Keep Smiling!

Sticker from banana: "Place Sticker on Forehead. Smile."

I came across an interesting article on the benefits of smiling. It listed 15 reasons why smiling is good for you. Here’s a few of them that apply to job hunting:

“Smiling makes us attractive.”

Put yourself in the shoes of an interviewer for a moment. What would you think about a candidate who did nothing but scowl throughout the interview? And now picture a candidate whose smile simply radiates. Who would you rather talk to? Now, as a candidate, how do you want to be perceived in an interview?

“Smiling changes our mood.”

This comes from the whole “fake it ’til ya make it” line of thinking. And, you know, it really does work. Take the other day, for example. I was sitting with my four-year-old son on my lap, and just because I was goofing around with him, I started to laugh. It was a fake laugh, to be sure. He loved my silliness, so he joined in. Pretty soon, we were both laughing hearty, genuine laughs. By the end of it all, my sides hurt from all the laughter. Especially if you are in active job-seeking mode, you need this lift to your mood.

“Smiling is transmittable.”

You want your interviewer to be happy and relaxed, so use your smile power to help get him/her there! (Just make sure you then have something of substance to say, too.)

“Smiling reduces stress.”

Right now, I want you to frown. Really furrow that brow and get into it. And now — smile.

Notice the difference in the tension in your face? You have less stress and tension when you are smiling than when you are frowning. While this may not take away all the stress you may be feeling from looking for a job, smiling will certainly give you a little lift from your stress. And really, every little bit helps.

“Smiling makes you seem successful.”

The author of this post said, “The more you smile, the more you will look confident…” That’s very true. And when you look confident, people perceive you as being successful. Certainly, confidence in yourself and success are two things you want to convey to others (especially in an interview) because then they will be more likely to believe that you can be successful for them.

“Smiling is welcoming.”

Think of the last networking event that you attended. Outside of folks you already knew, who were you likely to approach? Of course, those who made you feel comfortable and welcome. And how was their demeanor? Certainly not sour, or you wouldn’t have spent much time with them. If the people you approached were smiling, you were much more likely to feel welcomed to the event.

That’s the same kind of feeling you want to encourage in others when networking and in interviews. When you smile, you are inviting others to interact with you.

What are some other ways that smiling can benefit you on your job search?

Image courtesy of Dawn Huczek

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