HR Strange But True!
March 03, 2009

While other industries roll out reports of lost wages and jobs, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons says business is looking up as jobseekers hope a younger face will lead to employment.

According to an ASPS press release, 10 percent of working-age women currently in the American workforce would consider having a cosmetic procedure if they thought it would give them confidence during a job hunt, since 80 percent of respondents feel having a procedure would make one feel more self-assured.

“An astounding 3 percent,” according the press release, have already had a procedure “to increase their perceived value in the workplace.” A Baby Boomer is quoted in the release as saying her chemical peel restored the “youthful sparkle” to her appearance, giving her a competitive edge.

An article in New Scientist may back this up. The article says that the idea that one can tell a person's character through his or her appearance, a term called “physiognomy,” goes back to the 18 th century. While we, in the 21 st century, consider this pseudoscience, many still believe in the influence of “first impressions,” especially during job interviews. The article cites as examples a high representation of people with “compassionate expressions” in the healthcare professions, while soldiers, CEOs, and politicians most often have stronger expressions.

A study at the University of Michigan, cited in the article, tested respondents reactions to people based solely on appearance and actually did find a correlation between looks and personality traits, but only for extroversion and conscientiousness. And a study of hockey players at Brock University in Canada actually found a significant connection between the proportion of a person's face from cheekbone to cheekbone and brow to upper lip and how many penalty minutes a player has racked up for slashing, elbowing, and checking from behind.

So, should everyone call up for a nip/tuck appointment? Well, not so fast says ASPS president John Canady, MD, who cautions that jobseekers must, of course, remember that cosmetic procedures are indeed medical procedures that must be approached with caution.

Sources: ASPS and New Scientist

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