After weeks of CV submissions, stress and phone interviews, you’ve been shortlisted for your dream job. There are only two candidates left in line and you have similar CVs, qualifications and job experience.
All that’s left is an in-person interview, which your competitor has just completed. As he exits, you notice that he could be George Clooney’s twin. Instant panic. Because, as your family likes to say, “You’re, like, a guy version of Camilla Parker-Bowles.”
Seeing swans in stats
The numbers prove that there’s definitely pro-attractive bias in employment:
• Attractive people earn about 4% more than uglier ducklings. • Taller-than-average men earn 6% more than normal-sized men. • Shorter-than-average men earn 4% less than those with average height. • Obese women can experience a 5% drop in their yearly earnings. • General unattractiveness causes wage earnings to drop between 7% and 9%.
The prettiness perspective
So why the blobfish bias? Attractive men and women are seen through rosier coloured glasses that their non-attractive peers. The perception is that good-looking people are also kind, talented, honest and intelligent. It’s called the ‘halo effect’ – overall judgements about an individual inform our perception of their specific traits.
Groom to bloom
According to hiring managers, it’s not the actual physical attributes of a person that cause bias towards them – it’s the appearance of confidence. Attractiveness is less about your looks and more about how you present yourself.
For lookers, this isn’t a problem: if they’re aware of their attractiveness, they’ll be confident. For not-so-good-lookers it just takes a bit more work.
• Good grooming goes a long way. Spit and polish, people. • Self-deprecation is a turn off. Fake it until you feel it. • Stand up straight, soldier! Good posture indicates confidence. • It’s all in the face: Pleasant facial expressions go a long way.
It’s not the prettiest truth – especially if you don’t fall into the Brad Pitt/Scarlett Johanssen category. Which is why a profile on envisionme.co.za is so important: it gives you the opportunity to show off all of your positive attributes.