Good looking job application?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 - Blog

Good looking job application?

Manish, an experienced international charity development manager, asks: Can the good looks of a candidate or job applicant influence the decision of a recruiter or employer?

In answer:
Yes – if you are applying for an acting job, or something where looks are on the agenda.

But for most, if you don’t have the skills for the job in the first place, then your good looks will still only end up gracing the pages of a catalogue over being a business professional.

Job Application

The first question in any job application sift will always be: does the applicant have the required skills, and have they communicated them in their Professional CV? After that, as it is the second stage of vetting/sifting job applicants, a good and pleasant telephone interview technique is more critical in getting to the job interview stage and hence the job; than looking aesthetically pleasant on the eye.

Once you reach interview, you need to look clean, presentable and professional: amazing how many fail that test. The fact you look physically nice on the eye will then help, but if you don’t perform at interview then even if you could be the next Brad Pitt or Angelina, you won’t get the job.

Employment law

I have never put forward a candidate because of their looks, but I have rejected candidates on their presentation. The most common problem we experience is, that around once a month we get a candidate who presents as a sales or customer facing person with severe halitosis.

One closing point: there is so much equality regulation going around these days – rightly; that the increase in law suits suing potential employers for discrimination in rejection, must result in less discrimination against what could be perceived as “ugly” people. As a recruiter, if I can’t explain my reasons for choosing one candidate over another in terms of skills, qualifications, experiences and corporate match, then I am leaving myself open for a law case. If ever it came out that an employer choose one job applicant over another because of looks, where that wasn’t a criteria on the job description, then they are leaving themselves open for one hell of a lawyers pay day.

Good Luck!


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