Most women will agonise over making sure their CV is up to scratch - but the secret to securing a job interview may be as simple as wearing a low-cut dress, a study found.
New research suggests that female applicants who included a photo of themselves in revealing clothing were 19 times more likely to secure an interview.
The study, which is to be revealed at a body image conference in London on Tuesday, was conducted in Paris and covered the chances of earning a job interview for sales and accounting positions.
Carried out by Dr Sevag Kertechian, a researcher at Paris-Sorbonne University, the study was intended to discover just what impact clothing could have on the recruitment process.
Using two similar looking women with near identical experience on their CVs, they each applied for 100 roles wearing conservative clothing and another 100 roles pictured in a more revealing outfit. The study took place over a three year period.
Out of the 200 roles that were applied for, the submissions which were accompanied by a low-cut dress received 62 more interview offers than their more conservatively dressed counterparts.
From the 200 accountancy applications, there were 68 more interview offers for the more provocatively dressed woman.
The results, will be discussed at the Appearance Matters Conference, which begins today (tues), and is the world’s largest event on body image and disfigurement.
Run by the Centre for Appearance Research, the conference will see more than 200 appearance experts from across the world tackle issues including weight loss surgery, eating disorders and ‘ultra-thin’ dolls.
Dr Kertechian said: ‘Our results showed interesting trends as low-cut dresses significantly influenced the choice of the recruiters, even for accounting positions.
‘Regardless of the job, whether customer-facing saleswoman or office-based accountant, the candidate with the low cut clothing received more positive answers.
‘The results were quite shocking and negative but not necessarily surprising – they show we need to conduct more research.’
Held in London for the first time in its 13-year history, the Appearance Matters Conference will see researchers from a variety of disciplines relating to the psychology of appearance.
Among the academics presenting their work at the conference will be Dr Amy Slater, whose study found young girls reported heightened body dissatisfaction after playing a children’s internet ‘makeover’ game for just 10 minutes.
Academics, clinicians, practitioners and policy makers involved in research and the provision of care for people with appearance-related concerns will gather at the conference in order to gain a greater insight into the research currently being carried out and share ideas with others working in the field.
The event is hosted by CAR, part of the University of the West of England, at the Royal College of Surgeons in London.
The conference will include over 70 presentations, along with training workshops, dissemination events, mentoring, social events and panel discussion.