The Key to Finding a New Job: Authenticity

There is so much said, and written about the very best ways to go about finding a job. You need to have a job to find a job; you need to quit your job and devote all your time to the search; know exactly what you want to do; keep an open mind — the list goes on. According to a new study out of the University College London the answer is very simple: all you need to land a job is authenticity.

"People are often encouraged to only present the best aspects of themselves at interview so they appear more attractive to employers, but what we've found is that high-quality candidates -— the top 10% -— fare much better when they present who they really are," study co-author Dr. Sun Young Lee explained. "Unfortunately, the same isn't true for poorer quality candidates who can actually damage their chances of being offered the job by being more authentic." So essentially, authenticity is paramount, but only if you're already in the running.

Study author Celia Moore underscored Dr. Lee's point saying, "Interviewers perceive an overly polished self-representation as inauthentic and potentially misrepresentative. But ultimately, if you are a high-quality candidate, you can be yourself on the job market. You can be honest and authentic. And if you are, you will be more likely to get a job."

The margin for error here, of course, is assessing whether or not you are in the top 10% of candidates. But there is something comforting about striving to be ourselves, rather than striving to be completely perfect.