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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote over bamboo.

People usually pretend to fit in with others, not to stand out. I’m not talking about people who lie for a living, those who have gotten into a habit of elaborating on their accomplishments and their lives; I mean the rest of us, just trying to get by. This can result in a lack of authenticity.

The job search process lends itself to pretending to be someone other than your true self in order to get the job offer you seek. It’s easy to get into the habit of telling the hiring manager what you think they want to hear to get the job – especially if the job search is taking longer than you expected.

Although perhaps counterintuitive, being yourself in an interview and with those you bring into your professional network can yield far better results, because:

In a competitive job market filled with pretenders and people-pleasers, being truly authentic is the key to finding the right job and employer for you.

  • Authenticity sets you apart from the crowd and makes a lasting impression.
  • Embracing your true self attracts opportunities that align with your values and passions.
  • Pretending to be someone you’re not, can lead to dissatisfaction and lack of career fulfillment.

Authenticity cultivates genuine connections and fosters a positive work environment.

  • Embracing your true self allows you to connect with like-minded individuals and build meaningful relationships.
  • Authenticity encourages open and honest communication, leading to stronger collaborations and team dynamics.
  • Pretenders often struggle to establish genuine connections, resulting in a disconnected and unproductive work environment.

Authenticity breeds confidence and personal growth.

  • Being true to yourself boosts self-esteem and confidence in your abilities.
  • Authenticity allows you to embrace your strengths and weaknesses, leading to personal growth and continuous improvement.
  • Saying what you think others want to hear to like, accept, or hire you may create a constant sense of unease, increase stress, and hinder personal development.

Authenticity ensures long-term job satisfaction and fulfillment.

  • Being authentic during your job search attracts employers who value and appreciate your true self.
  • Authenticity aligns you with a company culture and values that resonate with your own.
  • Pretending to be someone else may result in landing a job that doesn’t match your aspirations, leading to unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Embracing authenticity empowers you to create a career path that reflects your true passions and values.

  • Authenticity helps you define your professional goals and pursue a fulfilling career.
  • By being authentic, you can seek out opportunities that align with your values and make a more positive impact through the work you do.
  • Pretending to be someone you’re not, may lead you down a path that leaves you dreaming of work you feel called to do and wondering what could have been.

Ideas for leaning into your authentic self and letting who you are shine through:

  • LinkedIn is a great platform to provide insights into the authentic you. From keyword optimization of your profile content to showcasing your creativity, contributions, and accomplishments through the Featured section, you can let your profile speak for you when others visit it and lay the foundation for honest and fruitful conversations. Don’t forget to add the Projects, Volunteer, Organizations, and Causes sections to round out what is most meaningful to you.
  • Leverage video on LinkedIn and other social media outlets to communicate your spirit, insights, and knowledge more effectively and complement your text content.
  • Take a CliftonStrengths®, MBTI®, or DISCstyles Assessment to learn more about yourself. Use the new insights these assessments provide to speak the language of the interviewer and boost confidence in your abilities and value offering.
  • Strengthen your storytelling. People connect through stories. They allow us to enter into another’s world to see what they see and feel what they feel. Use the power of storytelling to enhance your communications with others and share your stories, your way.

Finally, remember that no matter how much you try, you cannot be all things to all people, and not everyone will want or need what you have to offer. Be grateful for that, because it will lead you to those who are waiting to discover you, appreciate you, and hire you.

Want more great tips? Check out for recent career-related information I’ve shared on numerous podcasts, television outlets, and radio shows.

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This article was originally posted on Career Directors International on June 2, 2023. You can read the original article at

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