Newsweek Magazine has released the results of a survey in which 202 hiring managers and 964 members of the public were questioned about the role beauty plays in the workplace, including hiring practices, promotions and perceived job performance. Not surprisingly, the results were clear: looks matter.
I’m not going to dispute the validity of the survey’s findings. I am, however, going to chastise the magazine for publishing its results in the midst of the worst recession our country has seen. Unemployment is at 9.5 percent. The job market is flooded with applicants. In what way, exactly, are these survey results helpful to job seekers? What message should be gleaned from this information? That whatever available funds applicants have should be spent on better clothes? More expensive haircuts? Makeovers at their local Sephora?
As if realizing how callous and superficial these findings might appear to readers, the article ends with the condescending platitude that – although attractiveness is very important – don’t despair! Experience is still kinda important. Keep your average-looking head up, and you, too, might find a job!
Shame on you, Newsweek, for telling us something most of us already knew, at a time when we least needed to hear it.