“It takes more than just a good looking body, you’ve got to have the heart and soul that goes with it.” - Epictetus

Good-looking people have all the luck. They perform better in sales, are more likely to be approved for a loan and pay lower rates than their average-looking counterparts. They find jobs faster, move up the ladder quicker and earn an average of 3-4% more than the rest of us. That’s $140,000 in a lifetime, not counting the low rates and free stuff. Jealous much?

Does it mean us normals are doomed to work the least interesting jobs for the least amount of money? Hardly. As Supermodel Cameron Russell put in in a recent Ted Talk, “Image is powerful, but it’s also superficial.”

Beauty is a construction. With the right formula, it’s surprisingly easy to replicate on the job. The world’s sexiest CEOs have something in common above and beyond sex appeal: practiced self-confidence. In an interview or on the job, this is the real key to moving up the ladder and getting the recognition we all deserve.

Self-confidence denotes a kind of take charge attitude that appeals to potential employers. It’s tough to fake. You need to build it over time. Good looks, on the other hand, are remarkably easy to replicate. You can’t transform yourself into Tyra Banks overnight, but you can certainly borrow some tips from her bag of tricks.

HOW TO FAKE GOOD LOOKS

  1. Dress with an ounce of pizzazz. Ever seen a CEO in sweatpants? Me neither. If only on the day of your interview, wear the best clothes you have. If you are not normally complimented on your attire, get a second opinion before selecting that all-important interview costume. Ask friends. Do a little research.  Be more than just another suit. A well-placed handkerchief or silk cravat could be the thing that takes you from average to unforgettable.

  2. Practice impeccable posture. Good posture is the mark of a confident person. In one study, participants were asked to write down why they were qualified for a particular job, and it turns out those who maintained good posture while writing were more likely to believe the thoughts they wrote down. Not only do you appear more credible to the interviewer, but you become more credible to yourself, which is the most important thing of all.

  3. Exercise. It takes less than an hour of exercise per day to improve your mood and boost your self-confidence. A quick jog or a half hour of yoga will not only add a healthy glow to your cheeks but will also help your body to produce happiness hormones like serotonin and dopamine.

  4. Invest in professional grooming. Estheticians are remarkably affordable, and the modern man need not shy away from such services. A day or two before your interview, get those hands professionally manicured, wax your eyebrows, get a fresh haircut. Those may seem like small details to you, but before you write it off, look at some pictures on Business Insider’s list of the Sexiest CEOs. That’s grooming you can take to the bank.

  5. Get a tan. Sounds silly, right? But if you’re in a profession where you never see the sun, it’s the middle of February and you’re white a sheet, eight minutes in a tanning bed will bring just a little colour back in your face, giving you the appearance of being fresh and full of life.

  6. Be irresistibly charming.  If we were all as charming as Julia Roberts, there’d be no such things as unemployment. Anyone can be charming with just a little bit of practice.  Express genuine interest in the person you are dealing with. Take extra care to remember the name of everyone you mean while in the company of a potential employer. Smile often. Be generous when you give compliments and gracious when you receive them. Listen. Speak well of your former employers.  Look the interviewer in the eye.

Cultivating beauty and self-confidence may start with these simple tricks but eventually it will start to penetrate and become real. Starting each day by dressing nicely and greeting your colleagues with a smile and a laugh will produce long-term effects; eventually people will start seeing you the way you want to be seen whether you wear your cravat or not.

Remember, if beauty were all it took there would be a whole lot more CEOs who look like supermodels. Check out Business Insider’s latest list of CEOs of startups to watch: a nice collection of average looking people doing off-the-wall, amazing things. Success, it seems, is not only the domain of the beautiful people. It’s available to all of us.

Your life is a direct reflection of the standards you hold—both for yourself and for others.: How to Get What You Want by Raising Your Standards

Featured photo credit: Good looking bodybuilder posing via Shutterstock

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