Looking for work? Put spring in your step


If you’re looking for work, you know to review your resume and covering letter to make sure there are no typos. But did you know that it also helps to review the way you walk into a meeting –with a hiring manager, recruiters or even a potential contact?

In her recent interview on SAUGA 960 AM, Jackie Chua, head of Bagg Professional, confirmed that body language matters too. To hear Jackie’s entire interview, click here.

Read on to learn tips for how to walk into a work opportunity you’ll love.


With every step you take, you’re making a powerful impression

First impressions take place within 17 seconds.

About 93% of our snap judgments come from non-verbal cues. In other words, we get a feel for someone not so much by what they say but from how they stand, the expression on their face, how they’re dressed and yes – how they walk.

A Germany study found that people who have a happy walking style make a much better first impression. They were rated as very likeable, from the get go.

The way job-hunters walk influences their feelings:

German researchers found even if you are feeling down, if you put a spring in your step, and walk and stand as if you’re feeling fantastic, you will — without realizing it — find yourself feeling better.

Your walk also influences how others feel

Between all our expert recruiters at The Bagg Group, we interview thousands who are looking for work in the GTA every year to place happy people in jobs that are right for them – full-time, contract or temporary placements with the best employers in Canada.  See our job board here.

And it’s true that when Bagg Group recruiters and hiring managers greet a job candidate who has a walk that conveys optimism, our own energy and interest increases. But when a person approaches us, slouching, with slumped, rounded shoulders and all the zest of a sloth, we feel less energized.

Body language experts say if you don’t feel confident walking into an interview, fake it. 

No matter how worried or nervous you actually are, relax your shoulders, keep them back, swing your arms. And smile.

It’s a little thing. But it’s just that easy to put your best food forward, why not try it?

Here are 4 key findings to help you take the room, according to Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions and Eliot Hope, author of Body Language: Boardroom Basics.

you are on the right way for success  Walk briskly and the world will see you as confident.  

  • Slower walkers give the impression of being less sure of themselves. That said, don’t run a mile ahead of someone you hope to impress. Match their pace.

  Bigger strides suggest power.

  • Whether female or male, more petite job-seekers want to take bigger steps rather than lots of little ones. Let’s just say, regardless of leg length, you don’t see a lot of CEOs scurrying around, taking baby steps.

Focus on your upper body when you walk and you’ll walk taller.

  • When you lift up, you increase your oxygen intake and you come off as more assured.

If you feel nervous, walk it out.

  • Consider getting off the subway or bus early, or parking further away, to give yourself time to walk a little before an important interview.  The experts insist the forward momentum of walking helps decrease stress.
  • Research has found just 12 minutes of walking can result give you a jolt of self-confidence, increase your vitality and mood.

When looking for jobs in the GTA–walking can help you problem-solve

Trying to think of how to respond to that job post, how to be the best you can be in an interview, how to expand your network?  A Stanford study suggests your first move should be to get up from of your chair, and go for a walk.  The research finds walking five to 16 minutes increases creative problem-solving by 60% over sitting. That’s worth a walk around the block.

Gene Hayden, author of The Follow-Through Factor: Getting from Doubt to Done (Random House), is a career coach and writer-in-residence for The Bagg Group.

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