- Attractive men, however, more likely to get interview
It's long been suspected that some employers are swayed by a pretty face in a job interview.
But being good-looking might be an impediment to getting to that stage in the first place.
Attractive women who attach a photo to their CV are less likely to get an interview than their plainer rivals or those who do not send in a picture, research reveals today.
'Jealous' women in personnel departments who screen which jobseekers should be invited in are to blame for attractive women not getting interviews, says a new report.
It blames young, single and ‘jealous’ women in personnel departments who screen which jobseekers should be invited in.
But in an example of the ‘double standards’ that the researchers said these staff employed, attractive men who attach a photograph are more likely to get an interview than plain ones.
Staff in personnel departments are overwhelmingly female, typically single and aged 29 on average, the researchers found.
Their report concludes:
- ‘The evidence points to female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace as a primary reason for their penalisation in recruitment.’
- In a warning to pretty job-seeking women, it adds: ‘Attractive females are singled out for punishment.’
A young man waits at a job interview. Attractive men who attach a photograph are more likely to get an interview than plain ones, says research
The research, published by The Royal Economic Society, involved sending more than 5,300 CVs for 2,650 job vacancies. For each job, two applications were sent. One contained a photograph of an attractive man or woman, or a plain-looking man or woman. The other CV was identical, but did not contain a photograph.
Nearly 20 per cent of attractive men got an interview.
Of plain men, 9.2 per cent got an interview, compared with 13.6 per cent of plain women. Men who did not attach a picture were asked for interview 13.7 per cent of the time, compared with 16.6 per cent of women.
Bradley Ruffle, from the Department of Economics at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, which carried out the study along with the Ariel University Centre in the West Bank, said it was an example of ‘beauty discrimination’.
For the best chance of getting an interview, a woman should send in a CV without a picture, he said.
He blamed ‘the high number of women in human resources staffing positions’. It is their job to look through a mountain of CVs and job applications to decide who should be asked for an interview, and who should not.
When they see an application from a pretty woman, researchers said, many of these staff feel extremely ‘jealous’ of their potential colleague and often reject her instantly.
To check this stereotype, researchers telephoned the companies who were recruiting to find out about the people who screened the candidates. They found that 96 per cent were female, the majority were between the ages of 23 and 34 and nearly 70 per cent were single.
The research was conducted in Israel because it is normal to attach a photograph in the corner of a CV there, unlike in Britain. Professor Cary Cooper, from the Lancaster University Management School, said women in human resources may be trying to help the ‘underdog’.
He said: ‘It could be that they unconsciously think that the less attractive woman is the underdog, and want to give her a chance. ‘They may think to themselves: “These attractive women stand a better chance of getting a job elsewhere. I’ll give the less attractive one an interview.”’