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I'm attractive and I know it: Do good looks mean a good job?

Updated on April 1, 2012

Most people could nod their heads and agree with me- that the more attractive someone is considered the more successful they would be at work. Everyone wants to be around more attractive people than not-naturally. Who would you want to sit next to in class? Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder however, so defining standards on good looking is a little blurry.

A wealth of research has shown that indeed the physically attractive enjoy advantages over the less attractive in matters of personnel selection and performance assessment (Nykodym & Simonetti 1987). These advantages were seen mostly in blue collar or service positions. Some women may find this to be a disadvantage when trying to get hired for male sex typed positions. Also, every culture has a different understanding of what is considered to be attractive. For the most part, symmetrical bodies are considered to be attractive or good looking universally across all cultures. With that in mind, take a look at a small experiment I recently conducted and let's see where our opinion stands.


Good looks and Good tips - My Experiment

I wanted to find out if the attractiveness had any influence on the amount of tips a server gets at a local 24 hour restaurant. I wanted to get a look into the effects of attractiveness inside an organization, rather than the effects on consumers themselves.An "attractiveness battery" was created to properly asses an attractiveness level in order to compare it to their weekly total tips. The higher the employee scores on the attractiveness battery, the higher their weekly total would be- This is my guess!

There were 15 diverse employees in my study- men and women, ages from 19 to 50, and many different cultural and racial backgrounds.

Attractiveness Battery Example

Attractive Components
Level Of Attractiveness
Body Structure
Facial structure

The process

All of the employees were interviewed to find out what they thought. Did they think they made enough money per hour? How about weekly? They were also asked questions about customers and tasks. An attractiveness battery based on five components of what was considered to be attractive(body structure,facial structure,hair,height, and personality) was developed and administered during the interview. Each component was on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest) for a total of 25 points possible.

So does that REALLY mean- Killer looks equals Killer pay?

Nope. Not at all. In my small study in the service industry, good looks did not attribute to making more tips, or being more successful.

An examination of the level of attractiveness and tips per week revealed a very weak and questionable correlation between attractiveness and tip earnings per week. An analysis using a Pearson's correlation coefficient supported this observation, r(15) = .012,p < .05.

Based on my results, I was clearly wrong- at least in the case of the blue collar waiter. The higher the employee was rated on the assessment had little effect with what they reported in weekly. In some cases the less attractive that the employees were rated, the more they actually made. There were many issues with this some what warped way of thinking.Rating scales, such as this one are always a controversial middle case. The numbers in rating scales have meaning, but that meaning isn't very precise.Rater bias, what one person considers attractive may not be what another person considers attractive. Participants also were not randomly selected, they were selected from the place I work. Many things such as Experience, customer service or down-right being good at your job also play an important factor at how many tips were made.

Today Show: Will good looks help you land a job?

Attractiveness and Success at Work

Would you likely Hire someone based upon looks?

See results

What do YOU think? Do good looks or attractiveness ultimately lead to better paying jobs and more rewards? Share your opinion in the comment section below.


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    • Paradice profile image

      Paradice 2 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      VERY good point Kin!

    • profile image

      Kin 4 years ago

      Well it's still hard because most jobs you look for online, now back when it was paper I had no problem finding a job. And when I was a waitress I made more money because of my looks and big breast.

    • Mamelody profile image

      Mamelody 5 years ago

      Oh yes, every client presents a criteria of what sort of person they are looking for. Physically mentally, and even your credit score is taken into account. Haven't you noticed that most bank personnel are usually good looking people? Most of them go through series of make-overs as requested by clients because they believe that attractive people bring in more customers and customers are less likely to blow off at an attractive person than a non attractive person.

      Same with airlines. You hardly ever meet an ugly steward/stewardess. So yes certain jobs require you to be good looking.

    • Paradice profile image

      Paradice 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      I find this very interesting, especially since you have prior experience in this subject. I could imagine this to be very true for the financial sector, as you say. In your job as a recruitment manager, I am very curious to know how you evaluated potential candidates when your clients requested attractive candidates? Where you given specifics to look for? I am sure there are times when someone's look alone have gotten them a Job when the candidate next to them maybe be better qualified. Thank you very much for commenting!

    • Paradice profile image

      Paradice 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      I think that makes very good sense! Having good looks benefit you in a job search, or your potential earnings is very situational though. While attractive men/women did not seem to make more tips during my research, it was just one instance. If I took my research over to... say Hooter's I'm sure I would get a total different outcome! lol. As far as waitress jobs and tips go, I think the quality of customer service will far out way beauty in almost any situation. (besides Hooter's maybe lol)Thanks for commenting!

    • Mamelody profile image

      Mamelody 5 years ago

      Unfortunately the world today operates on your looks and your possessions and not what you have to offer. It is true in some sectors especially in financial sectors, the less attractive people would be lucky to even score an interview. As a former recruitment manager, one of my tasks was to assert the quality of the candidate. Some clients specifically wanted attractive candidates and had no interest in the less attractive candidates even if they had better job qualities.

      So to answer your question.. yes you are more likely to get a job if you are physically appealing. Sad as it is but true.

    • LucidDreams profile image

      LucidDreams 5 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida

      I could see how those in blue collar types jobs, especially women could benefit from great looks. Although I am not sure these women would enjoy what they may ned to endure and that is unfortunate. As for servers, beauty or not, the qualit servers understand that a personal touch can go a long way to receiving a higher tip. That only make good sense right?