The Daily Telegraph
Fortune smiles on job seekers looking happy, say scientists
SMILING in a job application photo or at an interview could help job seekers secure the position, researchers have found, as visibly happy people are deemed more employable than those who have more sombre expressions.
Smiles indicate confidence and applicants’ desire to please, the authors of a study said, while also making them appear attractive.
Attractiveness, or “pretty girl privilege”, has been established by numerous previous studies as beneficial, as people have been found to warm to good-looking individuals.
In tests on 280 people, participants judged fake Linkedin profiles, with people pictured smiling or happy deemed the most suitable applicants. A second experiment that asked 146 participants to grade fake profiles on a scale of one to seven (with seven the top score) used mouse tracking to obtain detailed insights into their thought processes. Smiling candidates scored an average of 5.11 and non-smilers 4.99.
The study was presented at last week’s American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual conference in Washington DC.
Sabrina Chan, of the University of Toronto, the study leader, said: “First impressions are very important and research shows people have stronger memories for happy faces.”
Previous studies have had mixed results, with some finding that serious expressions can make applicants appear more professional and thus boost their chances of being hired.