It’s a competitive job market and candidates want to have every edge that they can. Apart from a strong resume and experience, there are soft skills that employers looks for that most people may not be aware of. “There have even been studies that indicate lasting impressions are made within the first three seconds of seeing someone,” said Dr. Michelle Callahan, a TV host, relationship expert, coach, and developmental psychologist. “Many adults are concerned about how their smile might affect their chances for employment or advancement in a competitive job market.

A great smile is the best accessory anyone can wear. In fact, a recent study by Invisalign found that people really value straight teeth — and it affects their opinion of others. In the study, 1,047 respondents were shown images of people with varying tooth issues and asked to give their honest opinion about them, unaware that they were comparing people with straight teeth to crooked teeth. Results indicated that Americans perceive people with straight teeth to have more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth, including attributes such as being happy, surrounded by loved ones, and professionally successful.

Among the many findings, they found that straight teeth had the following impact on hiring managers:

  1. Making a Lasting impression: Nearly one-third (29%) of Americans say the first aspect of someone’s face they typically notice is his or her teeth, and 24% say this is also the facial aspect that they remember the most after meeting someone.
  2. Straight Teeth = Success: When looking at images, Americans perceive those with straight teeth to be 45% more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a job when competing with someone who has a similar skill set and experience. They are also seen as 58% more likely to be successful, as well as 58% more likely to be wealthy.
  3. Straight Teeth = Good Personality: People connect more positive descriptions with men and women who have straight teeth than those who have crooked teeth. Those with straight teeth are 21% more likely to be seen as happy, 47% more likely to be viewed as being healthy and 38% more likely to be perceived as smart.

”Many people tend to focus on fixing the things about themselves they think will have the biggest impact, often overlooking one of the most impressionable physical attributes like their teeth,” said Timothy A. Mack, senior vice president of business development for Align Technology, maker of Invisalign. “We live in a society where looking good heavily impacts how we are perceived. You can say you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but people do it every day.”

So use your great smile to crack the door of opportunity open…then kick it in with your personality!

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