Improving your Appearance – Could it Improve your Income?

Larry Rondeau, Managing Editor of LookYounger.News is well known for research and writing in medicine, psychology and business. He was mentored by renowned social psychologist and researcher Dr. Robert Cialdini and has won 4 national awards for innovative business solutions.

People who have had cosmetic surgery, especially women, often report that looking younger and more attractive increased their confidence and happiness. Could improving your looks also improve your income? Scientific studies highlighted in national news magazines like Newsweek and Forbes show that it could. Newsweek (7/29/11) reported, “Handsome men earn, on average, 5 percent more than their less-attractive counterparts (good-looking women earn 4 percent more).” A 1994 study by economists put that advantage as high as 12 to14 percent.

This should come as no surprise. A 2004 Dateline NBC hidden camera investigation revealed what many have observed for years: The more attractive a person is, the more likely they are to receive special treatment. Reporter Keith Morrison interviewed Dr. Gordon Patzer, Dean of the College of Business Administration at Roosevelt University. He summed up 30 years of research results on the social impact of appearance:

People are valued more who are higher in physical attractiveness.

Job Advantages

Newsweek surveyed 202 junior and senior corporate hiring managers and discovered:
Fifty-seven percent of hiring managers told Newsweek that qualified but unattractive candidates are likely to have a harder time landing a job, while more than half advised spending as much time and money on “making sure they look attractive” as on perfecting a résumé…Asked to rank employment attributes in order of importance, meanwhile, managers placed looks above education.

Higher sales commissions

Young BusinesswomanThe benefits of an attractive face are particularly seen in the sales profession. Sales managers often seek to hire good-looking salespeople. Research by Arizona State University Marketing Professor Peter Reingen and Professor Jerome Kernan of George Mason University found that:

“Buyers judged physically attractive salespeople to be more adept at selling. Buyers were more cordial to good-looking salespeople, bought more from the lookers than the average Joes, and donated more to attractive charity solicitors than to those less physically favored.”

A study by Arizona State University Professor Cheryl Jarvis asked doctors to rate pharmaceutical salespeople’s looks. Jarvis found that for every point of increase in a salesperson’s attractiveness rating there was a corresponding rise in prescriptions those doctors wrote for the medications they promoted. Physicians strive to be objective, thinking only of their patients’ well-being. But even they could not avoid being swayed by pharmaceutical salespeople’s looks. Note how research-based increases affect monthly sales in this example:

Sales Increase with Attractiveness Rating

2.94% increase in new business
• 1.28% increase with established customers
Increasing attractiveness rating by 1 point increased sales by $20,340/year

Why does attractiveness make such a difference?

The human brain appears to be hard-wired to favor good-looking faces. Thus, world renowned influence expert Dr. Robert Cialdini stated,

Research has shown that we automatically assign to good-looking individuals such favorable traits as talent, kindness, honesty, and intelligence…Furthermore, we make these judgments without being aware that physical attractiveness plays a role in the process.

Mature Male Businessman smiling on phoneWe tend to automatically like and trust attractive people more. And, as Cialdini sums up the research, “Even when all things are not equal people prefer to do business with those they like.” Thus, while most people find that looking their best increases their happiness and confidence, there is often an unexpected bonus.

Looking good can increase the pleasure others feel in your company, making you more likable and influential. As the studies show, that often results in a higher paycheck. Could it help you avoid a layoff? Looking your best, then, is an investment that can pay both emotional and financial dividends. Whether or not the pay increase offsets the cost of a facelift or neck lift, the increase in self-esteem and happiness that many report clearly makes looking younger a valuable asset.

*Dateline NBCFace Value – Do Looks Really Matter? A Hidden Camera Investigation (transcript)


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About Larry Rondeau, Managing Editor

Larry Rondeau, Managing Editor at LookYounger.News, is a medical and science writer who is highly experienced in writing about facial rejuvenation procedures, psychology and business. He was mentored by renowned social psychologist, researcher and author Dr. Robert Cialdini, who praised him for his "depth of insight." SUNY Lecturer Peter Pociluyko spoke of Larry's "deep understanding and comprehension of the concepts of social psychology." Larry won 4 national awards while at The Allied Group, where he served as Senior Director of Business Development and later Senior Director of Research and Content Development. ( read more )

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