about instantaneous.

> For example, you might not want to take out your fancy new superphone in the subway.

Not everybody lives in the bronx. That is FUD and a non-issue.

> It's slow. If you have a current top-model, it might be tolerable, but it's easier to just type in a URL on many phones.

No on both counts. Scanning a qr-code takes a few seconds, typing a URL (especially a complex one) and ensuring you get it perfectly right (allowing for a pair of errors) takes at least as long with a full keyboard. Use a 10key, and the qr-codes win handily.

On my 3 years old smartphone (iPhone 3G), it takes roughly as long to start quiQR and Safari, and from quiQR I only have to hit the "Scan" button and aim the camera at the code. In Safari, I have to dismiss the favorites (if no page is loaded yet), potentially create a new tab/page, tap the URL bar, and then copy the URL.

And as you can see in the video, it took 5s from tapping on the qr-scanning application icon to having the Youtube application open, . Would you be able to type a youtube video URL (including the dozen of semi-random characters identifier) faster without any mistake? Outlook not so good.

> You need an app before you can actually scan them.

These apps are widespread, and again in Japan (where these codes are used a lot) I believe phones can scan them natively. Similar spread of codes in western countries would likely lead to phones bundling native support for them (e.g. via image recognition built in the camera software)

> I don't know where the code points to. If you give me an URL, I can already know something about it (e.g. cnn.com/ad2), with a QR-code, anything could happen.

A qr-code is just text encoding, and it often is a URL. It makes no difference. It's trivial to pop up the textual version of the code and prompt for further action. That's what pretty much all code-scan applications I've used do.

> 6) It looks stupid when you're scanning the code.

Oh noes, the humanity. Furthermore, if you believe you look stupid when scanning a code, trust me that's nothing compared to copying a URL from a print to a phone.

This is a nice site for creating your own QR-codes: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

I am just wondering why this is downvoted... I never realized that you could easily create your own valid QR-codes, bumped into this site, and thought it was nice...

Agreed (it might also interest you that you can generate them programmatically using the Google Chart API[1]).

[1]: http://code.google.com/apis/chart/docs/gallery/qr_codes.html

Many applications also let you do that (iOS's quiQR does, for instance).

qrCodes (and other similar codes) are just a physical encoding of binary data.

This is also a great website to generate different types of QR codes: http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/

It's not a bad idea for creatively using QR codes, but I think it's a little "much" for a resume.

That depends what kind of a position he's after.

For a creative job in advertising, for example, it might be exactly right.

A high resolution image of the resume, for the interested: http://www.victorpetit.fr/#912872/Curriculum-Vitae

White text on a gray background, yeesh. Also, he felt the need to include two copies of the headshot.

Is the spelling of 'winddows' intentional ? Obviously he's not a native english speaker so im not having a 'dig' just merely curious .

Nope, just a typo. Windows is still Windows in France.

Thats what I thought. Thanks.

Creative, but including any sort of photograph would instantly bar any applicant from receiving an interview here in The States, in compliance with equal opportunity laws.

Not sure that's 100% true. Many places may indeed skip over someone like that, but there's no law I've ever read that says "if someone sends in a picture, you can not consider them for a position". Perhaps if you know of such a law, you could post it here?

It's in the spirit of compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Any HR dept in the US will have a strict policy on this.

You are using a very extreme interpretation of the law.

It's illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race and other protected classes. So by extension, it's best practice to avoid asking applicants for their race or asking them for a photo, lest you give the appearance that it's a factor in the hiring decision.

But I've never heard of rejecting someone outright for sending an unsolicited photo. That's just crazy. Would you also reject an applicant who had "President of African-American Student Union" on their resume because it belies their race?

Would you also reject an applicant who had "President of African-American Student Union" on their resume because it belies their race?

Well, likely he wouldn't, but we can be sure that he would reject someone outright for having "President of the European-American Student Union", can't we? Charitably, this is because there is essentially no chance anyone would ever file a lawsuit for rejection of the second candidate. I'm sure you can draw the uncharitable version yourself. :)

I'm not really sure what you're saying, but it sounds mildly offensive.

It's both wrong and illegal to reject a candidate based on their race, regardless of what race that is. And I am pretty sure the OP was not implying otherwise. Further, I assure you that white people file discrimination lawsuits too.

>I assure you that white people file discrimination lawsuits too.

// Out of interest have you a reference to a white person winning a race discrimination case, preferably with regard to being hired?

Also why should "an applicant who had 'President of African-American Student Union' on their resume because it belies their race?"? Surely a person of any race can be president of the African-American SU, or are they allowed to be racists?

It tooks some time to find one but here http://www.adversity.net/philly_schools/default.htm is a case of "reverse discrimination" (which is of course just straight up racial discrimination) against school district employees.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1077466/London-Under... is a case of failing to protect a white worker from bullying whilst at the same time being extremely protective of black workers.

Just FWIW.

See my point above on phone calls.

I understand the 'spirit', but not everyone interprets that 'spirit' the same way, and some companies still have the guts to not ignore people simply because of what's on their resume - photos included.

If I see someone lists attendance at an historically black college, or has a traditionally feminine name, I can already deduce their race or gender without a photo, and I can do whatever discriminating I want to do using that information.

Company policies that throw out applicants because they've attached included any sort of photo at least as damaging (because of the loss to the company of potential talent) than lawsuits over Title VII violations, but it's much harder to quantify that.

