When It Comes To Job Interviews Looks Really Do Matter

Thursday, 19. January 2012


The results are in; beautiful people really do get all the good jobs. According to a study published by the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, the attractiveness of an interviewee can significantly bias the outcome of the hiring decision.

“When someone is viewed as attractive, they are often assumed to have a number of positive social traits and greater intelligence,” say Carl Senior and Michael J.R. Butler, authors of the study. “This is known as the ‘halo effect’ and it has previously been shown to affect the outcome of job interviews.”

Okay, so this really isn’t that new of breakthrough. We’ve known for quite sometime that good looking people get all the good jobs, but is hasn’t been until the release of a recent study, conducted by researchers at Rice University and the University of Houston, that we now have a better understanding of why this happens.

The “Discrimination Against Facially Stigmatized Applicants in Interviews: An Eye-Tracking and Face-to-Face Investigation” was published in the November 2011 edition of the Journal of Applied Psychology. The study found that interviewees were less likely to be hired if they had any kind of facial disfigurement, such as birthmarks, scars and moles.

To some degree, this is much more than just a matter of how “beautiful” a person is. A disfigurement is distracting. If an interviewer is drawn toward a mole or a scar instead of to your smile or your eyes, it does several things:

  • It reduces your ability to win over the interviewer with your smile and your eyes.
  • It makes it irritating to look at you, and that creates a negative impression for the interviewer.
  • It might even make the interviewer wonder if you will lose the company clients by creating a negative impression.

Does this apply only to natural or accidental disfigurement? The study doesn’t cover purposeful disfigurement, but at least to some degree we can assume that if you are wearing a nose ring or sporting a tattoo (or war paint?), you will be drawing attention away from you and toward a possible irritant.

Best to remove facial jewelery and use makeup on blemishes as best you can, before heading into your job interview.

“The bottom line is that how your face looks can significantly influence the success of an interview,” says Mikki Hebl, Professor of Psychology at Rice University. “Our research shows if you recall less information about competent candidates because you are distracted by characteristics on their face, it decreases your overall evaluations of them.”

As a professionally resume writer, I strongly believe that your resume is the number one way to get them loving you before they even see your face. So make that opportunity count. But don’t blow it when you show up for the interview.

Don’t Give Your Resume a Christmas Break

Friday, 18. November 2011


With Black Friday just one week away, and Christmas not far behind, it’s probably a good time to take a break from your job search, regroup and work on your professionally written resume, right?

Wrong!

Whether employed and looking to make a change in your career, or unemployed and looking for a job, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is probably one of the most opportune times to look for a job, for many different reasons:

The first being, just because it is holiday season, that doesn’t mean business takes a vacation or employers stop hiring.

The common reaction to the holidays is to take a break, with most people putting their search on hold you will have less competition.

Between mid-November and the beginning of January many managers may have a lighter work schedule, making it easier for you to get in contact with them. They may even be more receptive to taking your meeting or engaging you in conversation.

The final reason why the holiday season is a great time to look for a job is that companies are conducting their year-end budgets. You can help them allocate some of those funds, which they are desperately trying to spend, on recruitment and training for your new career.

You won’t have to change your job search tactics for the holidays, but there are some opportunities that you can take advantage of to help you with your search. Here are just a few:

Christmas parties and holiday functions can be a great chance to use your networking skills. Whether they’re business related or friend and family gatherings, it’s a good idea to have a bit of a spiel prepared to let your contacts know what exactly it is that you are looking for in a job. Who knows, maybe Uncle Jack’s neighbour’s son, who always comes over to helps shovel the walk in the winter, works in the very same company that you are hoping to work for.

The holidays are a great time to do some impromptu follow-up to those managers that you have recently interviewed with. Send them a Christmas card wishing them a happy holiday and thanking them for opportunity to interview with them. Oh, and don’t forget to include your business card.

If you are unemployed, underemployed, or just have some free time during the holidays, taking on some seasonal work can help with your job search by build upon your skill-set and expanding your networking circle. Not only does retail see an expansion in their workforce during Christmas time, but many temp agencies will also see an increase in workforce requests due to companies looking for temporary employees to fill in for vacancies caused by holiday vacations.

In the end, you shouldn’t give your resume a Christmas break, because even though interviewing process may be slower during the holiday season, it doesn’t come to a complete halt and neither should your job search.

Can Facebook Get You Fired? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Friday, 21. October 2011


There has been a lot of chatter about how employers are using social networking sites, like Facebook, to screen potential applicants, but some bosses are even using these sites to ‘spy’ on their employees.

