Your Visual Resume: Your Hair Color–And Other Beauty Factors–Can Affect Your Paycheck

April 8, 2013  |  

Race aside, we all know our looks can affect how much you we are paid. Numerous studies have been done on the subject. And we aren’t just talking about clothes. “Unfortunately, multiple studies show that the amount someone is paid — and in some cases whether or not they get the job — is based, at least in part, on how they look,” reports the Huffington Post.

Your hair color can actually affect your paycheck. They say blonds have more fun well they also have more money. According to a 2010 study from the Queensland University of Technology that surveyed 13,000 Caucasian women, blondes earn more than seven percent more than female employees with any other hair color. “The study said the pay bump is equivalent to the boost an employee would generally see from one entire year of additional education,” reports the HuffPo.

If you’re overweight, especially if you are obese, you will be paid less than normal-weight coworkers at a rate of $8,666 a year for obese women, and $4,772 a year for obese men. This is according to a George Washington University study.

Even your makeup can play a factor. “Not only do people judge beauty based on how much make-up a woman is wearing, make-up adorned women also rank higher in competence and trustworthiness,” writes HuffPo. The data is from a study funded by Procter & Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

So you have to be blond, thin, and wear makeup—but not be too good-looking. If you are too pretty, it can actually be bad for your job prospects… if you are a woman. But for men, it is the opposite. The more attractive the man the higher the salary, found a 2010 study that appeared in the Journal of Social Psychology. However, women rated as very attractive are faced with discrimination when applying to “masculine” jobs.

And let’s not forget clothes. It is always important to dress the part. And says style expert Daisy Lewellyn, you should actually dress for the job or promotion you want. “Dress for the higher position. It gives the impression you are ready for bigger opportunities,” says Lewellyn, author of Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart Spend Less Look Your Best Ever. And she says women, especially busy working moms, have a tendency to forget the importance of clothes.

“Women sometimes take care of everyone else’s needs but when it comes to themselves they throw on the I’m-too-busy-to-think-about-my-style outfit,” she says. “It doesn’t take that much extra time to pull out a great looking outfit or that go-to professional dress.”

She suggests going through your closets and getting rid of all the clothes that don’t fit. This will make it easier—and faster—to pull out a good-looking, well-fitting outfit in the morning.

And don’t stop at the clothes take time to do your makeup and hair. “Don’t just have the power suit. Go get yourself the power haircut to compete the look,” she says. “Like it or not we are in an image conscious society and when it comes to your career any image boost helps.”

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