There’s Nothing Special About Being a “Self Starter”

I used to spend a lot of time looking for ways to describe clients as “industrious” “detail oriented” “fervent” or “driven”. Soon I realized, though, that this type of descriptive language offered no meaningful information and obstructed clarity. Besides, reading the same words and phrases over and over bored me. Clearly, if such language taxed my patience, then human resources people handling piles of similar materials every day must be annoyed too.

Why describe yourself as a self starter if everyone coming before and after you offers the same trait? Using such trite terminology on a resume is akin to assuring your reader that you have a birth certificate or are a carbon-based life form. She already assumes that you, along with all other candidates, can offer these qualities. Telling the reader that you are motivated, or a go-getter, or a people person will not gain you any points, but may just make her regret your thoughtless waste of her time.

If you have X-ray vision, though, feel free to throw that in, since presumably most other candidates can’t offer that talent.

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