How Much Is Beauty Worth at Work?
|July 19, 2010||Posted by admin under DECLARE - Network/Interview|
How Much Is Beauty Worth at Work? by Jessica Bennett
NEWSWEEK surveyed hiring managers and job seekers about the role of beauty in the workplace. The bottom line? It pays to be good-looking.
We’ve all heard the stories about how pretty people have it easy: babies smile more around good-looking parents; handsome kids get better grades and jobs, and earn more money; the list goes on. Still, we’d probably all like to think that we’ve earned our jobs on merit alone—and that, in this economy, it’s our skill that will get us back in the game. But if you believe the results of two new NEWSWEEK Polls, you’d better think again—because in the current job market, paying attention to your looks isn’t just about vanity, it’s about economic survival. Job candidates have always been counseled to dress up for interviews. But our surveys suggest managers are looking beyond wardrobe and evaluating how “physically attractive” applicants are.
1. Just Admit It: Looks Do Matter at Work
2. Looks Matter More Than Education, Apparently
Asked to rate nine character attributes from one to 10 (with 10 being the most important), looks came in third (with a mean score of 7.1), below experience (8.9) and confidence (8.5), but above where a candidate went to school (6.8) and a sense of humor (6.7). Does that mean candidates should throw away their college funds on a nose job? Probably not. But it does show that not all recruiters are looking for an Ivy League diploma.
3. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. (We Suppose That Could Be Taken Literally.) Fifty-nine percent of hiring managers advised spending as much time and money “making sure they look attractive” as on perfecting a résumé. Botox, anyone?
4. Yes, We Knew This: It’s Worse for Women
5. We Hate Fat People—Even Though Most of Us Are Fat
Almost 75 percent of Americans may be overweight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, yet the fact remains that we discriminate against fat people at work and in life. Two thirds of business managers said they believe some managers would hesitate before hiring a qualified job candidate who was significantly overweight.
6. We Also Dislike Old People
Eighty-four percent of managers said they believe some bosses would hesitate before hiring a qualified job candidate who looked much older than his or her co-workers.
7. And Apparently We Think ‘Lookism’ Is OK. (In Certain Situations.)
8. Don’t Throw Yourself Off the Balcony Yet—Confidence Is Important, Too!
Confidence—and experience, of course—can still go a long way when it comes to succeeding at work. Remember, both ranked first and second on a list of the most important employee attributes. Beauty bias notwithstanding, there are still opportunities for people who aren’t hotties—and lots of them.