So You Are A Funny Candidate…..

These are indeed desperate times for the labor market and getting job interview invites is more and more scarce. In the bid to stand out from the sea of job applications and applicants, many candidates put up a one-man stand-up comic show…..should that be you ? Naa you don’t have to be a stand-up comic to stand out in the job pool.

Let talk about this shall we……

How Candidates Try To Be Funny.

Some candidates try to be funny by doing any or all of the combination of the below:

  • Send in funny and humorous CVs
  • Send cheesy cover letters to recruiters
  • Get overly familiar and personal in the interview
  • Crack funny jokes and anecdotes during the job interview.
  • Send even cheesier follow up messages after the interview.

Doing any or a combination of all of the above may get you noticed … but are you sure this is the source of attention that will help you get hired?

Why Candidates Try To Be Funny

Yes you might want to do everything you can to give yourself an advantage in the recruitment process (considering that 1 job vacancy = 500 plus applications) but going overboard with your comedy skills could actually work to your disadvantage, detracting away from what you actually want the recruiter to notice  and remember – your skills, work experience , outstanding achievement and all round wonderful personality.

For a minute think and remember, a recruiter’s number one priority is to find the best fit candidate for the open position. Your number one objective should not be to amuse the recruiter but to demonstrate above everyone else why you should be hired because you have the skills and aptitude to get the job done.

That being said, it is possible to create an impression that proves to recruiters that you the best fit for the job while also showcasing your funny side — read on to learn how.

Are Funny CVs a Good Idea?

The good news is that a touch of humor can be a welcome addition to your resume.

But there are clear exceptions. You must consider the venue — and your audience. Funny CVs can work when sent in for job applications, but they must be done correctly. I would strongly suggest that you should learn as much as possible about the industry, the company, and the workplace culture before adding elements of fun to your CV. Do carefully consider the industry and job in question, some job roles are serious in nature and it might jeopardies your chances of getting the job if you come across as a comedian.

How to Add Humor To your CV without going over board  

When in doubt go subtle approach — tossing in little amusing nuggets where hiring managers might least expect them. Get clever about how you phrase your skills on your CV, for example you might include something like, ‘I am obsessed with creating beautiful data graphs.

Funny Interviews Might Work… Or Not

Coming up with a few wise-cracks can lighten an otherwise serious interview session. Remember recruiters would have probably spent hours interviewing various candidates and could be getting fatigues, if you are able to say or do something that creates a moment of human connection, that’s a really great way to stand out during your interview session.

However, a word of caution, your funny comments may not always be met with an rejoining laughter. Some recruiters are very serious and might not appreciate jokes. Unless the job role clearly requires humor, your interview session should lean more towards being formal, while you carefully test with a few well-placed comments and be sure to be careful to watch the reaction of the interviewers.

Don’t Rely on Being Too Funny

Trust me everyone likes to have a good laugh, most candidates get funny during interviews because they genuinely want to stand out and be remembered. Sadly, a downside to that is if a candidate focuses too much on being funny, they can easily lose sight of the key purpose of the interview – a chance to demonstrate their skills and fit for the role being considered. Aim to be remembered because of your experience and accomplishments.

How To Stand Out In Interviews Without Being Funny

Hands down, the best way to get noticed and get a job offer is to demonstrate that you are really the best fit candidate for the job. How can you achieve this?

  • Have a good professional experience.
  • Use the right keywords when speaking to your experience
  • Clearly communicate the value you add to the role
  • Highlight your specialized training where needed.
  • Demonstrate that you are an all rounder by communicating what you do outside of work.
  • Give proof of your relevant professional network and how that network has created value.


When Being Funny is Not Appropriate

While being funny can help reduce interview jitters etc, do note that the whole process of job application — from the start of the job application to the final interview and salary negotiation — the tome of the conversation should always remain upbeat. There is no room for self-deprecating or borderline sarcastic jokes. Some jokes might appear harmless, but can actually be offensive. These types of jokes are strictly off limits without exceptions.

Funny jokes if any should be carefully selected and forward-thinking. They must be always geared toward showing why you are the best fit candidate for the job. “You must be careful not to derail the interview process by being too funny and losing sight of the critical points you want to convey to the recruiter. ,

 Never Lose Sight Of Why You Are There

Being funny should always come second to demonstrating that you’re the best and most capable candidate for the job being offered.

In general, rather than attempting to write a funny resume, or make funny jokes during the interview , or even sending cheesy follow up messages after the interview, a much better approach is to focus on ensuring that you communicate what makes you the best fit for the role in the first place, then add a few (as in very very few) funny jokes if and when possible.




Olutoyin Williams


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