Hell has officially frozen over.
Here we are, supposedly in 2016, and I have just learned that science—that’s right, science—shows if you want to get a job, you should wear a low-cut blouse.
Look, I’m not going to pretend to be all goody two-shoes perfect.
I went to a Jesuit university (Creighton, in Omaha) and there was a priest who taught advanced calculus.
It was widely known, if you sat in the front row wearing a short skirt, you’d easily pass the class.
Not only was it advanced calculus (which, truthfully, I loved), but it was at 8:00 in the morning (which I didn’t love).
But you can bet I dragged my sorry butt out of bed early on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to brush my hair, put on some mascara, and don a short skirt.
I was not above “earning” that A grade, no matter what it took.
But that was 20 years ago and I was young and naive (and more concerned about sleeping in).
Survey Says…A Low-cut Blouse Works Best
Fast forward to late last week when a friend sent to me, “Want to Get the Job Interview? Science Says Wear a Low-Cut Blouse.”
I was afraid to click on the link, just because of the title alone.
Admittedly, it wasn’t as bad as my brain had concocted, but it’s pretty bad.
A researcher named Dr. Sevag Kertechian created a study by responding to 200 job ads.
In those responses, he was one of two fictional women.
In each case, the women had nearly identical qualifications.
They were pretty much the same person—both on paper and in the images—but the photos he submitted with each had one dressed more provocatively.
The photos he used are above, at the top of this article.
And guess what?
The one with the low-cut blouse resulted in 62 more interview offers.
And that was for sales jobs, so you could make the assumption people are hiring for looks because of what the job entails.
But when he did the same thing for accounting jobs, the woman who was dressed more provocatively in her photo received 68 more interview offers.
Our results showed interesting trends as low-cut dresses significantly influenced the choice of the recruiters, even for accounting positions. Regardless of the job, whether customer-facing saleswoman or office-based accountant, the candidate with the low-cut blouse received more positive answers.
We Must Do Better
I don’t know what this says about today’s society.
It could be professional dress has changed (which is true) and we now find more neck and more leg more appealing, overall.
Or it could be the photo with the low-cut blouse is less conservative so it caused the person reviewing resumes to take a closer look.
Or it could be we’re all just sexist pigs and totally judge a book by its cover.
I haven’t had to look for a job in a very long time, but we hire people all the time.
We’ve never asked for photos with a resume.
We may look someone up on social media (which often shows us appropriate and inappropriate professional photos), but not until after we’ve deemed their qualifications are a good fit for at least an interview.
So the idea that people want a photo with a resume is kind of shocking to me.
It’s definitely akin to sitting in the front row of advanced calculus wearing a short skirt.
But we must do better.
If every person who reads this refuses to look at a photo of a candidate before they’re brought in for an interview, we can slowly change this behavior.
What do you think?