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Using Looks to Get a Job

Check, Please! Have Good Looks Ever Landed You a Job?

Finding a job waiting tables in a big city is a daunting gig. It's an unspoken rule that looks are essential —and not just in tough times — and some restaurants will come right out and ask for a picture. Sure, it's wrong and they know it, but what will anyone really do? Complaining won't get you hired!

Yet for all you beautiful people out there — like a friend who deemed waiter experience unnecessary because he was young and good-looking (he was) — this can be an advantage. Two women that the New York Post interviewed proved it to be true. Despite a myriad of ads requiring "New York experience only," they were hired on nothing but looks and, maybe, gall at 22. "I just walked in with no résumé," one said. "My roommate was like, ‘Can we have a job? I think we want to waitress.'"

So whether intentional or not, have your looks ever gotten you in the door?

Join The Conversation
amber512 amber512 6 years
My looks have definitely PREVENTED me from getting jobs. A few years back I weighed 90+ more pounds than I do now and I was trying to get an office job. There were some interviewers who couldn't even pretend that they cared to do an interview with me. I would meet with some skinny, young, pretty receptionist snapping her gum, wearing shorts and flip flops, complaining on her cell phone that she didn't know what she was doing, and I'd realize they weren't going to hire me. I'm actually glad, because I wouldn't want to work for a company that wouldn't want my knowledge and abilities and would only want someone who looks nice.
juicebox07 juicebox07 7 years
I work at a computer all day. My looks didn't get me the job, my typing skills did.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 7 years
I'm sure that they didn't get me a job in the past - I used to be fat. Now that I'm 80 pounds lighter and a size 4, I do regard the world with a great deal of suspicion when people are nice to me, or I am offered an advantage/job/etc... Would I have gotten that before? I don't know... and since there's a good chance that at some point in my life I will be fat again (sad, but true), I'm hesitant to get too used to this - whatever it is. You can find me at Life: Forward ( talking about women, the wage gender gap, and body image.
lilashleyxox lilashleyxox 7 years
when i was like 17-19 i used to shop at abercrombie a lot. Every single time i would walk in the store a manager would approach me and ask if i wanted a job. I'd always be like no and then the best part is the manager would get all angry like she was offering me something so great and i didnt want it.
luna08 luna08 7 years
Oh yes! Even in professional level jobs. It's unfortunate, but sometimes it's the differentiating factor. It's an edge, and I have no problem taking advantage of it!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I've worked in retail at several different stores (Gap, Victoria's Secret, Aeropostale, Delia's, Sephora) and, yes, my looks helped me land all of those jobs (particularly Victoria's Secret). I'm guessing my looks helped me land my current, more career-oriented job, as well. I work in a field now where being outgoing and aggressively promoting oneself is very important, perhaps even more so than working hard (of course working hard and doing quality work is important, but you know what I mean). And, while I'm still learning how to promote myself a little (OK, a lot) more, I honestly feel my looks make people want to help me (in a subconscious way). I certainly don't think I'm model-gorgeous or anything, but I think being good looking (and dressed/styled) in a certain way is bound to help a person, even if people aren't necessarily consciously going out of their way to help you.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I've only ever been hired by women, and I've always worked with a range of people: from 16-50, pretty, not so pretty. Skilled, totally incompetent regardless of appearance.
KateAthens KateAthens 7 years
Well when i was 18 i worked at a company that made promotions like giving free juices, milk, or cigarettes (yes its allowed) at some events. They turned down a girl before me that was kinda fatty but they hired me instantly. But i guess at this kind of (low paid and part time) jobs is natural to take people based on looks.
Janine22 Janine22 7 years
