Self-Taught Experts

Today ran across this resume opener:

Self Taught Computer Expert.

I find many non-graduates using “Self Taught” as a counter to a completed education. This individual did not have a college degree and let’s be honest, a degree isn’t the end-all, be-all indicator of success. Obviously Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and countless other successful people who live in your neighborhood and work at your firm are doing just great without that framed diploma.

That said, self-taught is an oxymoron. In the strictest sense of the term, self-taught means you learned by trial and error without outside influence.

Your parents taught you to tie your shoes. Your teachers taught you to read. Your older brother taught you which bands were cool. No one is truly “self-taught.” We all learn from someone.

Don’t discount the influencers in your life. If you want to be an expert in anything you need mentors & advisors. Saying you made it completely on your own is arrogant. And a lie.

Rather than claiming to be self-taught, you are better off saying you are resourceful. Able to apply research to practical solutions. Willing to listen. Willing to learn. Appreciative of life’s experience.

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