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Resume Tip: Leave Your Photo Off, Pretty Woman

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/ 5/2012 3:00 pm Updated: 04/ 5/2012 6:17 pm

Beautiful Appearance Job Search
People stand in a line that stretched around the block to enter a job fair held at the Jewish Community Center (JCC), on March 21, 2012 in New York City.

If you think your pretty face might help your job application stand apart from the rest, think again. At least if you're a woman.

Attractive women who included a photo in their job applications had a harder time getting an interview than both less-than-attractive women that included a photo and women that did not include a photo at all, according to a recent study by economists Bradley Ruffle at Ben-Gurion University and Ze'ev Shtudiner at Ariel University Center.

The economists reason that since company recruiters are "overwhelmingly" women (93 percent of the recruiters in the study were female), they discriminate against beautiful women out of "female jealousy of attractive competitors in the workplace." These recruiters also view it distasteful for attractive women to include a photo of themselves in their job applications, the economists write. (H/t The Economist.)

Hot or not, including a mugshot reduces your chances of getting a call back from a company or an employment agency by 20 to 30 percent, according to the study.

Even at a time when we're including photos in our LinkedIn profiles, using a headshot for a job application is still a pretty novel approach in the U.S. But it is common in Europe and Asia, according to The Economist.

All in all, however, studies have shown that being beautiful is advantageous in most walks of life. Attractive people are viewed as having more desirable personality traits and more prospects of happiness and success. In general, attractive people are trusted more than the average joe.

Attractiveness is also associated with higher incomes. Pretty people earn more money than average-looking people, who earn more than less-than-average-looking people. Unattractive women also tend to marry men with less earning potential.

If you want a raise, you may want to try losing weight or wearing more makeup, as infuriating as that may sound. For women, obesity is associated with an 18 percent wage reduction and a 25 percent loss in family income, and it reduces your chances of getting married by 16 percent. Makeup enhances the perception that a woman is trustworthy and competent.

Doing a good job at work is the best path to a raise or to a better job. But beauty discrimination still is rampant.

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