How to Get a Job: Be Attractive, Don’t Be Foreign

We know you’ll be shocked to read this, but: attractive people are more likely to proceed to the second round of job interviews.

A study in Italy (pdf alert) had researchers send out 11,000 fake resumes for 1,542 real job vacancies across Italy. Each vacancy was sent eight applications: four with photos of an attractive male, an attractive female, an unattractive male, and an unattractive female, and four without photos but with a male Italian name, a female Italian name, a male foreign name, and a female foreign name.

Average recall rate with thirty per cent. Attractive women received a recall rate of fifty-four per cent, and attractive men received a recall rate of forty-seven per cent. However, unattractive men received a recall rate of twenty-six per cent, and unattractive women received a scant seven per cent.

The foreign resumes did better than unattractive Italian women, but not by much, with thirteen and twelve per cent of the men and women getting recalled, respectively.

How well does this study compare to Canada? Unknown, but someone should really try replicating it here—although, it might be difficult, given that attaching pictures to resumes is really friggin’ weird. Still, it reinforces the old mantra: be attractive, don’t be unattractive.


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