Appearance And Job Hunting. Appearance (Good Looks) Seems To Overpower Experience Nowadays In The Job World. Doyou Think So?


4 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Let's take a look at it another way. A beautiful young woman who has dirty fingernails, bed head, tattoos, wearing army boots, a lip piercing or two and showing a little too much skin is not going to get a job in the more conservative common job world. They may land a job working for an independent record label and such, but this kind of appearance does limit one's options. The point is that shear beauty isn't everything. It is the whole package and how one presents themselves. A person who is so called "older" or "not so good looking" by today's standards still have the power to impress with their poise, education and above all, the presentation of themselves.

I have encountered many people in the job search world who come across like they don't give a darn about their appearance and possess a defiant "Take me as I am or not at all!" attitude.
When a person obviously takes care of their appearance, it says so much about them. An energetic, enthusiastic, fit and healthy 50+ year old with a great attitude and professional appearance is a plus for any employer. We are all going to age, and they could make such great role models that everyone can respect and admire. This is unlike the more common 50+ year old who has little interest or time to do anything beyond merely surviving, TV, the computer, food and socializing with family and friends. There are people who couldn't help but to let themselves go. They appear like they have basically given up and just don't really care anymore about something that they feel that they have little control over. Sad, but employers overlook these often hardworking and honest people for other job candidates who have more to offer. It's an employers market out there right now. They are being choosy because they CAN be choosey.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Great question!
Yes, I think you're right--people tend to first notice and then be heavily influenced by other's appearance. It's very prevalent in both the hiring and promotions process, and there are no (US) federal protections nor laws prohibiting the practice, as it's often really difficult to prove.

But the instances of this occurring, documented or otherwise, are many. In fact, it's become so apparent in some respects that now Michigan bans discrimination based on height and weight. Santa Cruz, Calif., bars discrimination based on height, weight or physical characteristics. Washington, D.C., outlaws employment discrimination based on personal appearance. In San Francisco, it's illegal to discriminate against employees because of their weight and height.

But, for the most part, employees have no protection from appearance-based discrimination unless policies also single out workers based on their race, gender or age. Some employers, such as the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, say it's not discriminatory to require that employees conform to appearance standards.

It's amazing--there was this recent study done-- In a recent analysis, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reviewed various economic studies to find possible links between looks and wages. The study's conclusion: A worker with below-average looks tended to earn significantly less -- on average 9% less -- per hour than an above-average-looking employee. And those with above-average looks tended to earn 5% more than their average-looking colleagues.

Like zuhail mentions, looks can be deceiving, and even though unfair and in most cases, a narrow way to make hiring and promotion decisions, perception still seems to be still everything to some employers. But it wouldn't it be great if our perception could include evaluating talents and intelligence, as well?
thanked the writer.
christine johnston
Great Answer & very interesting. But what confuses me is how would the applicant ever know the reason for not being hired was because of their appearance unless these companies outright tell them so for those discrimination bans to work? it's just not right.
Anonymous commented
Thanks, C. I agree-- it's extremely hard to prove, just like other covert discrimination based on race, creed, religion or color, sexual preference, etc., when it has nothing to do with being able to perform the job. And I agree it is wrong and difficult to address legally. Such discrimination is matter of moral character, and morality is impossible to legislate--which is probably why we have so many dang laws to make up for the lack of moral character in people who are biased in their own views... Thanks for your response to my response. :)
Suhail Ajmal Profile
Suhail Ajmal answered
Appearances are often deceptive. I agree that pleasant personality catches the eye of employer at the first hand. Personality issue also varies from job to job. For example, the job which demands high degree of interaction with the public or executives demands good personality. On the other hand, if you are doing job in a call center then no one knows how does you look like on the telephone.

A good looking female will always attract more than a male to an employer. One another important thing is that the job demand. For example, certain jobs demand an attractive female employee with pleasant voice. Overall, I totally agree with your theory.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Being "good looking" is only part of the equation when it comes to appearance. You need to combine physical appearance, behavior and voice. I've seen beautiful women behave and speak poorly and totally ruin their image. I've also seen people that get judged by their body art and alternative clothing who express themselves intelligently and professionally. Another aspect to looks is the health issue. People who are grossly obese might come across as a liability to an employer. I worked in the same room as a very heavy woman, who broke the chair she sat in and unfortunately fell to the floor. Luckily, she was alright, but the boss was worried about a workers' comp case. Being pretty can sometimes work against a woman who wants to be taken more seriously on the job.

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