How Your Image Could Influence Your Income
1 month ago
Being better dressed could earn you more $
More recently, Judith Waters, professor or psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, conducted a survey in which 500 employment agencies and human resource executives were asked to determine a starting salary for eight women based on their identical resumes. The companies ultimately suggested incomes of 8 percent to 20 percent higher for the applicants who sent "after" photos of themselves wearing professionally applied makeup over those who sent "before" photos of themselves showing their own everyday looks.
"It's pretty superficial that these norms exist, but it's a reality for job seekers," McKenzie says.
In fact, after interviewing more than 1,000 male and female college graduates working at large U.S. corporations, the Center for Work-Life Policy found that 50 percent of the women and 37 percent of the men considered appearance to be intrinsically linked to "executive presence" at their firm. Additionally, 53 percent of the women felt aspiring female execs needed to avoid flashy makeup, plunging necklines, short and tight skirts, and long fingernails.
The Harvard Business Review wrote, "They understood that if you don't look the part of a leader, you're not likely to be given the role."
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Additional studies further (and perhaps frustratingly) show that inherent physical factors are also often taken into consideration when it comes to hiring and salary. The Business Insider reports that a majority of bald men—63 percent—feel that their hair loss had negatively affected their career and led to them earning less than guys with full heads of hair. And for every 3 inches taller than average a woman is, she can earn 5 percent to 7 percent more than her colleagues.
If employed by a Wall Street investment bank, "your image must project success and confidence," Cohen says. And if in the field of cosmetics or fashion, you should expect to be a "brand ambassador," but if working in a non-client-facing role, where image may mean little, "too much focus on the external may be seen as inappropriate and unsuitable."
Ultimately, Cohen says you need to know your company's culture.
And keep in mind that in many fields, skills still matter more than looks.
"The fact is that IT pros who wear flips-flops make much more than bank tellers in suits," business journalist Lydia Dishman wrote for PayScale.
What do you think? Can you really "dress for success"? Tell us in the Comments section below!