How does physical attractiveness impact your career prospects?

There is a large body of research that examines how physical attractiveness influences one’s interaction with other people in various social settings, from the classroom to the workplace. Interestingly, a couple of articles have appeared recently that examine in this issue in slightly different ways and thus have findings that might be unexpected.

Newsweek reports:

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.

And yet, Science Daily reports:

In a study released in the May/June Journal of Social Psychology, Stefanie Johnson, assistant professor of management at UC Denver Business School, found that beauty has an ugly side, at least for women.

Attractive women were discriminated against when applying for jobs considered “masculine” and for which appearance was not seen as important to the job. Such positions included job titles like manager of research and development, director of finance, mechanical engineer and construction supervisor.


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