It's going to get harder and harder to even guard against this stuff as email clients merge social media information in while reviewing applicants. Oh, unless you just buy and use crappy web-based application software that requires 14 screens that only works in IE6 - then you'll be 100% safe from any chance of getting interested and qualified applicants (and lawsuits too).

I'm not arguing the logic of it, simply stating that, to my knowledge, it's a blanket practice. Discussion, and counter-examples are welcome.

Counter example: No companies I've worked at had an explicit policy of rejecting a resume with a picture/photo. Whether it was done by some people in practice - unsure.

All of the companies I've worked for _did_ have such an explicit policy, but both of our examples are anecdotal.

The company I work at doesn't have that policy and neither has any other I've worked at.

But @lotusleaf1987, that's just anecdotal :)

That's totally my point, it's all anecdotal until someone does actual research and a poll.

The :) was meant to indicate a bit of sarcasm ;)

Sorry sometimes sarcasm on the internet is hard to grasp. I may also be a bit socially under-developed. ;)

One (sort of reversed) counter example is American Apparel which actively solicits photos in their application:


Edit: This would lead me to believe the law is somewhat up for interpretation and it's not cut and dried, since AA is a pretty big company and I would assume their legal dept had to sign off on this kind of thing. That being said, they are pretty well known for being sketchy and creepy.

American Apparel claims it hires "models" and not merely people with any skill in particular; that's how they get away with discrimination based on physical characteristics.

My resume doesn't include a picture, but it does have links to my StackOverflow profile, blog and github account. All three contain a picture of me. I've never had it be an issue while job hunting.

My sense is that it's always a bad idea to ask for a picture and chances are that sending one won't help. The resume is in French, though, so this is likely different in Europe.

Including a photo is common (really required) in France, which is presumably the target market of this resume. The CEO of my former employer in Paris quipped he didn't understand why people wouldn't include a photo: "What are they trying to hide, we are going to see them eventually?"

I'm surprised at that mindset. The only thing a photo could do is disqualify you out of racism or ageism, or bump an unqualified person to the second round through attraction.

What benefit does a company gain by knowing what an applicant looks like prior to determining if the resume makes the skills cutoff?

It's a different culture. The nice interpretation of this behavior is that companies in France (and many other places outside the US) treat you as a whole person, rather than a skill set, and therefore want to know more about you than just your education, work experience, and awards. They put more emphasis than we do on hobbies and interests outside of your domain of expertise, as well, those things are also nearly required on a resume.

mdr (lol)

It's a racist, ageist, sexist hiring culture. If you didn't go to the right schools, don't have a "piston" or your mailing address is from a ghetto, you're fucked.

What they are really saying is we want someone French. And by french they mean of french descent.

"We'd like to know about your whole person... ...like whether you're hot or not."

Probably the fear of being discarded before being seen face to face.

Answering the phone if a company calls you for an interview can often give a very good idea of their race/nationality and gender too, but somehow we seem to be fine with phone screens for interviewing people. Perhaps because there's typically not a recording of it?

Even before you make the phone call, knowing a candidate's name very frequently gives you a strong idea of their gender and ethnic background.

Agreed - so let's stop pretending that if someone sends in a picture with an application it should somehow automatically be scrapped. I understand the 'lawsuit prevention mode' that some companies may adopt, but realistically, the type of people who would sue over this issue will sue whether a violation actually occurs or not. And there's generally ample signals beyond a photo that indicate something 'discrimination worthy' (age, voice, gender, name/ethnicity, geography or lack thereof, etc).

In fact, uncommon religious names can often give away the religious background of the candidate. Someone named Mohammed is likely to have a Muslim background, someone named Nephi a Mormon background, someone named Siddhartha a Buddhist background, and so on. While the person so named may no longer practice their birth religion, a person who'd discriminate based on affiliation with a given religion probably doesn't care.

I've googled potential candidates, and that usually tells you a ton about that person. As far as I know, it's pretty common practice. But maybe HR doesn't know much about that yet...

That would exclude a high number of designers, photographers and creatives, many treat the resume in the same way as a project and go all out on the visuals, self portraits are common.

Here's some examples


Not true. That would defeat the purpose of the new emerging companies that are trying to get potential employees to do webcam recorded answers to pre defined questions instead of the phone interview. You would see their faces and know their ethnic background easily.

In france, it is customary, nearly mandatory, to include a photo on one's resume.

This has been, slowly, changing. Some applicants, rightly so, have felt that they are being discriminated against because of their skin color or family name. A few government agencies have removed names and photos from submitted CVs so the application is entirely merit-based. I haven't included a photo in my CV. I can't think of a reason why it should be necessary and no one has given me a valid reason why any job, except being a model, would need one.

When I have brought this up with my friends they fall back to the "customary" excuse. If the only reason a company won't look at my CV is because they don't know what I look like than it's not a place I would ever consider working for.

Not including a head-shot will be a hit against you in france.

It is not a legal bar, it's simply considered safe corporate HR practice to automatically delete any resumes with picture attachments before they are viewed so that the pictures cannot possibly form the justiifcation for an employment discrimination lawsuit (i.e., choosing not to hire based on race/age/gender).

IOW, you can include a photograph on your resume, but the likely result of sending that resume to a large corporation is that it will be deleted immediately.

Why not just use a PDF?

My resume, which also uses a QR code (nothing too fancy, though) - http://advancewith.us/stuff/Resume.pdf

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