Comic Relief: Job-Seeking Humor – Volume 1

April 26, 2010 at 5:59 am 26 comments

Let’s face it – being out of work is no laughing matter! The job-seeking road is often a very long and bumpy one, and is full of repeated instances of rejection. It’s the nature of the beast. Sales people may be used to facing rejection on a daily basis … but most others are not. Emotionally, that can take a huge toll on a person’s attitude, which is a big problem when maintaining a positive attitude is so critical to a job-seeker’s chances of success. [Read “The Power of a Positive Attitude.”]

So in the midst of all that gloom and doom, finding occasional comic relief is important. Having a healthy sense of humor is a key quality that can help make a person attractive to others. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a break from my usual “advice for job-seekers” mission, and offer up a blog of pure humor! Much like “gallows humor,” the intention of “job-seeking humor” is quite simple: to lift the spirits of people who are in an otherwise depressing situation. In my search for such things, I’ve managed to amass quite a large collection of job-seeking humor. My standards are pretty high – after all, I did spend time as a performing comedian myself once upon a time – so I’m a tough critic. I figure, if it makes me laugh out loud, it’s worth sharing here!

Oh, and by the way … I’ve never been a fan of people who send out mass emails with jokes and cartoons on a regular basis. Whenever I get one of those chain emails, I almost always delete them and ask the sender to remove me from their list. So please don’t send me more jokes. My inbox is full enough! On the other hand, I certainly have no problem with anyone sharing this blog with all their friends and colleagues. (Wow … I hope that last bit of shameless self-promotion didn’t sound too hypocritical!)


In the category of Videos, there’s a ton of funny stuff on YouTube related to bad interviews, job-hunting, and other workplace humor. Here’s my absolute favorite video on the topic of being unemployed. This professional-looking, but totally fake one-minute “Trailer” looks so real it makes me want to see the movie! For anyone who has been job hunting for any length of time, this one is bound to hit home:


In the category of Cartoons, you may have noticed that I’ve been including a cartoon at the bottom of each of my most recent blog postings. Sometimes when I find a good cartoon, it actually inspires a topic for me to write about. Here are some miscellaneous funnies that I couldn’t fit into any other blog articles, but I think are hilarious nevertheless – and deserve to be shared here:


Finally, in the category of “Reality Humor,” here are some real quotes from actual cover letters and résumés that were submitted in response to job postings:

●  “Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping.’ I have never quit a job.”
●  “I am extremely loyal to my present firm, so please don’t let them know of my immediate availability.”
●  “I intentionally omitted my salary history. I’ve made money and lost money. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. I prefer being rich.”
●  “I’m married with 9 children. I don’t require prescription drugs.”
●  “Marital Status: Often. Children: Various.”
●  “Here are my qualifications for you to overlook.”
●  “Responsibility makes me nervous.”
●  “They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 every morning. Couldn’t work under those conditions.”
●  “Was met with a string of broken promises and lies, as well as cockroaches.”
●  “The company made me a scapegoat – just like my three previous employers.”
●  “While I am open to the initial nature of an assignment, I am decidedly disposed that it be so oriented as to at least partially incorporate the experience enjoyed heretofore and that it be configured so as to ultimately lead to the application of more rarefied facets of financial management as the major sphere of responsibility.”
●  “I was proud to win the Gregg Typting Award.”
●  “Please call me after 5:30 because I am self-employed and my employer does not know I am looking for another job.”
●  “My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I have no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage.”
●  “I procrastinate – especially when the task is unpleasant.”
●  “Minor allergies to house cats and Mongolian sheep.”
●  “Donating blood. 14 gallons so far.”
●  “Work Experience: Dealing with customers’ conflicts that arouse.”
●  “Develop and recommend an annual operating expense fudget.”
●  “I’m a rabid typist.”
●  “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain operation.”

Entry filed under: Advice for Job Seekers. Tags: , , .

Warning: That Rant You Posted Just Went Viral! Is Your “Elevator Pitch” Taking You UP or DOWN?

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sheila  |  April 26, 2010 at 9:41 am

    OMG, this was brilliant! I SO needed this bit of humor as I sit here searching for work, as I have been for these, oh, past 14 months. Whoever made that “film trailer” was a genius. Do you suppose we could prevail upon them to actually make a full-length movie? Considering the boat so many of us are in, it would probably be a blockbuster.

    Loved the quotes from resumes and cover letters. I’m a recruiter myself, and I keep a file in my desk drawer labeled “Unbelievable”, into which I drop copies of emails, resumes and cover letters of the sort you quoted from. It gives me a good chuckle to pull one out and read it on stressful days.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • 2. Cheryl Howard  |  July 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      It could be a great movie… but I’d have to wait until I’m employed to afford seeing it!

  • 3. Terry Schultz  |  April 26, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Again, a great start to the week with humor. I too enjoyed the trailer. Even if the person couldn’t make a full length movie, it would be a great short, following up on the main points. Though I am not a recruiter, I agree with Sheila about the quotes. Some are so blatant that you wonder where the person’s head is.

