Should career professionals advise people on career image

You may remember that we’ve been doing a strand of work looking at issues of appearance and attractiveness in the context of career. Julia Yates and I wrote an article where we described this as career image and discussed some of the issues that career professionals might encounter if they started talking about this.

We are now interested in looking at what career professionals think about some of these issues. We have written a survey and are asking people to fill it in.

Survey: Giving advice on career image

It should only take you 10 minutes or so to fill in and we’d really appreciate your thoughts on this. We’ve been getting a very good response from career professionals that we’ve been talking to about these issues and we want to try and draw together some of the wisdom and practices of the profession to inform our ideas about how to take this forward.

Thanks for your help


  1. wondering about how you worded the questions on the survey. When asking about jewellery etc. you qualify “appropriate” as being appropriate to the particular role etc. but you don’t qualify “attractive”, “good figure” or “healthy weight” which are also subjective aspects of appearance (as “smart” and “well styled” could be as well).

    Is the implication that there’s a standard of these things that careers professionals just know? How do we know that careers professionals share the perceptions of what’s attractive? And I’m concerned here that it might touch upon disabilities too.

  2. Hi Rosalind. I think that a lot of the issues that you raise are the sort of things that we are interested in. In particular judgements about attractiveness, which I think that the research suggests people do make in fairly consistent ways, and issues about social justice and discrimination. We discuss these in the article that I link to above. You should be able to get a copy of it, but let me know if you struggle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s