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Can Your Appearance Affect Your Income?

Last week we provided some important tips for maintaining a polished, professional appearance. We also discussed how people typically make judgments about others within 30 seconds of first meeting them, with much of this judgment based on personal appearance. But did you know that your personal appearance can affect not only how others perceive you, but your salary as well? The social psychology department of Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted a study researching the affect of personal appearance on individuals’ starting salaries. In this study, a group of identical resumes were sent out to the human resources departments of over 500 companies. Each resume was accompanied by a photograph of the supposed applicant. One half of the companies received resumes with pictures of individuals sporting their typical, day-to-day appearances. The other half received pictures of the same individuals after receiving appearance upgrades by outside professionals. Each of the companies was asked to determine a starting salary for the individuals represented by the pictures and resumes. The results indicated that personal appearances can most certainly affect your bottom line: the resumes accompanied by the more polished, professional appearances were quoted starting salaries 8 to 20% higher than the “before” pictures. Since the content of the resumes was identical in each condition, this indicates an important, if somewhat disconcerting point: appearances do matter, often in very concrete ways. So, as vital as your speech, communication skills, and knowledge may be in your professional life, don’t forget to give yourself a look in the mirror before heading out, and give yourself an honest answer: would you hire you?

If you want to boost your business communication skills, give us a call at 917-841-2965 or

visit our website at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com and find out how a corporate speech-

language pathologist can improve your communication and your career! Don’t live in NYC? No

problem! Our services are Skype ready.


Don’t forget: on January 24, CSS President and founder Jayne Latz will give another exciting

presentation: Public Speaking Made Easy. Visit http://www.corporatespeechsolutions.com/

events/public-speaking-easy/ for more information.