Authenticity: The Golden Trait - How to Improve Graduate Employability

By Rohan Holland on August, 4 2021

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Rohan Holland

Rohan is a graduate recruitment and development specialist. With extensive experience managing graduate programs and professional resourcing roles in organisations including BP, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Rohan has worked throughout Australia and abroad. He has a passion for sharing graduate program insights and coaching graduates to be better prepared for the recruitment process and the study to work transition.

I read a news article recently where an AFL coach described one of his colleagues as "a really authentic person". It caught my eye because it is a trait that people rarely use to describe each other. 

One definition labels authenticity to be "undisputed credibility". To put it in the context of the world of graduate employability (in describing a candidate) it has to be one of the best compliments a person can receive. A very common question that graduates have when seeking advice on how to impact a prospective employer positively is "what will make me an attractive or suitable employee in the eyes of an employer?" - to which I always say, be yourself, or be authentic as tips for graduate success.


In an employment market that is currently crowded and highly competitive, graduates should be continually striving to showcase their individual qualities and, ultimately, what makes them unique when compared to others. Unfortunately, authenticity (or being real or genuine) tends to be forgotten about because we are so busy trying to impress an employer or at least discuss our strengths in a way that relate to what we believe an employer wants to hear. 


At Readygrad, we pride ourselves on our programs and advice to students being anchored in understanding yourself and being authentic throughout the selection process and well into their first job and career. The reasoning is that who would want to accept a job based on being someone that isn't them? What are you going to do if your values and qualities are questioned after accepting an offer? It's not sustainable, and indeed it is far too stressful trying to be someone you are not. Besides, friends and colleagues will see through you in the end, whilst authenticity will pave the way for an honest and successful career.

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