“Self Starter?” Give Me A Break

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on May 6, 2011

As an employer (and as a professional search recruiter) I receive many resumes on a daily basis.  If you are also an employer, I am sure that you’ve also seen your share of resumes.

So are you as tired as I am of resumes with descriptions using worn out prases like: “I am a self starter”, “results oriented”, “team player”, “goal oriented”, “dynamic leadership”, “strategic driven”, “highly motivated”, and on and on and on? 

I don’t mean to rant, but come on.  You get the picture.  These phrases are over used and they don’t really mean much.

To be fair, I am quite certain that some of these adjectives are accurate when one is describing oneself.  The adjective “self starter” to me is an almost painful cliché.

Gentleman, start your engines!  Someone is self-starting!

If someone is not a self starter, then who starts them? 

And what would you call someone who is not a self starter?  Whatever word used would have to imply that someone else is needed to get themselves started.

At what?  What are they starting themselves to do? 

For almost all adults with any ounce of responsibility, we get started immediately every day. 

We get up in the morning, we eat, we dress, and we go to work, we learn, we take care of loved ones, pay bills and try to have as much rational fun as possible.

Maybe some people really do need help from someone else to get started.   Conversely some people are just blessed to not need anyone else to start themselves.

But wouldn’t you need to “start yourself” in almost everything we do?

Of course.  In addition, starting implies finishing ……..I think.

And ultimately, finishing a job or a task is a worthy goal.

So can someone be a “self finisher”?  I don’t think so, it doesn’t read right.  And a “self finisher” doesn’t sound like much, although it might imply that a job or a task is solely accomplished.

In sales the term is not to finish but to “close,” as in “closing a deal.”

Maybe a new adjective for someones resume might be a “self closer.”  Maybe not because……then you’d be closed.

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at ceo@psihealth.com.  I welcome your phone call.

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