Is There a Link Between Career Success and Physical Appearance?

Unfortunately, the harsh reality of this world is that the amount of money someone is paid, and in some instances, whether or not they get hired in the first place, is somewhat based on trivialities like physical appearance.

When a job candidate walks into an interview, the hiring manager, whether consciously or not, is silently judging that person based on appearances alone. Everything from height and weight to the look of the interviewee’s smile is being processed by the interviewer and can impact whether or not they get the job.

Though a prospective hire can’t necessarily change his or her physical appearance (without major surgery — which is not recommended), there are ways to enhance certain aspects of appearance and improve the chances of getting hired.

According to Let’s Reach Success, an individual’s dental care can have a direct impact on whether or not they get hired. Roughly 32% of people admit that they are “concerned by the look of their teeth,” and if those people go into job interviews, whether they have dental hygiene issues or not, they won’t have as good a chance of getting hired as their smiling counterparts. Not only does having poor teeth lead to anxiety issues, it also results in a lack of self-confidence.

The British Medical Journal recently published a study that showed height and weight also play a significant role in career success.

The study involved 120,000 British workers of all shapes and sizes. The research found that shorter men were seen as less successful than their taller counterparts and women with higher body mass indexes (BMI) lost out financially and professionally.

Although maintaining a healthier lifestyle will result in more manageable BMIs, many people are heavyset simply because of genetics. Height is also a genetic factor that shouldn’t impact financial success, though that isn’t always the case. Timothy A. Judge, a psychologist from the University of Florida, and Daniel M. Cable, a researcher from the University of North Carolina, found that every inch of height amounts to a salary increase of around $789 per year.

“It shouldn’t matter, but it does,” says Judy Jernudd, a leadership coach in L.A, referring to the fact that shallow trivialities are still present in job searches and promotion opportunities.

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