Smile to win a job!

It’s true; you are more likely to get a job if you smile!

Why? Well, imagine that you’re an employer and you have two applicants for a certain job. They both have similar qualifications and experience but one has a happy face, and the other has a rather grim outlook. Which one would you employ? The majority of employers would answer the one with a smile. And wouldn’t you be more likely to want to work with the smiling one?

Why is this so? Smiling makes you more attractive and it’s contagious so the person you are meeting is likely to start smiling as well. Smiling disarms reservations and makes you seem more trustworthy and this makes interaction easier. Research published in Evolution and Human Behavior in 2014 found that ‘…a smile perceived as genuine is an honest signal that displays a readiness to cooperate. It aims to encourage others to cooperate in situations that require justified trust.’

In an article posted on the website, Alexander Ruggie writes: ‘People underestimate the power of a good smile’. He continues: ‘A “good smile” doesn’t even necessarily mean an attractive one — rather, it means one that is sincere. A sincere smile can make a tense room calm, and it can add levity or brilliance to anything from a funeral to a job interview. This is why it is such a powerful tool to have in your job-hunting toolbox.’

Smiling also makes you feel more comfortable because it reduces your stress levels. It releases endorphins, chemical neuro-transmitters that make you feel happier and more confident.

Even faking a smile works—the brain doesn’t differentiate between real or fake as it interprets the positioning of the facial muscles in the same way. So, if you are feeling nervous, force a smile because it will help. The more we stimulate our brain to release endorphins the more often we will feel happy and relaxed. Therefore, don’t just leave it until just before the interview, make it a practice to smile as much as possible throughout the job search process.

Practise smiling even when you’re on the phone. It may sound silly but if you smile on the phone, you will feel and sound upbeat and positive. You will probably use the phone a lot during your job search, so make smiling a habit. Then you will feel happier and more confident and the person at the other end is more likely to like you and to have faith in you.

While I haven’t found any specific research to back me up, I believe that if you make a habit of smiling while you’re writing your résumé, you may find that you get a better result. For most people, writing a résumé is a fairly stressful task. We know that smiling is a way to manage stress so it can certainly help in this way. And if it makes you sound more upbeat and positive on the phone, it may well also make the language you use in the application more upbeat and positive. Give it a try. It can’t do any harm and it might just give you the edge to win an interview.

How do you induce smiling in a stressful situation such as being faced with compiling a résumé? Before you start, watch a funny video on YouTube or look at a favourite cartoon. Or simply keep a photo of those you love on your desk and smile at them.

Smile and the world smiles with you. To quote a bit of the poem by Jack Ellison:

There's a time honoured old saying
Smile and the world smiles with you
Cry and you cry alone
So very true!!!
So when you're feeling down
And it seems like the whole world is against you
Just smile to yourself
It doesn't matter who's watching
Soon the sun will come out
And you'll have a brighter cheerier outlook

It’s true! Smiling is an essential ingredient for a successful job search. It’s an easy way to brighten your mood, to boost your confidence, to feel healthier and more relaxed and to inspire others to trust you. So, when you’re in a stressful situation, put a grin on your face so that you can take advantage of the many benefits smiling has to offer.


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