Like this poor lass:

But who was in the wrong here, the employee for venting her work frustrations on Facebook, or her boss for taking such offence to it that he fired her on the spot? I guess we could say that she should have been smart enough to not even add her boss on Facebook in the first place.

As we mentioned in a previous post, your professionally written resume will only get you so far, it’s up to you to make sure you clean-up your internet reputation before you begin applying for jobs.

ComeRecommended has put together this amazing infographic and 5 ways to make sure you never get hired:

28 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Accepting A Job Offer

Wednesday, 12. October 2011


You’ve sent out your inquiry letters, updated your professionally written resume, including your volunteer experience. You’ve got all your references lined up, hit the job fairs and aced all the interview questions. Congratulations! Your hard work has finally paid off and you’ve just received a job offer.

Is it time to crack out the bubbly and start celebrating? Not quite yet.

You may have spent the last few weeks, or even months, looking for a job and it can be very tempting to immediately accept the first thing that comes your way. Remember, this is going to be your new career, so you don’t want to be too hasty with your decision. Take your time to evaluate the offer and consider the following questions:

1) What is the start date?
2) What is the offered salary?
3) Do you consider it to be a fair salary?
4) Is the offered salary comparable to what other people in the same position are making?
5) If not, is the salary negotiable?
6) Do you think your salary demands are reasonable for the type of job you’ve been offered?
7) What will you do if the salary is non-negotiable?
8) Are there any other benefits that could make up for the salary?
9) Are the work hours manageable?
10) Is overtime expected?
11) Is flexitime available?
12) Is the location of the office going to work for you?
13) Can you handle the commute to the office?
14) Is telecommuting available?
15) What do you know about the potential co-workers?
16) Do you think that you will like the people you work with?
17) Will you be comfortable working in this office environment?
18) Is the corporate culture in line with your own values, attitudes, and goals?
19) Do you know who you will be reporting to?
20) Does your manager seem like the type of person you want to work with?
21) Does the company offer the possibility to advancement?
22) Do they promote from within?
23) Will you feel challenged with the type of work you are expected to do?
24) Will you need to travel as part of your job responsibilities?
25) Do you understand exactly what you will be doing in your new job?
26) Is this really the job you want?
27) Do you enjoy the field of work?
28) And finally how badly do you need the job?

Teaching Jobs

Wednesday, 21. September 2011


You’ve spent the last five or so years in school and have finally finished your practicum. At long last it is time to teach, but without an actual teaching job it can be quite difficult to do.

To tell you the truth, I think that trying to teach without a job may actually be called preaching, which is typically reserved for ordained priests and those crazy guys on the street corner. So unless you in fact are a priest, you’ll need to find yourself a job, and fast, before you end up on that street corner I was talking about.

Here’s how to begin:

1) The very first thing you will need to do is determine which districts you will be willing to work in. Are you going to stay local, or are you willing to branch out as far as possible to find a teaching position?

2) Now before you even begin contacting schools about openings, you will need to work on your resume. A professional teacher resume will help you to get to the top of the list when it comes time to call prospective teachers in for interviews.

3) Once your resume in up-to-date you’ll want to begin contacting the school districts human resource departments about current teacher job openings and their application procedures, this includes full contract positions and the substitute teacher list as well.

4) After you have found out about the application procedure, you should immediately get yourself on the as many substitute teacher lists as possible. The more experience you gain subbing, the better chance of securing a fulltime teaching contract will be. Especially if you sub for many different schools and districts. Like any industry, it is all about networking, and the more you make yourself familiar with a school’s principal, the better chance you will have at getting a teaching job.

5) Keep in mind, there may be thousands of other teachers on the substitute list, and as someone new, you will likely be further down the list. It’ll take a little bit of effort on your part to make yourself known, and one of the easiest ways is to simply introduce yourself. After getting your name on the substitute list visit each school and personally deliver your resume to the school’s principal. Ta-da! A face has now been put to a name.

6) In order to make yourself more hireable, you should spend your free time, like summer vacation, taking courses that will expand on your teaching skills, such as courses for early childhood education, second language training and special education training.

7) Make sure your professionally written resume clearly defines any skills or hobbies that can be transferable into the education system, such as your ability to play, and subsequently coach, basketball, or your background in music or art. Any additional skills in the extracurricular category will make you more valuable, both as a substitute and a full time teacher.

In the end, when it comes to teaching jobs, many last minutes decisions are usually made. So in order to be successful, remain as flexible as possible and try not to get too discouraged. Your dream of becoming a fulltime teacher is possible.