    Thanks Michael.

  • 4. Vicki  |  April 26, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Thanks. I really needed those today.

    I am usually a pretty pretty good at keeping upbeat despite what has been a dismal and difficult 16 mos. of juggling job hunting, caring for my mom who had a stroke during this same period, keeping up 2 households, but after having to take my disabled significant other to the hospital with heart problems last night….. I admit to staring at the computer for a full 15 minutes before mustering the resolve to turn it on and start my daily scrub of job boards and targeted websites.

    Because my heart (not to mention head) wasn’t in it, I went through emails first and found your post. The humor did help my mood a little as did a call from the hospital saying conditions there were improving.

    Our networking group and the people it has brought me in contact will always hold a special place in my heart for all the encouragement, education and yes, even much needed humor its provided to help pull me out of the depths of discouragement…. just when I think I’m about to be swallowed by the depths of despair.

    None of us in the group probably say it to the founders, and to folks like you enough, so this morning I’m making the time. THANK YOU!


  • 5. kaukab usman  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Great article as always. When I see an article by you I have to read it. You have established a great brand for your yourself.

    Thanks for the great work

  • 6. Claudia Johnson  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Michael,

    Nothing like laughing out loud to start the day off right.

    Thanks for the chuckles!


  • 7. Michael Kusuplos  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Dear Michael:

    Thank you very much for posting – Comic Relief: The Best of Job-Seeking Humor. Really needed it!

    Appreciate your taking the time to bring some humor to a very serious subject!

    Best regards,


  • 8. pmoss  |  April 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks, Michael! Need this every hour of every day. Can you make a dashboard gadget or iGoogle widget? You have the nose that knows!

  • 9. Rhonda  |  April 26, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Where do you find all of these related FUNNY musings????? This was great! Humor is always the way to go as it helps keep things upbeat and positive, especially on a gloomy day.
    Thanks once again!

  • 10. Bob Costello  |  April 26, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Michael, Thank you for sharing. Some of them made me laugh out loud, I needed that!! People need to lighten up a little at work, especially east of the Mississippi

  • 11. MT  |  April 26, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Wow. This is awesome. I like it.

  • 12. Jennifer Perry  |  April 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I am so glad you introduced me to your blog today, Michael. Sheer genius, and you know your audience. We needed this. Thank you for the laughs and the encouragement. I’ve written several essays for my forthcoming book about the difficulties of job hunting and some of the unbelievably bizarre interviews I’ve had. Does anyone else feel like it’s the crazy, substrata that get the jobs?

    • 13. Eric L. Girven  |  May 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      It is not the crazy substrata that get the tops. It is the politically connected. Try walking into New York City without knowing anyone, circulating your Resume around, and asking for a six-figure salary.

  • 14. Anne Ashley  |  April 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Great video, lol. Thanks Loved the 4-up presentation.

    And, I love the Darwin-isms in real quotes and cover letters.

    While cleaning up from some January explorations I discovered a cover letter that had a duplicate phrase, this from a person who has worked on 1100 page books and such. Yikes.

    So, the world will be well as we laugh and get through it.

  • 15. kopal  |  April 27, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Hi Michael,

    Great post! Thanks for sharing this.


  • 16. blackwatertown  |  April 27, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Very good collection thanks.

  • 17. Debi  |  April 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm


  • 18. Thirza  |  April 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    What a fun collection! I needed that.
    Sure it smarts not being able to reference an employer directly when asked but, is it the end of the world – NO. It is the beginning of recognizing who you are and who you want to be independent of another entity’s recognition factor. Far healthier perhaps …now, back to the puzzle of finding the next career challenge.

  • 19. Gary  |  April 28, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Thanks for the laughs! It’s been a tough Monday “in the hunt,” and the humor was very timely. I particularly enjoyed the IKEA cartoon!

  • 20. Eric Klaver  |  April 28, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Dear Michael,

    good (practical) information with striking remarks on what is going on in the world of job seeking and good advice on how to stay positive to land a suitable job.
    Also some good tips and strategies to be noted and present yourself in a positive way.
    Next to that I agree with you on the fact that you need to take time for other things to keep a positive attitude while seerching for a job.
    Also humor and laughter is a good way to get a positive vibe ( because it will stimulate the production of certain hormones that give you a good feeling and reduce stress).
    I think you indeed selected a number of funny cartoons ( some of them even made me laugh).

    While reading your blog, I realized I had seen a (short) humorous clip on U-tube.
    It is not new, but still I would like to share it.

    So here it is:

    I hope this will also make you and others smile or even have a laugh (LOL).

    Eric Klaver

    • 21. Michael Spiro  |  April 28, 2010 at 8:41 am

      Thanks for the positive feedback. And yes, I’ve seen that YouTube video of the Pepsi Max commercial with the job interview. It is, indeed, very funny!

  • 22. DRKenney  |  April 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Lot of great material that made me laugh…and cry. Thanks for the laughs!

