When career counselors advise job seekers and active professionals to give proper attention to their physical appearance, they usually mean dressing and personal hygiene but evidence is emerging that one’s perceived attractiveness also plays a part in his/her career prospects. A research by Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle in the Journal of Labor Economics suggests that attractive people earn about 5% more in hourly pay than their average-looking colleagues, who in turn earn 9% more per hour than the plainest-looking workers (CareerBuilder).
In another research by Daniel Hamermesh and Amy Parker at the University of Texas in Austin, students consistently gave better-looking professors higher evaluations than less comely teachers. In addition to looks, confidence also makes candidates more appealing. According to researchers Markus Mobius and Tanya Rosenblat, confidence makes up 20% of perceived attractiveness. (CareerBuilder). Everything else equal, we have a tendency to be attracted towards better looking people as well as those who project confidence. Unlike explicit forms of discrimination that can be proven through data analysis, it is difficult to prove implicit discrimination in hiring and job promotions such as on the basis of looks. I had a friend who was a recruiter for an investment bank and he once confided in me that some organizations do less severe background checks of attractive candidates than average looking candidates. This is due to their personal preference for better looking candidates, thus, they avoid actions that may jeopardize the chances of their preferred candidates.