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Samantha Greenfield

Body Language

Remember the cliché, "It's not what you say, but how you say it"?

This may come as a surprise to you (I found it eye-opening) ... some scientists state that 55 percent of our communication is interpreted through our body language, sometimes referred to as "non verbal" communication!

Body language includes our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture and even the tone of our voice. I call this to your attention because we communicate with much more than words and we need to be aware of what our non-verbal communication is expressing in a job interview situation.

There are sometimes subtle - and sometimes not-so-subtle - movements, gestures, facial expressions and even shifts in our whole bodies that can be indicators as to what we are really thinking or feeling. The way we talk, walk, sit and stand all say something about us, and whatever is happening on the inside can be reflected on the outside.

Some examples of a confident person's body languages may include:

  • Posture - standing tall with shoulders back.
  • Eye contact - solid with a "smiling" face.
  • Gestures with hands and arms - purposeful and deliberate.
  • Speech - slow and clear.
  • Tone of voice - moderate to low.

Some examples of an insecure individual may be portrayed as:

  • Hand/arm gestures are small and close to his or her body.
  • Facial expressions are minimal.
  • Body is physically turned away from you.
  • Arms are crossed in front of body.
  • Eyes maintain little contact, or are downcast

It is not only important to be aware of your own body language - it is also crucial to pay attention to your listener's body language. You probably will be able to determine if the interviewer is actively listening and understanding what you are telling them, or if he or she is bored and disinterested.

By paying close attention to non-verbal communications, you can change what you say or how you say it to help the other person understand and be more receptive to what you are saying.

Body language is important. If you are in tune to both your verbal and nonverbal communication, you will be able to portray a confident, intelligent and qualified candidate for the job!

Workshop schedule for June 14-18, 2010:

  • Tuesday June 15 @ 8:30 a.m. - Job Networking Club

  • Tuesday June 15 @ 9:30 a.m. - Mastering the Electronic Job Search

  • Thursday June 17 @ 1:30 p.m. - Marketing Yourself in a Highly Competitive Job Market

I hope you will be able to stop in and pick up on some of the latest job searching tips and techniques.

Kind regards -

540-722-3415 or Samantha.Greenfield@vec.virginia.gov


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