  • 23. David Zarzour  |  April 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Well done Michael! I needed a laugh, BTW I actually wear a tie at home during “job hunting hours” its like tying a string on my finger to remind me that looking for a job IS my job (for the record, I also wearing a t-shirt & jeans)

    By David Zarzour, Sales, Marketing, Ebiz

  • 24. Chloe SoullessGhost  |  May 10, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Indeed cool post you have here. It would be great to read more concerning this topic. Thanx for giving this material.

  • 25. Uli Ott  |  May 25, 2010 at 12:22 am

    h my gosh….that is well sad but funny, very true…the comic with the time machine was hilarious….got a good laugh out of it for sure

  • 26. Brenton Hogan  |  July 9, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for posting this article. As a job seeker, it is easy to forget how quickly a resume is processed and how quickly it can be eliminated. I like how the article gives tips on how to avoid being deleted and what effective resume changes should be made.


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Michael Spiro

About the Author:

Michael Spiro has been a 3rd-Party Recruiter and Account Executive for nearly 20 years. He is currently the Director of Recruiting / NE Ohio Region for Experis Finance, a dedicated business unit of ManpowerGroup. Other recent positions include President of Midas Recruiting, a boutique head-hunting firm, Director of Talent at Patina Solutions, and Executive Recruiting positions with two of the largest search firms in North America. Before his career in the staffing industry, Michael was a manager in a large non-profit social-services organization. And in a former life, Michael was active in the entertainment industry, with extensive road-warrior experience as a touring performer (singer-songwriter / guitarist / comedian) and as a recording artist, producer and booking agent.  [More...]

Index (by Topic):

Résumés & Cover Letters:
 The "T" Cover Letter - The
         Only Type Worth Sending

 The Brutal Truth on How
         Résumés Get Eliminated

 Explaining Short Job Stints
         and Employment Gaps

 The Résumé Test &
         Checklist: Does Yours

 Beating the Résumé-
         Elimination Game: Where
         Do Recruiters' Eyes Go?

 The Truth About Lying on

 "Why Did You Leave Your
         Last Job?"

 How to Network: A
         Step-by-Step Guide for
         Job Searching

 Looking for Networking in
         All the Wrong Places

 Targeted Networking: How
         to Effectively Reach Out

 The Art of Giving: the Key to
         Effective Networking

 Face-to-Face Interviews:
         Secrets, Tricks and Tips

 Phone Interviews: Secrets,
         Tricks and Tips

 Skype Interview Tips ...
         Welcome to the Future!

 Nuggets: A Secret
         Interviewing Technique

 Answering the Dreaded
         Salary Question

 20 Surefire Ways to Blow
         an Interview

 "So, Do You Have Any
         Questions?" Nailing the
         Interview Closer

 Cool InfoGraphic: "What
         You Wish You'd Known
         Before Your Job

Age Discrimination:
 Age Discrimination: Secret
         Conversations Revealed

 Age Discrimination:
         Exposing Inconvenient

 Are You "Overqualified?"
         Handling the Age Issue

 Baby Boomers to the
         Rescue! An Idea Whose
         Time Has Come ...

 Overcoming Job-Search
         Obstacles and
         Redefining Your Career
         After 50

 Advice for Recent Grads
         and Career-Changers

Switching Jobs:
 The Proper Way to
         Quit a Job

 Counteroffers: Just Say No!

General Job-Seeking Info:
 The Real Truth About
         Working with Recruiters

 Contract/Consulting Jobs
         Explained ... Available in
         3 Different Flavors

►  What Recruiters Say
         vs. What Job-Seekers

►  The Dirty Truth About
         Misleading Unemployment

►  Let the Jobs Find You:
         Making Yourself More

 "Help ... I Need a Job!" A
         9-Step Guide for Newly
         Minted Job-Seekers

 Avoiding the "Black Hole
         of HR"

 Is Your Elevator Pitch
         Taking You UP
         or DOWN?

 Time Management: Recipe          for a Well-Balanced Job          Search
 Getting Un-Stuck from your

 The Double-Whammy of
         Rejection and Isolation

 "Unemployed Need Not
         Apply" - Working Around
         This Scary Message

 Using Social Media to
         Enhance Job-Searching

 Warning: That Rant You
         Posted Just Went Viral!

 The Golden Rule for
         Business: Never Burn

 The Power of a Positive

 Why Job Hunting is a
         Consultative Sales

 Top 10 Most Helpful Things
         for Job Seekers

 Top 10 Most Annoying
         Things for Job Seekers

 New Year's Resolutions for
         Unemployed Job-

Job-Seeking Humor:
 Comic Relief: Volume 1
 Comic Relief: Volume 2
 Comic Relief: Volume 3
 Comic Relief: Volume 4
 Comic Relief: Volume 5
 Comic Relief: Volume 6
 "In Transition" and Other
         Awkward Euphemisms

 Candidates Gone Wild:
         Recruiter Horror Stories

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