Are You Pretty Enough to Get a Job?

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The recession has been blamed for ruining everything from our love lives to Christmas, but one thing we just don’t seem to talk about enough is the impact the bad economy has had on beautiful people.

As we’ve reported before, one telltale sign of an economic downturn is that you see more gorgeous people settling for jobs in restaurants because even they can’t get hired elsewhere. Now, however, one new site hopes to provide a long overdue lifeline to this population.

BeautifulJobSeekers.com claims to be the first and only employment site dedicated exclusively to the “beautiful, skilled and talented people looking for employment,” and the employers looking to hire them. According to the site’s mission statement, “the current unemployment rate has led to an increased competition on the job market,” which means it’s more important than ever to “stand out from the crowd,” and apparently the best way to do this is to place an “emphasis on beauty, attractiveness and good looks.”

Here’s how it works. Job seekers can search jobs and post their resumes, but what makes this site unique is that job hunters are prompted to post a picture of themselves on the site. After that, other people on the site can “rate” your photo from one to five stars, depending on how beautiful they think you are. Employers can then take this rating into account in addition to your other qualifications.

“When’s the last time you walked into a Hooters restaurant and saw women who weren’t beautiful? There are certain jobs that require beauty,” Darren, a spokesperson for the site, told MainStreet. (He didn’t want us to use his last name for fear of hate mail.)

He pointed out that restaurants tend to only hire attractive people to be hosts and hostesses just like the UFC and other sports usually hire pretty women to be cheerleaders. “Is that so wrong? It’s not like if you’re beautiful we’re going to allow you in to look at all these awesome random jobs.”

However, if you look at the site right now, it is actually a collection of random jobs that are not at Hooters or the UFC. Since the site was launched last month, only a few employers have joined, but there is a job posting for a legal secretary in Oakland, Ill., for a realtor in Braintree, Mass., and several jobs for “sales associates.” Some may have assumed that beauty played a role in these positions even before, but this site only confirms those worries.

“If you subscribe to a free market view of the world, you have to accept Web sites like this,” Darren added, but he admits that not everyone should use the site. “If you're not sure that you're beautiful and don't want your feelings hurt, don't go to the site. But I think most of us know whether we are good looking or not. I would not qualify for BeautifulJobSeekers.com”

Luckily for Darren, he already has a job.

When BeautifulJobSeekers was launched, Ralph van Troost, the site’s creator, explained the need for it this way in a press release:  “I figured if no one else is going to close this ugly gap between beautiful job seekers and employers looking to hire them, I’m going to do it myself. So, I founded BeautifulJobSeekers.com to find the right match. It’s very straightforward actually; we bring together the beauty, the employer and the job!”

Van Troos was not available for comment, but we did do some checking and found that before launching BeautifulJobSeekers, this Internet entrepreneur specialized in churning out unusual dating sites. There was the site that helped die-hard soccer fans find love and another that tried to set up relationships between eco-conscious singles. So I guess it’s only reasonable that he would try to make a job hunting site that basically functions as match-making for professionals.

Unfortunately, it turns out there are in fact several studies to support the underlying premise of BeautifulJobSeekers.com. Attractive employees tend to get paid more and are often favored in the hiring process. Yet even with that, the problem with the site is that it basically just confirms what job seekers are already insecure about - that at the end of the day, we will be judged more on our looks than our quality.

Oh well, for the rest of us hideous job seekers, there will always be sites like the appropriately named Monster.com.

—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the BankingMyWay.com Credit Center.

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