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Blemished Faces Don’t Get Hired

David Leonhardt

Is it good looks or bad looks that make the most difference in landing you a job? What – you think that’s the same question? Well, it’s not. And this article will explain why.

Yes, it is true that good looks give a person an advantage. We all feel better looking at pleasant things, whether it is a beautiful sunset or a lovely face. And the better a person feels, the more likely he is to say “yes”. So it is important to look good for your job interview.

Put on your best threads.

Shine your shoes.

Comb or brush your hair.

You get the idea.

But more important than good looks to landing a job, is avoiding bad looks. While a really good looking candidate might have a small advantage over a plain looking person – but in very few cases would it be an overriding factor.

But a plain looking candidate would have a much bigger advantage over a scarred or blemished candidate, to the extent that looks could override much more important factors.

And there is a study that demonstrates this, looking specifically at how facial disfigurements impact a job searchers chance of acing an interview: “Discrimination Against Facially Stigmatized Applicants in Interviews: An Eye-Tracking and Face-to-Face Investigation”. The study discovered that people with a facial disfigurement stand a statistically lower chance of being offered the job than people with no disfigurements.

So, what you might want to know is: what kind of facial disfigurement might reduce your chances of being offered the job you interview for?

Anything on your face that might make the interviewer uncomfortable, even subconsciously, and distract them from who you are and what you can do.

A birthmark

A tattoo

A mole

A rash

Facial jewelry

A burn mark

A scar

If the hiring manager finds these distractions uncomfortable to look at, it could cost you the job for several reasons:

- The quality of the eye-to-eye interaction will not be as good when there is a distracting feature.

- Your winning smile and sparkling eyes will be overshadowed by the scar or tattoo or whatever.

- The hiring manager will feel uncomfortable about you – yes, we all make judgment calls based on looks, even if we do it at a subconscious level.

- The hiring manager might worry that other people (such as customers) might feel uncomfortable about being served by someone difficult to look at, and the company might even lose business.

So what can a job hunter do? Anything that you can remove, do. Facial jewelry has to go. You can still wear it off-hours, and maybe even on the job. But don’t bring it to the job interview.

What you cannot remove, cover up. Even a light application of makeup can cover up or at least reduce the intensity of a rash or a scar or a burn mark. Yes, even men can wear make-up – the TV news anchorman does it all the time.

So make sure to give yourself the best chance at the job interview. Of course, you need to impress with your knowledge, your experience, your attitude and your charm. But looks also matter, so put on your best duds, groom yourself and reduce the glare of any blemish you might be sporting.

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