Professional Smiles

Smiling ManEspecially in a difficult job market, it’s important to do everything you can to land a good position, keep it, and even get a promotion. According to an Opinion Research Corp study, people smile up to 16 percent more at home than at work, but a smile could go a long way toward your professional endeavors. Forbes lists smiling as one of the “Top 12 Body Language Tips for Career Success,” so your pearly whites could help you get the raise you’ve been wanting or help you ace your presentation. This week, we explain some of the many ways smiling can help you move up in your career and reach your goals.

Grin Through Your Interview

The application process can be nerve-wracking, but adding a smile to your resume could help you get the job. In their article “The Importance of Smiling During a Job Interview,” job search service Simply Hired notes: “Human resources experts agree: if you’re not smiling at all during your job interview, you may as well stay home.”

Obviously, it wouldn’t be appropriate to wear a silly grin throughout your entire interview, but a sincere smile can make you more relatable and likable to potential employers. Simply Hired notes that this is especially important if the job posting has included a line such as “We are looking for people with a bright, positive attitude!” Your smile is also a significant asset if you’re applying for positions in service or retail.

Like it or not, your appearance also matters at a job interview—as confirmed by a study at Hofstra University, physical attractiveness does cause a bias in hiring and professional advancement. While your qualifications and fit for the position are obviously the most important factors, it doesn’t hurt to make sure you look good, and one of the easiest ways to improve your appearance is simply to smile. To ensure your smile is as dazzling as possible, Simply Hired recommends whitening your teeth before your interview and, of course, checking for embarrassing “spinach in your teeth.”

A Positive Work Environment

You’ll need to work well with other people in order to succeed at virtually any career. Smiling at your colleagues can help you build friendships and engender trust. In addition, even forcing a grin could help you have a better day at work, since the physical action of smiling has been scientifically proven to help you relax by releasing calming neurological compounds like serotonin and dopamine. We all know that smiling is contagious, so you can also help spread your joy and tranquility to your colleagues and throughout your office.

Beaming to Lead

Online marketer Michael Hyatt underscores the connection between smiling and effective leadership on his blog, noting that smiling “helps others relax” and “draws people to you.” Employees often feel intimated by their bosses and managers, so giving them a pleasant smile helps lessen their anxiety and improve their performance. Working on smiling more can also help you remember to provide positive feedback and celebrate your achievements rather than getting caught up in deadlines and client demands. Since it is such a valuable leadership tool, smiling more might prompt your superiors to give you more responsibilities or even a promotion.

Enjoy a Successful Smile

Smiling can help you with every step of your career, from your first interview to becoming the boss. Maintaining your dental health is important for your career and your overall well being. To schedule a cleaning or exam, contact Cindy Flanagan, D.D.S.

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