Looks, not brains, likely to get you a job
GOOD looks, positive body language and a smart outfit are more likely to get you a job than educational qualifications, according to researchers.
People applying for jobs in hotels, shops and even banks are being employed and dismissed because of their looks rather than their brains as the pressure on the job market heats up.
Some employers are so interested in what a candidate looks and sounds like that they have approached schools to persuade them to teach the skills of self-presentation.
A study by the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) revealed extraordinary examples of employees being chastised for their personal appearance, such as a man with a ponytail who was refused a part-time job in a bar because of his hairstyle, a check-out girl who was sent home to shave her legs "because it would put customers off", and a sales assistant was dismissed for becoming "too fat and ugly" while she was pregnant.
Christ Warhurst, co-director of the SCER, said: "Soft skills can be broken down into two categories: emotional labour – in other words people's ability to stay calm in a stressful situation such as with an angry customer and calm other people down; and aesthetic labour – which is about personal grooming.
"We found 98% of employers care about personal grooming and people skills whereas only 48% of them are concerned with educational qualifications."
He added that some companies had even asked schools to teach students skills such as politeness, positive body language and how to dress nicely to help them get a job.
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