Being pretty might cost you a job

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  • Attaching a pretty picture to your CV might get you a dream job if your employer is male, but not if your prospective boss is female

    It’s long been suspected that a pretty face may sway potential employers, but new research shows that if you’re due to be interviewed by a woman, it may pay to be less attractive.

    The study found that CV’s containing attractive pictures received just 25 per cent of the responses of one without a picture. Researchers blame female jealousy for the disparity, claiming attractive women who attach a photo to their application are less likely to get an interview.

    Professor Cary Cooper, from Lancaster University Management School, suggested women may be trying to help the underdog. ‘They may think to themselves: ‘These attractive women stand a better chance of getting a job elsewhere so I’ll give the less attractive one an interview.’

    But there seems to be an element of double-standards here as the researchers found that attractive men who attach a photograph to their application were more likely to get an interview.

    Published by The Royal Economic Society, the research involved the distribution of 5,300 CVs for 2,650 job vacancies. Nearly 20 per cent of attractive men got an interview, but only 12.8 per cent of good-looking women fared as well.

    ‘These findings on penalisation of attractive women contradict current psychology and organisational behaviour research on beauty, which associates attractiveness with almost every conceivable positive trait and disposition,’ say the researchers.

    In contrast, Carmen Watson, managing director of recruitment at Pertemps Recruitment Partnership, says she’s not even aware of people putting their pictures on their CVs.

    ‘At the end of the day, we are looking for the right people for the right job, and the right job for the right people, irrespective of gender,’ she says.

    Have you experienced discrimination because of your looks? Do you think a photograph adds personality to a CV or is it an unnecessary addition? Let us know your thoughts by posting a comment below.


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