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Attractive people - particularly women - more likely to get a job than the unattractive, says study

Researchers found that 'unattractive' women only had a 7 per cent callback rate, whilst 'attractive' women were called back 54 per cent of the time
  • @James_Legge

Employers discriminate against "unattractive" job applicants - particularly women - according to a study at an Italian university.

The study, from from the University of Messina, was titled: "Searching for a job is a beauty contest".

Researchers sent more than 1100 fake CVs to more than 1500 advertised job openings. Keeping the skills and qualifications the same on them all, changed the names, genders, and pictures of the "applicants."

The source the pictures, they grabbed headshots off the internet and photoshopped them so their real owners couldn't be recognised. Then 100 students at the university judges whether the faces were "attractive" or "unattractive".

What the study found was that attractiveness played a big part in the likelihood of making the second stage of the recruitment process, and a suggestion that attractiveness was playing a much bigger part in women's job prospects than men.

The average callback rate for all of the CVs was 30 per cent. But attractive women were called back 54 per cent of the time, and attractive men 47 per cent.

Most notably, unattractive women only had a 7 per cent callback rate, while unattractive men had a 26 per cent rate.

"Thus," the paper concluded: "searching for a job seems to be just like a beauty contest: it is better for unattractive women to invest on aesthetic surgery than in education."

There's also bad news for foreigners in Italy. The researchers also sent out CVs with foreign names and no photo. They found that foreign women get fewer callbacks than the average, but still more than unattractive women - on 12 per cent - or a foreign man - on 13 per cent.