Hired At First Sight: The Statistics of Looking Good

If only the way we look had no effect on the jobs we land and the amount of money we make. Unfortunately, career utopia doesn’t exist and regardless of policies set up by companies, human resource departments and governments, workplace discrimination does exist.

I love reading career stats that change expectations and blur perspectives. I came across these three studies and decided to share with the Yellow Brick Road community

Do Good Looks Equal Bad Job Interviews?

We’ve all heard that pretty people make more money, get more promotions and get better jobs. According to this study, attractive same-sex peers are less likely to land the job or scholarship. I feel a girl fight coming on.

The study completed by Maria Agthe of the University of Munich called, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful,” found that women are likely to discriminate against attractive same-sex candidates. Men were not likely to be swayed by an attractive male candidate.

Having said that, there’s always room for dressing well for an interview whether you’re male or female. The following video gives a ton of advice on how to dress for an interview without being too flashy or dumpy:

More Money Does Not Always Mean More Happiness

I love job satisfaction studies like this one. This study was published at Princeton University in August 2010.

The study found that beyond an annual income of $75,000, there was no further progress of emotional well-being (which measures the quality of everyday life experiences).

The study also measured the effect of life evaluation, which refers to the thoughts people have when they think about their life, based on annual income. Unlike emotional well-being which didn’t increase beyond a $75,000 annual income, life evaluation continues to rise steadily with income.

Putting The Two Together: Do Attractive People Make More Money?

Probably. Men who are at least 6 feet tall make about $5,525 more than men who are “5’5, according to a Harvard University study.

A study titled, “Beauty in the Labor Market,” conducted by Daniel Hamermesh at Yale University found that people with ‘above average’ looks made 5% or more. People with ‘below average’ looks made up to 9% less. In the men vs. women debate, attractive men made up to 9% more than unattractive men, while attractive women made 4% more than unattractive women.  Perhaps this is because women are less likely to hire attractive women, while men aren’t as influenced by appearance, as we learned in the first study I mentioned.

One more interesting stat: the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery said that two-thirds of their members used plastic surgery because they wanted to remain competitive in the workplace.

Will You Be Hired At First Sight?

If I haven’t made you nervous enough about your next interview or what your co-workers think about you, here’s the icing on the cupcake.

Reality is that interviewers and co-workers are going to make an assesment of our character, appearance and personality within the first 60, 30, maybe even one-tenth of a second!

Princeton psychologists found that is takes only one-tenth of a second to form a first impression of a stranger. The psychologists also found that first impressions aren’t easily adjusted in longer exposures.

What’s a recent grad to do? Be yourself, always brush your teeth and remember that first impressions go both ways.

Have you ever experienced gender, apprearance or height discrimination in the workplace? Please share!

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