Job Hunting: How Your Smile Can Affect Your Chances

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By Sarie Fielding

Let’s face it looking for a job isn’t fun. In fact, it’s one of life’s most stressful endeavors and these days with cutthroat competition across the industry board every little bit can make a difference. The job-hunting process has a catch 22 however – because if its stressful nature it’s only natural to want to frown and get down on oneself when things aren’t going well, but recent studies have shown that being upbeat, positive, and wearing a smile on your face is crucial for landing a job.

In April, Yahoo News reported on a study involving 177 unemployed people looking for jobs. Each of these individuals underwent weekly assessments of self-management, job search status, and mental health. Yahoo reported that at the beginning of the study, “the participants spent an average of 17 hours per week looking for a job and reported a gradual improvement in their mental health.

By the fourth month, however, time spent on the search had declined to 14 hours per week, and mental health began to decline.” It’s therefore clear that not only is it important to be positive at the beginning of the job searching process, but as the search lags on and times get tougher and tougher, it becomes all the more important.

Daunted? Don’t fret. First things first – just smile! Seriously, just take a mirror and do it – even if you feel like you could burst into tears. Smiling in and of itself has been shown to boost your mood, which will benefit you in more ways than one. Not only will you feel more confident about yourself, which is crucial because to stand out from the crowd you need a strong voice, but it will attract people – would you rather speak with someone smiling or frowning when you’re at a networking event? Combine a smile with eye contact and you’ll be golden to optimize your chances for the job of your dreams.

If however you’re looking to go the extra step, you may want to invest in a whiter smile. This can involve something as simple as buying an at-home tooth whitening kit or it may involve going to your dentist for in-office procedures. Again, every little bit counts especially in today’s superficial world; a potential employer will no doubt take your oral health into account when forming their first impressions of you so make sure you’ve done all that you can.

Sarie Fielding is a guest blogger and contributor to Top Dentists and other media lifestyle sites.

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