Why should how you look make a difference in getting the job? As superficial as it may seem, looking the part does matter according to a new study by the Harvard Business School.
The HBS study analyzed 63,000 job openings and 160,000 freelance job seekers applying for those jobs. Certain accessories and physical features gave freelancers an edge, more than gender, age and ethnic background.
Here are 3 tips for job seekers looking for an edge:
1. Pay attention to the details: For your profile shot, forget the snaps with your dog or kids and chose a neutral background.
2. Choose accessories that telegraph visually a career fit: Recruiters favored certain looks. Having a computer visible and wearing glasses gave job hunters an edge in computer software programming jobs. People exploring design or media-related jobs did better – surprise – when they had a stylish “artistic” look often with fashionable glasses.
3. Having good references seals the deal: Success wasn’t just about looking the part. Having good references from your previous job along with looking the part was a game changer, often resulting in a 5 percent salary increase according to the HBS researchers.