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A new report has revealed hiring managers are more likely to offer a position to job seekers they deem more physically attractive.

An experiment conducted by the University of Messina between August 2011 and September 2012 studied the effects of beauty by sending out 11,008 resumes to 1,542 advertised job openings.

The report, aptly titled “Searching for a job is a beauty contest”, found the call back rate for attractive women and men were 54% and 47% respectively, significantly higher than the 30% average among all the resumes.

“Searching for a job seems to be just like a beauty contest: it is better for unattractive women to invest on aesthetic surgery than in education,” the study said.

The results were similar to another study conducted in Argentina, which sent fake resumes of attractive faces, and faces digitally modified to look less attractive. Based on that experiment, it was found attractive candidates were 36% more likely to be contacted.

Unfortunately, appearance discrimination doesn’t end there, as another study published in the journal Human Performance found “ugly” employees were more likely to be bullied at work.

“If comparing squarely between attractive and less attractive people, it is likely the case that the latter will be more natural targets,” Terence Ong, group vice president of compensation and benefits at BreadTalk, told Human Resources.

“Organisations need to foster an environment of mutual respect and inclusiveness, more so for those whose business presence is international,” he said.

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