According to Skip Freeman, writer and author of international best selling book “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed…Forever!”…the answer is YES! “Right or wrong, looks do matter in the job market of 2013.”
With 12 million unemployed and over 35 million currently employed people competing for a limited number of jobs (CareerBuilder Employment Survey, Jan 24, 2013) more and more people are turning to medical aesthetics, a branch of medicine that deals with beautification of the body with the help of surgery and/or cosmeceuticals (the combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals), in the hopes that it will give them a competitive edge.
Here is a sample of a Newsweek survey*:
A growing numbers of both men and women are buying into just how important a role appearance (read: “good looks”) can (and does) play in the workplace these days. Even pre-recession, a 2007 survey of 700 people, conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, nearly 8 out of 10 respondents said “appearance” is at least somewhat important when it comes to “getting ahead” in the workplace. And some of them are actually doing (or at least considering doing) something about it.
“(They may say) I’m under a lot of stress, I want to look a little fresher.’ But then, I’ll hear about age discrimination at work.” – Dr. Ellen Mamur, chief of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan.
In a perfect world each of us would be judged solely on the content of our character and not on how we look on the “outside.” But obviously, we certainly don’t live in anything even approaching a perfect world, and looks do indeed matter to most people. That is particularly true—and definitely relevant—in the job market, where looks can (and do) influence not only IF you get the job, but also, how well you are likely to fare throughout a career.
Right or wrong, fair or not, one’s appearance obviously is intricately tied in with one’s professional brand, or at least with one’s perceived professional brand—as well as a strong influencer of ultimate success in the workplace. And, since most of us are never going to be mistaken for one of the “beautiful people” among us, no matter what we do, the best advice would seem to be this: Make sure you look as good as you can when applying for a new job and while you are actually on the job. Whether or not that quest includes medical aesthetics is a call only you can make.
*Survey was conducted in 2010 and included 202 corporate hiring managers, from HR staff levels to senior vice presidents, as well as nearly 1,000 members of the general public.
Skip Freeman is the author of the international bestselling job hunting book “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever! (http://portal.sliderocket.com/BFDSG/Find-Your-Dream-Job) and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The HTW Group (Hire to Win), an Atlanta, GA, Metropolitan Area Executive Search Firm. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.