The study involved sending 5,312 resumes in pairs to 2,656 advertised job openings in Israel. In each pair, one resume was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical resume, contained a picture of either an attractive male or female, or a plain-looking male or female.
[...] The results showed that the resumes of "attractive" males received a 19.9 percent response rate, nearly 50 percent higher than the 13.7 percent response rate for "plain" males and more than twice the 9.2 percent response rate of no-picture males.
[...] "Among female candidates, no-picture females have the highest response rate, 22 percent higher than plain females and 30 percent higher than attractive females. Our findings on penalization of attractive women contradict current psychology and organizational behavior literature on beauty that associate attractiveness, male and female alike, with almost every conceivable positive trait and disposition," explain the authors, Bradley Ruffle, a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Ph.D candidate Ze'ev Shtudiner.
[...] However, when the corporation at which the candidate might work recruited directly, attractive females received a response rate of about half that of plain and no-picture women. This is likely due to the high number of women in human resources staffing positions, the researchers conclude.
To verify this stereotype, the researchers conducted a post-experiment survey in which they spoke with the person at the company who screens candidates. That person was female in 24 of the 25 (96 percent) of the companies they interviewed. Moreover, these woman were young (ranging in age from 23 to 34 with an average age of 29) and typically single (67 percent) -- qualities more likely to be associated with a jealous response when confronted with a young, attractive competitor in the workplace.
"Indeed, the evidence points to female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace as a primary reason for their penalization in recruitment," Ruffle said.
Who would have thought...