humor in a resume

as long as you are honest, do you have to be 100 percent serious in a resume.

I think it would be funny to add as one of my accomplishments:

Recognized as one of Time magazine’s 2006 people of the year.

Well, people like that don’t need resume.

Humor is just one of those things that not everyone gets, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Furthermore, there are tons of other opportunities to include humor, including your portfolio and your works.

You can interject some personality into your resume, but the example you give, doesn’t translate very well at all to text, specifically a resume.

Well, people like that don’t need resume.

if you look back we are all time magazine’s people of the year

“Time’s Person of the Year: You”

At 4am it seemed like a funny accomplishment to add

I’d leave the personality for the face to face interview. Just think of all the emails and text messages being misunderstood. BTW, some notable Time Men of the year:

Hitler (1938)
Stalin (1939 and 1942)
Ayatullah Khomeini
George W Bush (2000 and 2004)

ooh point taken

Guess I wasn’t aware that I was a Time person of the year,
I would have celebrated.

Ha Ha, yeah, I can sympathize with the late night great ideas.

Interests, activities, organizations can help to convey what type of
person you might be, prompting an interview at which time you can
let your personality and humor shine.

Yeah, save the humor for in person contacts. Jokes and sarcasm tend to be misread in text (whether its on your resume, or in an email).

Although I once had the late night idea that instead of doing teaser sheets to mail out, I should just send out some explicit teaser shots of myself. Somehow I don’t think that would have helped me, but it was funny at the time. :laughing:

Personally, I would appreciate someone who had the cajones to put something in their resume to catch my eye. Wouldn’t necessarily get them the job, but it would get a second look. Personality is a HUGE component of hiring. Whether they fit the company environment…sense of humor is important.


3D: Rhino, Alias, Solidworks
ability to levitate

I threw this in mine.

A W A R D S::

+10th Place Geography Bee
(Rosemount Middle School)
+Most Improved Player
(Rosemount Hockey)

All true. I didn’t have any design awards so I thought why not. Which means I’m average at geography and I bombed the previous year in hockey.

I thought it was funny and I’ve had people ask me about my map skillz.

I think a little bit of Humor is OK, but it has to be obvious, you don’t want someone that didn’t get the joke cramping on it… my advice would be to keep the resume as simple and clean as possible. So many resumes are over fluffed with BS, i think a potential employer would appreciate a straightforward resume than a humorous one… be funny in your interview though…

YO! you raise a good point, and one I have gone back and forth with myself.
How much fluff is too much fluff. It seems that some good fluff or spin and the ability to create it would be an attribute, but at what point is it just overdoing it.
Do the Hack 2 School 5…Crit guidelines make sense here?

Or are we talking even more straightforward?

When I look at at a resumes (and I’ve been looking at lot lately) the only things I want to see is what you did and where you did it, whether that is work, education (including any specific training courses) or awards. I feel it should be able to be read practically at a glance… that is my take on it.

I also think as you get more experience, you can start to edit. If you’ve been in the industry 10+ years, it’s OK to drop off the “Faculty Award” from your college off the achievements… If you just graduating, that award might fill up a little room in all that white space, so maybe keep it…

Here is a link to mine, I think I can edit it further myself:

Recognized as one of Time magazine’s 2006 people of the year.

in this case it is fairly benign, and could be somewhat of an icebreaker at an interview or get an "in the know " nod…and if it really fit your personality/style, why not? what is there to lose? especially for online resumes & the like; i guess the more pertinent question would be how much of an effect it would have? is the type of thing that would be cause for a second look/wastebasket decision?

i judge what should be on a resume (and likewise sometimes what should be on a design) by a simple rule- will it be the reason you are hired (or someone buy the product)? could it be a reason not to hire you (or buy the product)?

humor can easily be misrepresented in type. i’d say leave it off, and have your personality come through in the interview.

wit can be helpful in a resume/portfolio package. ive seen a few really nice ones that dress up the package as something else (airline ticket, etc.). if done well (must be really done well), it can show a more personal side of you and communicate a different way of thinking. if too gimmicky, or poorly executed, or all sizzle, no steak, or gets in the way of the communication, it goes straight to the “no” pile. its a fine line…

judging by the other comments here, id suggest stick to you day job (design) and leave the humor for amateur nite at the laff in.


judging by the other comments here, id suggest stick to you day job (design) and leave the humor for amateur nite at the laff in.

if only design where my day job. hence me reworking my resume

the joke is out, like i said earlier it seemed funny at 4am when i was up working but when i read it in the morning, it seemed to have lost its appeal. thanks for the input though, you all have acutally answered some of my unasked questions.

A professor of mine told me that he called a qualified applicant in for an interview partially due to her putting ‘diet coke’ as an interest. Something quirky like that might be funny and noticeable.


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Is this an attempt at humour, or is your resume that short? ha!

Crewkid: Remember, direct your resume. I think if you are applying to IBM, you might want to drop the humour. It can be mis-interpreted and will make you look flaky (potentially). If you are applying to Astro Design, maybe inject some humour. As others have stated though, make it obvious!

One resume I remember seeing was in a book from the '70’s. It had a photo of the designer with their qualifications listed in the form of call-outs along with some funny bits about how they dressed and stuff. That works because it is obvious.

Another friend printed his resume in the form of a Mac & Cheese box. He got called back on every single one he sent.

Caveat: make it unique and make sure it’s also appropriate to you. I always need to be careful how I use humour, because I know my first impression is pretty serious with people. Also, most of my humour is self-deprecating, which is really easy to misinterpret as being under-qualified (also, doesn’t work in french).

So to sum up: know your audience, make it appropriate to you.