Attractiveness key to success: survey

SKIN DEEP::While some workers would opt for cosmetic surgery to get ahead at work, a recruitment consultant said professionalism and experience are more important

By Hsieh Wen-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 - Page 5

A poll conducted by online job bank yes123 reported that 91.9 percent of salaried workers surveyed said that an attractive physical appearance was conducive to being hired and to a better working environment, while 16 percent of respondents said that they intended to undergo minor cosmetic surgery during the forthcoming nine-day Lunar New Year holiday.

The poll reported that 53.8 percent of respondents said they were willing to alter their physical features, but 45.1 percent of those said they were only willing to consider minor procedures that do not require getting on an operating table.

Only 8.7 percent of those willing to alter their features said they would be willing to climb onto an operating table for a one-off operation, the poll showed.

Among polled individuals the five “templates” on which surgery would be based for both sexes were: Men wanted to look more like Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武), Hong Kong actor Andy Lau (劉德華), Taiwanese actor Wilson Chen (陳柏霖) and Taiwanese singers Show Luo (羅志祥) and Wang Lee-hom (王力宏), while women wanted to look more like Taiwanese actresses Lin Chih-ling (林志玲), Sonia Sui (隋棠) and Ivy Chen (陳意涵), South Korean singer YoonA or South Korean actress Kim Tae-hee.

Respondents said their primary reason for wishing to alter their physical features was because it would bring them benefits in the job market, based on the perception that unfair advantage is given to more attractive people.

Forty-three percent of those polled said they felt they had not been successful in job interviews because of their appearance, while 42 percent said they were passed over at work because of their appearance.

Of those polled, 34.2 percent said they had experienced taunts, or had even been given a heavier workload because of their looks.

When asked about what advantages those with natural or artificial good looks had, 66.3 percent said they enjoyed the benefit of easily forming friendships in the office, while 59.9 percent said people with good looks were more readily hired by companies.

While 53.1 percent said they felt the advantages of being better looking were short-term, 46.9 percent were of the opinion that those seen as good-looking enjoyed long-term advantages.

However, 57.8 percent of respondents said that with the economic downturn, the budget they could allocate to facial care or cosmetic surgery had shrunk.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 11 and Jan. 17, collected 1,187 valid samples and had a margin of error of 2.84 percentage points.

In her analysis of the job market, yes123 assistant manager Huang Yu-ling (黃玉齡) said that while some jobs, such as modeling, or working in the fashion industry or boutique industry did place a certain emphasis on appearances, the majority of jobs prioritize professionalism over appearance.

“In any career, it is in essence a race between the tortoise and the hare. Experience and one’s professional capabilities are the basis on which people can ascend the corporate ladder,” she said.

“Any disadvantage that a perceived lack of good looks may mean for an individual, would in the end be trumped by solid professional skills,” she added.