5 Science-Backed Ways Changing Your Appearance Can Boost Your Career

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In a perfect world, we would be judged solely by our skills and competence in the workplace—not our appearance. The truth is that we don’t live in a non-visual world. In today’s competitive job market, men need to care about their appearance—or risk being passed over for promotions and other career opportunities.

It’s been proven that men who step up their style and grooming game can get an edge in their careers.

It’s been proven that men who step up their style and grooming game can get an edge in their careers. Here are just a few science-backed ways changing your appearance can change your career path:

Makes You More Hirable

When it comes to landing a job, we all know that what we wear to an interview is important. For most men, this means pulling out old dress shoes and a tie they’ve had in their closet, possibly unworn, for years.

To truly increase your chances of being hired, you’ll need to do more than throw on your good clothes. Studies have shown that attractive people not only get hired more than their plain counterparts, but they also have higher salaries.

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to find a good barber, establish a simple skincare routine and learn how to dress for your body shape. You might be surprised at how little changes in your appearance such as a haircut or clearer skin can increase your attractiveness.

You’ll Hold Yourself Taller

It’s no secret that taller men are likely to earn more compared to shorter men. When it comes to our careers, study after study has found that shorter men have a lower socioeconomic status compared to their taller counterparts.

If you’re on the shorter side or simply wish you were taller, there are ways to get around this negative bias. One of the easiest ways is to dress better. Wearing clothes that fit properly is guaranteed to elevate your confidence and naturally make you hold yourself a bit taller. Well-fitting clothes don’t accentuate your smallness—in fact, they do the opposite. Wearing clothes that are too big for you will only draw attention to your small stature.

It may cost more to get your clothes tailored, but it is 100 percent worth it. You’ll instantly stand taller at work in a well-fitting suit and people in the workplace will notice.

Fights Ageism

Ageism is a real problem in the workforce. Employers often have negative attitudes towards older workers, which makes it tough for them to land a job.

While it is illegal to discriminate against workers age 40 and up, this form of discrimination is extremely difficult to prove. However, we know that it happens not only based on anecdotal stories, but also scientific studies which suggest that people with older-looking faces are less likely to get hired.

If you’re in your late 20s or early 30s none of this matters anyway, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that clear cut. When you’re pushing 35, there is still the chance that you’ll get passed over for a promotion by someone who looks younger and more vibrant. This possibility is the very reason why more guys are starting much earlier in terms of using anti-aging products formulated for men to prevent wrinkles and turn back the clock.

Land More Sales and Clients

If you’re in sales or a consumer-focused job, you’ll want to pay close attention to this: A 2006 study found that people can decide how trustworthy you are within 100 milliseconds of seeing your face.

Similar studies suggest that your appearance in general can greatly influence a customer’s decision to trust you as well as your expertise and likeability. While this snap judgment might seem unfair, ask yourself this: How often have you doubted the skill of someone because of their appearance?

Whether it’s wrinkled clothes or unkempt hair, many professionals can quickly lose credibility with their customers when their appearance says more about them than their skills. Bottom line: If you want the people you work with to trust you, putting effort into your appearance is critical.

Change Your Entire Thought Process

Have you ever worn a well-fitting suit that made you feel like a new man? Research shows that how we dress can influence not only how others think about us, but also how we think about ourselves.

A 2015 study found that wearing formal clothing (such as a suit) increased abstract cognitive processing. In other words, it allowed the wearer to think more broadly and allowed them to see the larger picture.

This way of thinking encourages people to see the potential long-term gains over short-term gains. In the workplace, this long-term mindset can be extremely beneficial and help you make better career decisions to reach your goals quicker.

If your office is more casual, you don’t need to wear a formal suit to achieve this enhanced way of thinking. A nice pair of dark blue jeans and a white button-down shirt is a classic combo that will instantly improve your look. Just make sure that both garments are well-fitting.

Here’s Looking at You

These days, it can be difficult for some men to grasp the importance of putting effort into how they look. Often guys are taught to study hard, acquire skills and land a job. Appearance is likely left out of the conversation.

Yet studies reinforce, our appearance plays a much greater role in the success of our careers and, by making a few simple changes, you can impact your appearance, your confidence and your career.


Just A Guy Thing is a men's lifestyle magazine focused primarily at guys wanting to better themselves.

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