You might think that beauty is only something you have to worry about in the fashion industry, but studies suggest your appearance can affect your employability.
And this is crazy given that we live in a world that ‘supposedly’ doesn’t judge, but embraces all forms of beauty and even encourages you to be happy with your appearance. This notion that the way you look or dress can influence a job interview, your income or your career progression is too much to think about.
Yet it is very real and something you need to consider when applying for a job.
How Can Your Appearance Affect Your Job Applications?
We may spout about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and that inner beauty is what matters most, but the reality is: we live in world where beauty bias (or the ‘Halo Effect’) continues to impact on recruitment and capital decisions.
Tonnes of research suggests, both psychologically and biologically, employers (as well as everyone else if we’re honest) are hard-wired to be drawn towards those who they consider attractive.
This is because we are led to believe from a young age that beautiful people are better. They are viewed as being more persuasive and better able to attract customers, sell products and secure the co-operation of fellow colleagues. Similarly, they are seen as being more likeable, confident, socially adept and professional.
Add all of this together and what you are left with is a workplace where pretty people: earn more, succeed more (both at interviews and when going for a promotion) and whom are appreciated more for their work, worth and intelligence.
And if we are honest with ourselves, there is a small element of truth to this assumption. For instance, would you genuinely consider buying beauty products from someone with a severe skin condition or acne? Similarly, would you buy pharmaceuticals from someone who is morbidly is obese?
Whilst your heart might say: ‘yes of course I would still buy those types of products from them’; your mind on the other hand may subconsciously be hesitant to do so.
But you are not alone…
Take a look at these worrying stats and facts:
Fact One: attractive workers can earn anywhere from 7-13% more than their less attractive co-workers.
Fact Two: In a 2010 Newsweek study, they revealed that 64% of managers agreed that beauty plays a big part in their hiring decision.
Fact Three: Research suggests CEOs who are deemed ‘more attractive’ are more successful at building trusting and acceptance as leaders, than those who are considered less attractive.
Fact Four: During a 2006 study, when employers were asked about which physical attributes influenced their decisions – 73% were strongly influenced by grooming; 49% were strongly influenced by non-traditional interview attire; 49% were slightly influenced by unusual hairstyle: 46% were slightly influenced by obvious tattoos; 43% were slightly influenced by body piercings, and 45% were slightly influenced by applicant’s handshakes.
Fact Five: Research by Rice University and the University of Houston revealed that applicants with birthmarks, scars and facial disfigurements are more likely to receive a poor interview rating than those without them.
And what do all of these facts prove? That despite everyone’s claims that they treat everyone equally; in the job world employers WILL judge you first on your appearance – making immediate assumptions about your character and qualifications based on how you look – before you even utter a word.
So what can you do? Simple. You can improve your edge…
FACT: You don’t have to look like a superstar or a model to secure a job.
By simply taking the time to ensure that you are well-groomed and well-dressed; you CAN hit the attractive radar used by prospective employers.
Find out more below:
Step One: Take Pride In Your Appearance
Truth? Employers don’t have time to get to know you as a person. They have to trust their gut instinct and what they can see in front of them. This is why it is important to take pride in your appearance to help create the best first impression.
Making sure your clothes, hair and make-up is immaculate will prove that you take care of yourself – a trait that can benefit the workplace e.g. if you take care of yourself, you will take pride in your work and in the caring of others.
Similarly, by making sure you turn up to work looking groomed, clean and tidy, this will feed into how others treat you and how much stock they put in your abilities (regardless of your qualifications).
Step Two: Your Facial Behaviours
It is not just your appearance that catches the attention of interviewers, but your facial behaviours. For instance, glancing to your right whilst recalling facts, sights or sounds is considered a classic sign of a liar, as well as mouth-pursing, unusual blinking patterns and lack of eye contact.
For that reason, try to maintain eye contact throughout your interview so they can see your sincerity.
Step Three: Make-up
According to the University of Stirling, women who wear make-up are considered to be more prestigious by men and more dominant by women. Now this doesn’t mean you have to lather your face in make-up. But ensuring your complexion looks clear and smooth, and that your eyes are framed with thick lashes can all help to make you more noticeable.
There is also the fact that make-up can help to boost your confidence and self-esteem. If you are happy with the way you look, this will translate into your body language, mannerisms and the way you answer questions. You will come across as confident and self-assured which in turn will make you more attractive, memorable and employable.
Luckily, there are tonnes of ways to improve your make-up technique:
- YouTube tutorials – there are easily thousands of make-up tutorials on YouTube that can teach you anything from applying foundation to hiding the bags under your eyes to contouring to how to hide or treat acne.
- Online beauty courses – these are a fantastic way to learn all the beauty treatments/ make-up skills that you love at your local salon, but with the bonus that you’ll be able to do them all from the comfort of your own home. Designed for home-study, you can easily complete these courses alongside your current job/family commitments, and discover all the tricks for improving your skin tone, complexion and appearance. Find out more about online beauty courses here https://associationoflearning.com/product/beauty-therapy-level-2/
- Beauty counters – most beauty counters will do a free
make-over where you get to see their products in action. This is good for
helping you find the right products to suit your skin tone, as well as see how
the beauticians apply them.
Step Four: Clothing
Like your hair and your makeup, the way you dress can affect how you are perceived in the workplace. Even if the dress code is casual, making sure your clothing is clean, ironed and neat, will all imply that you are a professional that cares about your job.
Dress sloppily and you will be seen as lazy and uncaring. Dress well and you will be shown more respect.
Similarly, your clothing can aid with career advancement. Dress for the job you want – not the one you’ve got – and this can influence employer’s decisions about whether or not to give you a promotion. Your clothing choices can clue them into your ambition, working style, how much you care about the job and your desire to move up the ranks. In other words, dress appropriately – and always look put-together – and employers will pay more attention to you and your ideas.
So do you have to let beauty define you?
Only as you much as you want it to. Yes, it can help to improve your career prospects, but at the same time this doesn’t mean you have to be model material to attain your dream job.
Simply read between the lines and learn how to take care of your appearance – your clothing, your make-up, your body language – and you too can hijack the ‘halo effect’ and be just as attractive to employers as anyone else.
To find out more on how to achieve this, visit www.associationoflearning.com for details.