Is there a word to describe the ability to be able to complete tasks without necessarily needing instructions, i.e. finding it out yourself.

It's for a personal profile in a CV.

  • Which kind of tasks? Surely it differs from a task order to gathering and classifying some information or suggesting a solution in the management process and solving it without consultant. I think it depends on the task. Could you provide more contexts and specify the kind of task? – Persian Cat Feb 16 '13 at 23:50
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    This question is ironic, is it not? If you think that you're sufficiently resourceful and self-sufficient to "complete tasks without necessarily needing instructions, i.e., finding it out yourself", then you wouldn't be asking this question; rather, you'd have already translated from your native language. If you're a native speaker of English, then to make the claim implicit in the question would be lying. – user21497 Feb 17 '13 at 0:46
  • Do you mean you are good at figuring out the solutions to problems on your own, or that you finish jobs assigned to you without having to be nagged? – tchrist Feb 17 '13 at 2:17
  • @Bill: Except this could be considered a form of research, I suppose. – J.R. Feb 17 '13 at 10:03
  • @J.R.: Yes, & as a technical editor, that's exactly what I do when I don't understand a word, a usage, an idea, or a technical process. I go to the Internet & research it. When I started editing technical writing, though, I used to ask my clients to explain things: I wasn't resourceful enough to find the information on my own. Now, I ask only if I can't find the information in other technical documents. I'd rather not ask; I'd rather surprise my client, & I often do. Computer programs do data mining, why then, oh why, can't I? – user21497 Feb 17 '13 at 10:21

I often see self-motivated or self-directed used on CVs I receive.


self-starter Informal. a person who begins work or undertakes a project on his or her own initiative, without needing to be told or encouraged to do so.

Although it say "informal" there, I see no reason not to use it in your CV.

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    I'd agree, while it's informal it is common as business-speak, so it's a reasonable informality for a CV or job application. – Jon Hanna Feb 17 '13 at 0:09

I don't think that a single word incorporates both the "not needing directions" aspect of your description (which FumbleFingers addresses with self-starter) and the "solving an issue" aspect. If you want to cover both, you might try a phrase such as "creative, independent problem-solver."

  • I do think independent is the word the OP is looking for. – Mr Lister Feb 17 '13 at 9:22

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