Umm absolutely and I think that anyone who works with the public, particularly in any type of sales, is fooling themselves if they think otherwise. I used to work at Starbuck's, when I was younger, I was hired to help open a new store. The first day I walked in to training and met my coworkers, I was astonished. They all had a a certain look to them, that is good looking, preppy and well groomed, without any visible tatoos, piercings, etc. An attractive, preppy bunch of people. Reminded me of the 'popular' kids in an eighties movie. Then later on I worked for The Gap. All of the girls and guys I worked with were attractive, had nice fashion sense, girls wore makeup, the guys dressed well. Most of the girls were slim, with the exception of me and a couple of other token attractive plus sized girls. Other than that anyone that was slobby or dressed too casually was usually put to work in the stock room. Unfortunately, looks matter in many jobs, that is just the way it is.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 7 years
Yes, I worked for the skincare division of a cosmetics company. I was promoted to a high visibility "brand awareness" position basically on the fact that I had the clearest skin of all the people who had applied.
bryseana bryseana 7 years
Oh yeah, I forgot about Abercrombie & Fitch. They hire part-time models or something?
sham28 sham28 7 years
I "interviewed" for an admin assistant position--5 minutes with the hiring manager, one creepy head-to-toe look and I was asked to come in on Monday. The CEO primarily hires pretty girls in their twenties. I didn't even have a resume on file. But I was never harassed and I was able to work around school to a degree so it wasn't so bad.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 7 years
Oh yes. Anyone who's worked in the service industry has. I won't buy makeup from someone whose makeup is poorly applied - I wouldn't buy an outfit from someone who's shabbily dressed. There are jobs I've had where only pretty girls worked the floor - I've also had jobs where there was a spectacular range of attractiveness in the on the floor employees. The sad fact is, there's no aspect of life where being pretty doesn't get you ahead, at least in the short run.
bryseana bryseana 7 years
How would anyone (other than fashion models) know if they were being hired for their looks? Unless the employer comes out and says "I'm hiring you because you're hot". Which I'm assuming would be unethical or just stupid.
valeriekw valeriekw 7 years
Yes--I work for a photographer, and when I went to the interview, he pretty much told me that he was looking to have eye candy at the office. Not for him, but for clients. He wanted the office full of pretty girls to make his business look good. At the time, I was 19 and I had never experienced that type of situation before, so I just shrugged it off and took the job. I'm now the assistant office manager for all four of his companies and I'm also a graphic designer--I guess he didn't think I would end up being smart, too!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Well, I think good-looks is an advantage in practically every situation.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
Yeah, they landed me my first job at McDonald's as a teen. The owner interviewed me and told me that he thought I had a friendly look. In college, as a Hooter's waitress (hello), they've helped me. Perhaps, they've helped in my teaching as I do receive compliments from parents, students, and co-workers, albeit unwanted ones.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 7 years
I've never had a job where looks were that important but I'm sure being young and cute (at the time) never hurt.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
I've never had a job where looks were really important, either, but it doesn't have to be a job requirement for a hiring manager to be influenced by the way you look. Some time after I had formed a friendship with my boss at a previous job (a video game store) and he was long out of the position, he basically told me he hired me on the spot because he thought I was hot - my knowledge of games was just a plus (for the job and my level of attractiveness). Yes, it sounds sleazy but within the context of our friendship it wasn't really inappropriate and he never stepped over any boundaries while he was my boss. Besides, he was most likely just voicing what I'm sure is a thought process for more hiring managers than we realize!
mix-tape mix-tape 7 years
I've never had a job where looks were important.
robinlh912 robinlh912 7 years
I don't think looks have helped (or hurt) my job opportunities, but after working at a large retail business for quite a while, I think people chose which check out lane they go to based on the appearance of the person working at the lane.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 7 years
Well, that sort of thing happened to me, but I'm not sure if it was looks or just connections. I was 16, and my friend just brought me to her workplace (restaurant) and asked her boss if he needed help, and I got hired on the spot with no resume. It was a Chinese restaurant and I was the only white (Russian) girl in the place. It was quite fun though. I don't know though, if I was ugly, would he not have hired me? No way for me to tell.
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