It’s a well-reported fact that appearance matters when it comes to getting a job. But how much do looks matter? We were curious, so RealSelf conducted a blind survey of 400 men and women who regularly work alongside other people (read: they actually know Bob in Marketing, not just his Slack handle).

Key Findings

  • Women who had a chin implant, nose job, or the injectable filler Voluma scored higher in their after photos, with particular jumps in how creative, motivated, and trustworthy people thought they appeared.
  • Women with chin implants were seen as more motivated (the average score went up by 15% between the before and after photos), trustworthy (+16%), and friendly (+16%).

How Much Do Looks Matter When Landing a Job?

  • Women with nose jobs were seen as more competitive (+14%), motivated (+14%), and creative (+7%).

How Much Do Looks Matter When Landing a Job?

  • Women with Voluma had the most dramatic increases: trustworthy (+35%), competitive (+33%), creative (+31%), friendly (+31%), and motivated (+35%).

How Much Do Looks Matter When Landing a Job?

Of course, this doesn’t mean plastic surgery is some kind of requirement for landing a job. Many recruiters will tell you that an organized resume, strong references, and, of course, meaningful experience matters more. But these numbers do provide some insight into whether a change in appearance really does give you an edge.

They also support a trend reported by RealSelf plastic surgeons: younger patients asking for a “refreshed look” to stay ahead of the competition. Of 500 surveyed doctors, nearly a third described their patients as younger than in previous years. Often, that’s because they want to wage a gradual battle against aging, so they don’t have to make a dramatic change all at once and risk looking “overdone.”

“More of my patients are stepping away from looking overfilled or trying to look too young and unnatural,” said Manhattan dermatologic surgeon Dr. Ronald Shelton. “They don’t want all their lines removed. They’ve earned them.”

Those patients often say they’re inspired to get work done thanks to their careers. “Many find themselves in a youth-orientated industry and despite their excellent experience, knowledge, and seniority, they’re concerned about being asked to leave eventually,” said Dr. Shelton. “It’s also a social issue of feeling more comfortable around the water cooler and fitting in, rather than feeling like they’re the den mother or father.”

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Of the 400 people surveyed, 200 of them viewed photos of women* before they’d had one of five procedures done: Voluma, Botox, eyelid surgery, nose job, or chin implant. The other 200 survey takers saw post-treatment photos of the same women. The survey takers weren’t aware that the pictures were before and after photos; in fact, they had no idea cosmetic procedures were involved at all.

We provided five qualities Glassdoor identifies as ones that’ll get you hired: competitive, creative, friendly, motivated, and trustworthy. The survey takers were asked to rate each photo on how much the person looked like the given adjective on a scale of 1 (not) to 5 (extremely). One photo was used in both surveys as a control; both groups scored that photo with no major deviations across all five qualities.

*Caucasian women between the ages of 30 to 60 were chosen because they’re RealSelf’s dominant audience.

Interested in learning more about any of these procedures? Ask a doctor