These words: Authenticity and Transparency get thrown around A LOT and not just our industry.
In today’s recruiting social media frenzy, these words get thrown around all the time — so much so, in fact, that they seem to have lost all meaning. These words feel diluted as you hear virtually every recruiter speak their importance. They start to become ingrained into conversations daily, which starts to feel scripted and not sincere.
Did you know there’s a difference in the two words? Let me break it down for you.
Let’s first dig into the definition of authenticity and transparency. Essentially, transparency is how much you share, while authenticity is the truth behind your words and actions.
- Not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
- Entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy.
- Easily detected or seen thru.
- Readily understood, trust-worthy
Sharing things that are true to yourself, I love cider; I have depression, I’m an artist, I don’t like lima beans, etc. We choose what to share with others. Just because you don’t share something about yourself doesn’t mean that you’re not authentic. But if you share things that directly conflict with that, then that’s a whole different story. I could decide not to share that I don’t drink, which is fine, but if I then show myself out at Blarney’s have a pint of cider, then that’s an inauthentic image of myself. Make sense?
People respond to both authenticity and transparency because these words help create trust. Trust is necessary for establishing relationships. I have unfollowed a lot of people who I felt were portraying a fake version of themselves (because I knew both sides). I don’t have any interest in taking make-up lessons or advice on how to pick corn.
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So we’ve established that being authentic is crucial if you’re trying to connect with others. Your level of transparency is up to you. It’s really about how comfortable you feel about sharing. For instance, there’s always that bunch of people who will never understand your Instagram food updates and would gripe about “what you’re eating for lunch?” You know what I mean. Trust me; these people aren’t going to follow you because they aren’t interested in what you’re eating. I, on the other hand, will, because I love to see where I could grab a tasty sandwich or yummy steak.
Another essential thing to remember about transparency is to use it appropriately. Think about your brand and the messages you are trying to convey and make sure that your level of transparency adds to those messages. Technically you’re transparent by sharing what you post daily, but if you write about the tech industry, it’s not going do anything to further that content.
In the end, it’s what you share is your own decision. Not everyone will like what you have to share, just like you don’t like everything that other people share. That’s fine. Figure out your truthful, authentic voice and share as much or as little of that as you want. I think it’s important to understand the subtleties of the posts if we are going to be throwing these terms “authenticity and transparency” around, which hopefully this post helped clarify. As always, you do you – still enough.