Today's question for J.T. & Dale Talk Jobs (a top spot for career advice):
Dear J.T. & Dale: I have been actively searching for a job for five months now, and can't figure out why I get interviews but no offers. I have even contemplated the idea that I can't get hired because I happen to be a very attractive, younger-looking 32-year-old. Am I crazy for even thinking that? — Jade
It's probably not a question that dogs most of us.
Studies show that good-looking people are more likely to be hired and tend to get better pay, J. T. notes: "So, I'd have to guess that something about your body language or communication style is making people shy away from hiring you."
Dale wisely points out the importance of appropriate interview dress: "You aren't dressing to look your best; you're dressing to make potential coworkers comfortable around you."
When I interviewed Gordon Patzer, author of Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined, for a story on cosmetic surgery being deployed to get ahead in the workplace, Patzer mentioned that he sometimes hears from women who claim their very good looks have backfired professionally.
One possible explanation for this: Very attractive people, accustomed to the advantages bestowed by their physical appearance, tend to expect doors to open.
Patzer—much like Dale—agrees that looks, attitude, and clothes should be appropriate to the industry an individual is working, or looking to work, in. Looks also shouldn't be exploited in an effort to get ahead.