Convincing Self Motivation Skills: How to Apply Them in Resumes in 2022

4 minute readUpdated on 2022-05-10

What is self motivation?

Self motivation is the inner drive to take action and pursue your goals. It is a self-directed process: nobody tells you what to do. You strive for progress and push yourself to complete tasks and search for more. Self motivation means that you have a clear image in your head about your intentions for the future.

Many people naively think mentioning self-motivation in resumes is enough to prove that they actually have this soft skill. However, saying it adds no value and won't help you to be chosen for any position. Recruiters perceive self-motivation by your overall experience, work ethic, teamwork and goals.

Why is self motivation important on your resume?

In fact, self motivation combines all the skills that define you as a leader. Experience, volunteering and goal-setting prove that you are in total control of your life. Recruiters value the quality of your actions, as they are an apparent sign of whether you will perform exceptionally well in future jobs.

Self-motivated employees do not require management or colleagues to push them in the working process. Instead, they take things into their hands and develop the needed mindset to meet expectations. After all, being a good employee means you are doing your work diligently and adequately under all circumstances.

Furthermore, self motivation also builds you up to better teamwork and the opportunity to be promoted to a better position. Ultimately, recruiters pay close attention to those employees that contribute most to the success of the company.

Then, how will you prove that you are a perfect fit for the desired position? In the first place, back your self motivation with examples! Let’s put it into practice.

Skills & activities that help you show convincing self motivation skills

Here are the most valuable skills that impact your overall self motivation and convince recruiters that you are the right choice for the position:

  • Goal-setting: you should set SMART(specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals. They will help you stay motivated in a dynamic working environment. SMART goals facilitate completing every task properly.
  • Prioritizing & Planning: 80% of outcomes (outputs) come from 20% of causes(inputs). This rule means that you can prioritize the most important factors, as they will produce the best results. By applying the 80/20 principle, you increase the chance to be recognized.
  • Work desire: it shows employers you always go the extra mile to gain more experience. Aiming for any additional work proves that you are a self-directed individual that does not need guidance.

How to demonstrate Convincing Self Motivation Skills on Your Resume

  • Explain how you overcame a challenging situation at work.
  • Describe a period of your life when you had personal issues but still managed to excel at work.
  • Describe with examples how you handle stress at work and still make it to reach your goals.
  • Provide examples of times when you volunteered for an intriguing but challenging task even though you had a lot of other work.

Remember that self motivation is a required skill for every job. The crucial point here is that you should show it with actions and experiences that you have acquired so far in your life.

Before doing anything else, answer the following question:

Have I done something extraordinary in my past work experiences that prove my self-motivation?

Now I will present to you how to put into practice all the things mentioned so far. Here are resume snippets that provide evidence of your dedication and self motivation at work.

Example 1: Experience bullet points

Full-Stack Data Scientist applying for the role of Senior Data Scientist

Full Stack Data ScientistDataStax
Santa Clara, CA
Established the Data Science division from scratch by recruiting and training two teams of 4 data analysts.
Designed and implemented an artificial intelligence application to create customized fitness programs.
Improved the data quality and performance by 45% by analyzing and modifying SQL & Python scripts.
Performed a variety of statistical analyses using BI and Tableau and present them in front of the board of directors.
Implemented a long-term pricing strategy that increased the customer lifetime value by 15%.

Action verbs like created and established prove they are not passive individuals but initiative. Implementing a pricing strategy and performing a statistical analysis show they have a powerful goal-setting ability.

The terms SQL, Python, BI and Tableau speak volumes! They prove that the candidate is a specialist in the field and can work with different software.

Improvement of 45% in data quality provides evidence for consistent and hard work. Training two teams on such complex work is a sign of responsibility as well. The candidate’s Experience section is remarkable and well-structured so they have a high chance to be hired.

Example 2: Resume summary

Marketing Expert applying for the role of Content Manager

Planned and organized the second most successful marketing campaign in the history of the company that drove record-high sales. It won the company the 2021 Brand Impact Award for Marketing Campaign of the Year.

Remember the 80/20 principle? Sometimes 20% of the words in your resume lead to 80% of all job interviews.

It is valid here as well! You need one to two sentences in the Summary section to convince everyone that you could give value.

This example proves that the candidate is self-directed and self-motivated as they organized this remarkable promotional campaign. That's why they are acknowledged with this prestigious award.

Example 3: Key achievements

Digital Copywriter applying for the position of Senior Content Marketer

Brand Awareness
Participated in establishing and developing a brand. I helped the company build an online community of loyal supporters.
I presented about the future of copywriting in front of 10 000 people on the CopyCon20. My presentation received wild reviews and has 1 million views on YouTube.
Successful Email Newsletter
Created one of the most popular Copywriting Email Newsletters on the web. It has 200 000 subscribers.

In this section, you can emphasize even more on your accomplishments by explaining them further. Use action verbs and prove that you are a go-getter!

Here the candidate provides evidence for their deep knowledge in the field, which led to their enormous success. Thus, the recruiter is familiar with their attitude towards work.

Example 4: Volunteering & Life Philosophy English Teacher applying for the role of Education Assistant

English Teacher in IndiaUNESCO
I travelled across India and taught children in English.
Educated students from 6 different schools in the basics of English grammar and conversational speaking.
Gave special attention to each student and still maintained the focus of the whole class.
Produced a new assessment strategy that encouraged students to learn more.
Conducted home visits for students with medical conditions and personal issues.
Created an innovative fast learning program based on developing mental abilities.

Adding a volunteering section to your resume will give you some extra points for sure. This way you prove to the recruiter that you are ready to go that extra mile no matter what.

Volunteering shows commitment to the world and the company. It is a sign of self motivation skills and proves the following maxim:

“First, givе, then receive!”

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.Friedrich Nietzsche

Some people share common interests or life philosophies. Thus, there is a higher chance for them to get along and become friends. Remember that recruiters are humans in the first place. This is why it's crucial to mention your life philosophy in your resume.

If you believe in what the recruiter believes in, it is more likely for him to trust and hire you! This way you remove the professional barriers and create a connection. All you need to do is to use the right words to affirm it.

Self Motivation Skills: Key Takeaways for Your Resume

  • Show action: self motivation means being initiative and completing tasks. List your experience and achievements and tell what you have learned from them. Use appropriate verbs that show desire and prove that you are a go-getter.
  • Be specific: you should keep it short because the recruiter will skim read your resume. Some skills are more convincing than others and they will be the reason to be hired.
  • Remember the 80/20 principle! Prioritize your skills and other facts while building a resume.
  • Make it personal: Add a quote, favorite books, or passions. Remember that your passions show what type of person you are and provide evidence for your self motivation skills.

About this report:

Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from

While those skills are most commonly met on resumes, you should only use them as inspiration and customize your resume for the given job.

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