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Study finds attractive people are more likely to get hired. The less attractive can do a ‘power pose’ to even the playing field

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Aug 23, 2021 9:29 pm

Studies over the years have suggested that good looking beings—whose positive stereotypes work mostly in their favor—are also more likely to get promoted and elected in public office, thanks to the “beauty premium.” 

While it is true that the champion combo for a successful job hunt (or success in general) includes hard work, determination, talent, knowing the right people, and a bit of luck, it is undeniable that this success is also partly skin deep. 

In a new study from the University at Buffalo School of Management has found that beautiful people are more likely to get hired, receive better performance evaluations and get paid more—but this is not just because of their good looks alone.

For years, there have been studies that suggest attractive people have bigger chances of getting hired because, generally, there is a physical attractiveness bias in hiring.

According to the new study published in the Personnel Psychology journal, while a “beauty premium” (the economic advantages enjoyed by attractive people) exists across professions, it’s partially because attractive people develop distinct traits as a result of how the world responds to their attractiveness.

These people, according to the study, build a greater sense of power and have more opportunities to improve nonverbal communication skills throughout their lives.

“We wanted to examine whether there’s an overall bias toward beauty on the job, or if attractive people excel professionally because they’re more effective communicators,” said Min-Hsuan Tu, lead author of the study and assistant professor of organization and human resources in the UB School of Management.

The “power pose.” Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on your hips, chest out and chin out. 

“What we found was that while good-looking people have a greater sense of power and are better nonverbal communicators, their less-attractive peers can level the playing field during the hiring process by adopting a powerful posture,” she added.

These were shown in the two studies conducted by researchers, where they evaluated 300 elevator pitches of participants in a mock job search.

In the first study, managers determined the good looking people to be more hirable because of their more effective nonverbal presence. 

While in the second, the researchers asked some participants to strike a “power pose” by standing with their feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips, chest out and chin up during their pitch.

As they did this technique, the “less attractive” individuals were able to match the level of nonverbal presence that their “more attractive” counterparts exude naturally.

“By adopting the physical postures associated with feelings of power and confidence, less attractive people can minimize behavioral differences in the job search,” Tu said.

But doing the power pose is not the only solution, Tu noted, as anything that can make you feel powerful will do the trick. 

“Doing a confidence self-talk, visualizing yourself succeeding, or reflecting on past accomplishments before a social evaluation situation can also help.”

So, power poses, anyone? 

With a report from ANI