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Does Your Salary Depend on Your Looks?

Success in the workplace depends on a lot of factors such as competence, academic credentials, and work ethic. However, how much of your success may depend on your appearance? Well, recent studies have shown that how people look may impact how much money you make. In fact, many say physical appearance matters even more to employers than a cover letter. When you are interviewing for a job, you are being judged by more than just a resume. Some researchers have found that appearance factors such as facial structure, hair color, and weight all have a direct bearing on how much you may earn or whether you get the job at all.



Prominent sociologists have shown that women specifically were negatively impacted by fluctuations in weight. These studies have shown that a 1% increase in body mass resulted in more than half a percent decrease in income. Along racial lines, White women lost more income than African-American women when weight was a deciding salary factor. Interestingly, income among males was not substantially affected by weight change.


Even small discrepancies could be costing you money. Symmetry is widely regarded as the highest indicator of perceived beauty and studies have shown that attractive applicants earn a considerable amount more money than everyone else.


Many researchers that have studied the effects of appearance on earning potential have found that the more attractive, the more other people trust them; and, trustworthiness leads to higher salaries as well as faster upward mobility. One of the findings also showed that subjects who were smiling were perceived as more trustworthy than applicants who did not.

In final analysis, researchers have illustrated that people with better than average appearances earn five to ten percent more than their less attractive counterparts. In this tough economy there is a lot to be said for taking care of your body and leading a healthy lifestyle. Investments in your appearance, while not guaranteed, can make your presentation to your future employer a very profitable experience.



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