Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Are good-looking people more employable? Findings vary depending on whether it's a male or female applicant and who's doing the screening

Date:
December 1, 2010
Source:
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Summary:
In a new study by researchers in Israel, the resumes of "attractive" males received a 19.9 percent response rate, nearly 50 percent higher than the 13.7 percent response rate for "plain" males and more than twice the 9.2 percent response rate of no-picture males. Among women, the study indicates that, contrary to popular belief, "attractive" women are called back for a position LESS often than "plain women" (unattractive), as well as women who had no picture on their resume.

"Good looks" are only sometimes a positive factor in consideration for a job, according to new research from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). In the new working paper, "Are Good-Looking People More Employable?" two economics researchers from BGU prove that a double standard exists between good looks as a positive factor in men and women.

Related Articles


The research involved sending 5,312 CVs (resumes) in pairs to 2,656 advertised job openings in Israel. In each pair, one CV was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical CV, contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/female. The dependent measure was whether the employer e-mails or calls back the candidate for an interview. Overall, the response rate was 14.5 percent.

"Unlike Anglo-Saxon countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K, it isn't taboo in Israel to embed a headshot of oneself in the top corner of one's job resume," explains BGU economics researcher and lecturer Dr. Bradley Ruffle. "Rather, the choice to include a photograph on one's job resume is left to the candidate with the result that some do, while others don't. This fact makes Israel an opportune location to explore the effect of a picture and its attractiveness, or lack thereof, on the likelihood of being invited for a job interview.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to explore beauty discrimination in the hiring process of an actual labor market, rather than a laboratory market or hypothetical decision scenario," Ruffle continues.

The resumes of "attractive" males received a 19.9 percent response rate, nearly 50 percent higher than the13.7 percent response rate for "plain" males and more than twice the 9.2 percent response rate of no-picture males.

"It follows that an attractive male needs to send on average five CVs in order to obtain one response, whereas a plain-looking male needs to send 11 for a single response," explains Ze'ev Shtudiner, co-researcher and Ph.D. candidate. However, among women, the BGU study indicates that, contrary to popular belief, "attractive" women are called back for a position LESS often than "plain women" (unattractive), as well as women who had no picture on their resume.

"Among female candidates, no-picture females have the highest response rate, 22 percent higher than plain females and 30 percent higher than attractive females. Our findings on penalization of attractive women contradict current psychology and organizational behavior literature on beauty that associate attractiveness, male and female alike, with almost every conceivable positive trait and disposition," explain the authors.

As a result, attractive and plain women alike are better off omitting their photograph from a resume since it decreases their chances of a callback by 20 to 30 percent.

The number of attractive women that were subjected to discrimination varied on who was hiring them, the research shows. When employment agencies received resumes for positions, attractive female candidates were no worse off than plain candidates and penalized only modestly compared to no-picture females.

However, when the corporation at which the candidate might work recruited directly, attractive females received a response rate of about half that of plain and no-picture women. This is likely due to the high number of women in human resources staffing positions, the researchers conclude.

To verify this stereotype, the researchers conducted a post-experiment survey in which they spoke with the person at the company who screens candidates. That person was female in 24 of the 25 (96 percent) of the companies they interviewed. Moreover, these woman were young (ranging in age from 23 to 34 with an average age of 29) and typically single (67 percent) -- qualities more likely to be associated with a jealous response when confronted with a young, attractive competitor in the workplace.

"Indeed, the evidence points to female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace as a primary reason for their penalization in recruitment," Ruffle states.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Are good-looking people more employable? Findings vary depending on whether it's a male or female applicant and who's doing the screening." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130100520.htm>.
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (2010, December 1). Are good-looking people more employable? Findings vary depending on whether it's a male or female applicant and who's doing the screening. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130100520.htm
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Are good-looking people more employable? Findings vary depending on whether it's a male or female applicant and who's doing the screening." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130100520.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins