Resumania™: Bad Jokes Are No Laughing Matter

By Robert Half on August 18, 2014 at 7:00am

When applying for a job, aim to present yourself as a highly qualified candidate – not a comedian. Yes, having a sense of humor can be helpful to your career, but there’s a time and place for it.

While it’s acceptable to inject a little personality into your resume and cover letter, don’t fill your application materials with jokes or sarcasm. Humor doesn’t always translate well on paper, so it’s generally best to stick to the facts.

These job candidates should have toned down the playfulness:

“COMPUTER SKILLS: Qualified printer, reset button presser and ink cartridge shaker.”

You’re off to a shaky start.

“WORK HISTORY: My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned because I couldn’t concentrate.”

At least your employer didn’t put the squeeze on you.

“ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My humor has caused people to snort milk out the nose.”

That’s nothing to sneeze at!

COVER LETTER: “I get cold sweats when I go to look at my dwindling bank account. LOL.”

This doesn’t sound like a laughing matter.

“PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Numerous hardware and software certifications. I could wallpaper my entire bathroom with them, but my wife would kick me out if I did.”

Who could blame her?

“TECHNICAL SKILLS: Proficient in turn-it-off-and-on-again-based computer repair.”

A foolproof technique that always works for us.

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