Have you ever wondered whether your looks affect your ability to get hired?
Newsweek published a special report called “The Beauty Advantage” to investigate the beauty premium-the idea that good-looking people tend to do better in almost everything (including earning more and getting extra attention from bosses and mentors).
Over 200 corporate hiring managers (from human resources staff to corporate VPs) were surveyed and confirmed that “looking good is no longer something we can dismiss as frivolous or vain.” Fifty-seven percent of hiring managers admitted that qualified but unattractive candidates are likely to have a more difficult time getting hired, while more than half advised spending as much time and money on “making sure they look attractive” as on perfecting a résumé (ouch).
For women, the statistics are even hirer with 61 percent of managers agreeing that “it would be an advantage for a woman to wear clothing showing off her figure at work.” It’s not a “pretty” picture as you age either with 84% of managers indicating that “a qualified but visibly older candidate would make some employers hesitate.”
The report suggests various reasons why beauty is now considered such an important asset including a weak economy with intense competition for jobs and a culture obsessed with an out of reach beauty ideal. Forty years ago feminists complained that women were “enslaved by ludicrous beauty standards.” Today’s working women feel they don’t have to downplay their sexuality at home or at work.
What do you do if you’re qualified but average-looking? Maybe, it’s time to join the growing world of entrepreneurship where women excel and you make your own rules.