Proven Benefits of Looking Your Best?
10 Proven Benefits of Looking Your Best (Source:

Not even the most ardent believers in equality or the notion that a book cannot be judged by its cover can reasonably refute the power of appearances.

We draw several conclusions about others within seconds of first meeting them, conclusions we will find hard to shake in the future, even if we see evidence to disprove them. Yet, when these conclusions are positive ones, when through our appearance we send visual cues that people receive in a positive light, something amazing happens, what researchers term the "halo effect." According to the halo effect, when people pick up positive visual messages and cues from your appearance, they will assume that other aspects about you are equally as positive. This snowball effect has the capacity to transform your life, and you can get it rolling simply by looking your best.

To that end, we've gathered together a top 10 highlighting the benefits of being as attractive as you can be and looking your very best -- benefits that aren't just assumptions or common sense, but ones supported by independent data.

1. Boost Your Salary 5 to 10 Percent
According to "Beauty and the Labor Market," a paper by Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle that was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, men who are attractive enjoy a premium on salaries, upwards of 10 percent, compared to their less appealing colleagues, a finding largely independent of occupation.

So can looking your best really make an impact on your current salary? There is only one way to find out:Upgrade the way you present yourself at work.

2. Get a Second Interview
A guy can rely on his persistence and on the strength of his resume when landing an initial job interview, but assuming he's qualified, what factor may end up being the tipping point? The thing that either lands that second interview or sinks any chance of it? You guessed it: personal appearance.

According to a study reported on by corporate image consultant Susan Bixler in The New Professional Image, the No. 1 reason given by over 150 employers for rejecting a job applicant following the first interview was poor personal appearance.

3. Land a Higher Starting Salary
A researcher from Fairleigh Dickinson University wanted to know if appearances would have any influence over starting salaries offered by employers. To find out, she sent identical resumes to over 1,000 employers asking what starting salary would be offered. Half of the resumes included a picture of the "applicant" before being made over and given a more professional and polished look, and the other half included a picture showing the person with the polished look.

The applicant with the polished, professional appearance did much better than his mediocre self, receiving starting salary replies upwards of 20 percent higher than his counterpart.

4. Be More Persuasive
You would think that nothing could be more persuasive or succeed in changing the minds of others than an airtight argument presented in a marching, logical fashion. This does not appear to be true; rather, some studies have shown that appearance alone is more than enough. Attractive people, by virtue of their appearance alone, have been found to be more persuasive (especially in the advertising setting) than their unattractive counterparts. Curiously, people tend to confer upon attractive people the quality of being an independent thinker, someone whose opinion is beyond undue influence.

5. Enjoy Greater Credibility
People who are perceived as more attractive than others are also regarded as being more credible and more reliable than their less attractive peers. While this is difficult if not impossible to accurately quantify, studies carried out by researcher A.G. Miller on the formation of impressions in others showed that attractive people are perceived as having a sense of purpose to their lives and act according to their will and conscience, lending them a greater degree of credibility in the eyes of others.

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