Photo: Combined Media via Flickr
How successful you become is mostly up to you. Success also depends on how you’re perceived by others.Numerous studies have shown looks can impact career advancement. Some say physical appearance matters even more to employers than a cover letter.
Researchers have found that facial structure, hair colour, and weight all can affect our paychecks.
We can’t help our genes, but some of them may be helping us more than others.
Men who are at least 6' tall make an average salary of $5,525 more than their shorter, 5'5 counterparts, says Harvard University,
Another study polled half of all the Fortune 500 companies about the height of their CEOs. On average, male CEOs were three inches taller than the average man at just under 6'.
New York University sociologist Dalton Conley conducted a study and discovered that a woman's weight negatively impacts her household income and 'job prestige.'
In fact, a 1% increase in body mass results in a 0.6 percentage point decrease in family income.
Another study by Jay Zagorsky titled 'Health and Wealth' found that Caucasian women get the most financial slack for higher weight, seeing their wealth drop 12%. In comparison, African-American women who are overweight only see a 7% drop.
Men weren't affected.
A study published in Psychological Science titled, 'The Teddy Bear Effect: Does babyfaceness benefit Black CEOs?' looked for common traits in African-American CEOs. They concluded that 'babyfaces -- and perceived warmer physical appearances and personality traits -- can benefit black CEOs and act as disarming mechanisms within the social hierarchy.'
ScienceDaily.com writes, 'In terms of real, not just perceived, earnings and achievement, the more babyfaced the black CEO, the more prestigious was the company he actually led, reflected by both Fortune 500 ranking and annual corporate revenue. These perceived and real professional benefits were correlated with physical appearance, not to perceptions of age.'
The same Duke Study, 'A Corporate Beauty Contest', found that the size of facial structures can make people appear less intelligent and thus less successful.
The Montreal Gazette writes the findings: 'Mature-faced' individuals enjoy a clear [career[ advantage over 'baby-faced' competitors -- with such characteristics as large, round eyes, high eyebrows and a small chin -- who are judged less competently.'
Have one eye that's smaller than the other? It could be costing you some of your paycheck.
Symmetry is perhaps the greatest sign of perceived beauty, and people who are attractive make a considerable amount more than everyone else.
Rick Wilson of Rice University studied 'Fiscal Attraction.' He found a correlation between good looks and success. In particular, the better a person looks, the more other people trust them, and trust is a quality most leaders possess.
One of his findings also showed that subjects ranked people who were smiling as more trustworthy than people with straight faces.
According to The Times, 'facial hair has long been considered a potential blight on career advancement.'
They report the results of a survey: '60% of businessmen without beards or moustaches feel that these features are a bad sign. Some feel that the person can't be bothered to shave and others that they are hiding something.'
63% of men also report that hair loss or balding has negatively affected their careers. US News and World Report discusses how plastic surgery can boost careers, in particular hair implants.
'In the corporate world, there's a lot of emphasis on image, and image goes with self-confidence,' says Antonio Armani, a Beverly Hills, Calif., cosmetic surgeon who specialises in hair transplants. 'I think a lot of people do invest money in improving their looks because they feel this is one way they can go up the corporate ladder.'
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery also reported that two thirds of its members, both men and women, wanted cosmetic surgery because they wanted to 'remain competitive in the workplace.'
Harvard Business Review writes about how dressing professionally and conservatively can advance careers:
'Women, in particular, believed that dressing the part was a vital factor in attaining success: 53% of them felt aspiring female execs needed to toe a very conservative line, avoiding flashy make-up, plunging necklines, too-short or too-tight skirts, and long fingernails -- exactly the sort of sartorial no-nos UBS spelled out.
'Indeed, half the women surveyed and 37% of the men considered appearance and EP to be intrinsically linked; they understood that if you don't look the part of a leader, you're not likely to be given the role. Far from imagining that appearance is a personal matter, they perceived that looking well-turned-out engenders self confidence, a trait they considered the bedrock of authentic leaders.'
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.