Resumania™: Beware the Risks of Resume Humor

By Robert Half March 24, 2014 at 7:00am

With April Fools’ Day just around the corner it’s time to bust out the whoopee cushions. While pulling some harmless pranks around the office is generally fine, keep the resume humor to a minimum.

Yes, it’s OK to inject a touch of wit and personality into your application materials, but don’t go overboard with the playfulness. Prospective employers seek insights into your skills – not your wacky sense of humor. Hiring managers won’t take you seriously if your top priority seems to be cracking one-liners.

These job candidates should have toned down the funny business:

“JOB HISTORY: As a consultant, I was responsible for public service announcements, identity packages, brochures, client meetings and approximately 73 chewed-up pen caps.”

We’ll be sure to lock the supply closet.

“LANGUAGE ABILITIES: I can bark like a dog and make the best monkey sounds ever."

Not the bilingual skills we had in mind.

COVER LETTER: “I’m entertaining, but be warned that I’ve got a potty mouth. Ha-ha.”

We’re going to have to swear off this candidate.

“JUST FOR FUN: A self-proclaimed ‘Lord of the Geeks,” I am a true champion of useless knowledge.”

You said it, not us.

“TRAININGS: Currently training to become humorous.”

That gives new meaning to the phrase, “Flex your funny bone.”

“TALENTS: I do not slurp my coffee loudly during Skype meetings.” 

We’ll drink to that.

“OTHER POSITIONS I WOULD CONSIDER: Hot tub tester.”

Nice work if you can get it.

Have you seen any good resume or cover letter goofs? Send examples to [email protected].

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