What you actually bring to the table

The first piece of advice Collegewise gives every college writer is “Don’t try to impress the admissions office—just be honest.” Admissions officers are trying to get to know who you really are, not a polished, supposedly perfect version of yourself contrived to impress colleges. And we stand by that advice even when being honest means acknowledging a weakness.

It turns out this is good advice for the workplace, too.

According to University of Pennsylvania professor Adam Grant, playing up your accomplishments and otherwise focusing on selling yourself does not help undergraduates get job offers, employees secure promotions, or executives land board seats.

As shared in this article, Grant points out that there’s a logical reason why being honest, even about your weaknesses, works.

“By admitting your inadequacies, you show that you’re self-aware enough to know your areas for improvement—and secure enough to be open about them. That you’re interested in being hired for what you actually bring to the table, not what you pretend to bring.”