Authenticity on LinkedIn : Genuine Expression or a Contrived Presence?

Authenticity On LinkedIn

The word ‘authentic’ has become a corporate and personal branding buzzword, especially on professional platforms like LinkedIn. At its core, ‘authentic’ simply means being real or genuine. But authentic is subjective. What I consider authentic may appear contrived by many others and vice versa. As we navigate the digital corridors of LinkedIn, what does ‘authentic’ truly represent in the professional realm?

Authentic on LinkedIn: A Paradox?

On LinkedIn, ‘authenticity’ often translates to sharing a mix of professional achievements, personal challenges, and future aspirations.

The intent is to present a well-rounded, genuine version of oneself. However, this quest for authenticity can sometimes lead to a paradox. Professionals strive to showcase a polished yet real persona, often blurring the line between genuine expression and a contrived presence.

The Overuse of Authentic: Losing Its Impact

The overuse of ‘authentic’ in professional discussions has begun to erode its significance. The term, meant to signify genuineness, is at risk of becoming just another corporate and personal branding buzzword. In some cases, efforts to appear ‘authentic’ can backfire, leading to profiles and posts that feel more like strategic branding than genuine self-expression.

I simply unfollow/disconnect the serial offenders. I don’t want their BS in my network.

Alternatives to Authentic: Expanding Our Lexicon

To avoid this pitfall, it’s worthwhile to consider some alternatives to ‘authentic’. Anyone of these is better than the contrived presence:

  • Genuine : Focus on sincerity and honesty in our professional narrative, rather than a meticulously crafted image.
  • Transparent : Be open about both our successes and setbacks. This approach not only humanises us but also encourages a culture of learning and growth.
  • Contrary : Present opinions or perspectives that challenge the status quo. This fosters diversity of thought and innovation.
  • Original : Emphasise unique ideas or approaches that distinguish us from others, showcasing our individual contributions to our field.

In conclusion, while ‘authenticity’ is a valuable trait, we should embrace a broader spectrum of qualities in our professional representations. By diversifying the ways we express ourselves on LinkedIn, we can more accurately and meaningfully convey who we are and what we stand for in our careers.

Fox Tucker is Digital Marketing Manager for an International Media Publishing Company, and LinkedIn marketing specialist that loves to help people thrive on LinkedIn.