Have a career fair coming up? How about a phone interview? Maybe you even have an in-person interview lined up in the coming weeks. First of all, congratulations! You have no doubt worked hard to get to this point. The research, dedication, and training that you have put in will pay off. Want to know a little secret that could even help more? I’ll tell you, but you have to promise me something. When you watch the clip below, you have to smile. It shouldn’t be hard to do.
NOTE: I did not receive any goods or services for promotion of the ad above. I don’t drive a VW, but do still yell out "SLUG-BUG!!” when I see a Volkswagen Beetle. Remember that? :)
Did you know that smiling has positive health benefits? It’s true. I think we’ve all heard that it takes 17 muscles to frown, but only 4 to smile (those numbers are disputed by many, but you get the point.) My point: smiling really does make a difference. Let’s break it down into a few career tips:
Smiling makes you more approachable. I’m from the Midwest. Folks around here smile a lot. Maybe we’re happier. I don’t know that it’s a happiness factor issue, but I do know that a smile has opened a lot of doors and sparked some very meaningful conversations throughout my career. Whether you’re in the Midwest or NYC, a smile goes a long way.
Smiling makes others feel good about themselves. If you were giving a speech to a group of people and the front row consisted of several stone-faced audience members and a few who are smiling and engaged, which ones do you gravitate towards? The ones that are smiling! Why? These people made you feel that what you’re saying is important and understood. Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Imagine how a smile makes YOU feel. Why not pay it forward?
Smiling helps you exude confidence. You have the suit, your (minimal) accessories, and your good luck charms (I have Superman socks.) Don’t forget to wear your smile! Even if it’s a phone call or interview, smiling can make a difference. Nothing says "I know this” more than a nice, cool smile. Confidence is key. Believe me – a little smile goes a long way! Next on the list: know your stuff. :)
Now, with all this talk about smiling, remember that there is a balance. Don’t be the smiling idiot. You gotta know your stuff. Don’t be the creepy guy that always has a Joker grin on his face. That freaks people out. Just smile. Oh, and do one more thing for me: smile like you mean it.
By the way, I’ve been smiling the entire time as I write this post. :)
Have a great week, and as always, thanks for reading!