May 4, 2014

Why Body Language Is Important

You’d be amazed at what you can say without uttering a word. Your body can speak wonders about your thoughts, attitudes, and focus. Body language is a very important thing to pay attention to at all times. Your body language can even play a factor in whether you get hired or not.

How are you sitting right now? What does it say about you? Are you an attentive, trustworthy, outgoing, focused person? Or are you a lazy, unkempt, cranky punk? What would other people think of you?

Now take a look at the people around you. In your head, what’s your first impression of them based solely on their body language? What do you notice? Hopefully, just by observing yourself and others you’ll be able to note that body language offers a good glimpse into what you really stand for.

Can you guess what body language people notice?

  • Poor Posture – Posture is important for both your body language and your health. You’ve probably heard school teachers tell you to stand up straight. They didn’t do it just to hear themselves speak. They said it to help you get a job later in life. Now is the time to fix your posture. Trust us. It’s important.
  • Bad Handshake – The biggest factor in handshaking is your grip strength. If you shake hands like a wet noodle, you’re in big trouble. You’ve had a bad handshake before so you know what it feels like. Here are some handshaking tips if you need some practice.
  • Lack of Eye Contact – It’s annoying when people don’t look you in the eye. You don’t have to lock on to their eyes and never look away, but you do need to make eye contact throughout a conversation. It shows that you are attentive and confident.
  • Distraction – If you’re easily distracted this can be hard. People (especially recruiters) want you to stay focused. Don’t move around to much or constantly check the time on your iPhone. Remember to breath and keep your focus.
  • Lack of Facial Expression – Facial expressions are one of the most telling body language signs. When you smile, frown, raise an eyebrow, or nod your head it shows that you’re a part of the conversation.
  • Fidgeting – Sit still. Fidgeting is said to show a lack of power. Don’t play with your hair, twirl a pencil, tap your foot, or touch your ears. Stay cool, calm, and collected. You can fidget as much as you want after you land the job (or at home!)

There is an interesting book called The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman. If you’re truly interested in how your body language plays a role in how you present yourself, then this is a must read.

It’s important to remember how much our body says. Your body language can speak volumes about who you are and where your mind is at. Pay attention to your body language. Try to keep your body language as professional as possible. It will pay off in your job hunt.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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