8:25 pm - 06/10/2010

Looks believed to be key in landing a job

Plastic surgery gaining traction among those seeking employment

By Yoon Ja-young
Staff reporter

Amid tough job market conditions, jobseekers are increasingly considering getting plastic surgery to enhance their competitiveness.

According to a survey of 1,090 jobseekers by Saramin, a job market information portal, three out of 10 people said they are planning to get plastic surgery to improve their chances of getting a job.

"Most college students have good qualifications these days as they prepare thoroughly for employment. Since resumes make little difference, impressions they give on interviewers matter more than before," said Kim Byung-gun, a plastic surgeon at BK Dong Yang Plastic Surgery Clinic.

Who gets plastic surgery?

Females were more positive about getting surgery, with 35.6 percent willing to do so, compared with male jobseekers among whom 22.4 percent were taken to the idea.

Kim Seok-han, a plastic surgeon at Opera Plastic Surgery, said that the number of male patients is increasing. "The ratio especially rises during the job search season. Men account for about 30 percent of our patients," he said.

He cited one of his patients as an example. The male college graduate was fluent in Japanese as well as in English and had an excellent GPA. However, he failed after two interviews to get a job. "He determined that the sense of inferiority regarding his appearance made him fail, and he had surgery on his eyes and nose at our clinic. He recovered his self-confidence and got the job he wanted," Kim recollected.

Age doesn't matter. At BK Dong Yang Plastic Surgery Clinic, those in their 40s or 50s often get consulting on cosmetic surgery to enhance competitiveness in their job. "In the past many of those who opted for surgery were seeking a stewardess job or roles in broadcasting, but now they come from every industry. Those who work in sales or those who have to meet people regularly in their job are especially serious about it," BK's Kim said.

Hence, plastic surgery clinics often run advertisements on job search portals. Sometimes, counselors at training centers for jobseekers advise them to get surgery at certain clinics.

Does it help?

Jobseekers strongly believe that their physical appearance matters in the job market. In the survey by Saramin, 67.2 percent of those planning to get the surgery said they were considering it as they believed it mattered much in employment. Among the jobseekers surveyed, 5.1 percent had already had some kind of plastic surgery to get a job. They were very satisfied with 96.4 percent of them saying that the surgery worked positively.

Recruiters agreed, with 39 percent saying that those with good looks have a better chance to succeed in a job interview. Nine out of 10 recruiters said the first impression mattered.

Plastic surgeons explained that jobseekers hope to increase self-confidence through the surgery.

"The surgery helps improve first impressions. Those who think they are unattractive feel inferior during interviews. That's why they fail," said Hong Ki-seok, a PR manager at Medi Hershe.

In the survey, 60.5 percent said they want to be more confident, and 39.9 percent said the surgery would help them score extra points at the interview.

Kim at the BK Dong Yang Plastic Surgery Clinic said that most jobseekers get surgery on their eyes or nose. "If the eyes are too small then one doesn't look soft. And, drooping eyelids make one look sleepy and unenthusiastic," he said. Male jobseekers often get surgery on a hooked nose as it makes them look unfriendly, according to Kim.

Ryu Sang-wook, a plastic surgeon at Grand Plastic Surgery, said those with a protruding chin or mouth, often have problems with accurate pronunciation. "Those seeking surgery in order to land a job are more satisfied with the results than those who get it for purely vanity as they do it to make up for their complex," he said. He said one of his patients who had small eyes had a problem in interviews since he avoided eye contact after people repeatedly told him that his eyes were scary.

Those who want an immediate change right before an interview choose "petit surgery" like fillers. "It's cheaper but the effect doesn't last forever," Hong at the Medi Hershe explained.

How much is it?

According to the survey by Saramin, those who underwent plastic surgery for a job spent on average of 4.38 million. Those who plan to get it were willing to spend 6.5 million won.

It usually takes between 1.2 and 1.5 million won to get surgery on the eyes and 2.5 to 3.5 million won for the nose. That's not small money for jobseekers. When asked how they would fund the surgery, nearly half of the respondents were planning to get part time jobs, 23.2 percent were going to get financial support from their parents, and 12.9 percent were thinking about charging their credit cards.

credit: www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2010/06/123_67425.html
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elizajet 11th-Jun-2010 03:45 am (UTC)
LOL I am thinking of getting it done. -_-;;

That's less expensive than in America for sure.
rinn1e 11th-Jun-2010 03:46 am (UTC)
Those who think they are unattractive feel inferior during interviews. That's why they fail

How about a free session with a psychologist?
quietreveries 11th-Jun-2010 04:11 am (UTC)
Everyone has insecurities about their looks.
cookie_nut 11th-Jun-2010 03:48 am (UTC)
I can't stop laughing at the idea of hiring someone to do a job based on how they look over their qualifications. I just keep thinking of the people in jobs that affect the livelihood of other people who were not the best person for the position, but got it because the person hiring them liked their nose. Sweet Jesus...

Edited at 2010-06-11 03:48 am (UTC)
jaded_skys 11th-Jun-2010 04:06 am (UTC)
In Korea you need to send in a picture with your resume, and when you're up against someone with the same qualifications and experience, they'll choose the more pleasing to look at. It's not just OH THEY'RE UGLY, OUT, but it will sway their vote when up against others on par with you.
mrsxiah1612 11th-Jun-2010 03:50 am (UTC)
someone should knock some sense into Korean minds. seriously that country want perfection more than anything. soon enough everyone will look the same.. :|
cynicalsnark 11th-Jun-2010 03:58 am (UTC)
It's not a "Korean" thing. Shallowness is a global epidemic.
_ochre 11th-Jun-2010 03:54 am (UTC)
Doesn't this shit happen everywhere........
cookie_nut 11th-Jun-2010 04:01 am (UTC)
Actually, I remember there being a hidden camera news program here in the States where females looking for a job were treated differently according to attractiveness, so yes. However, outside our porn industry, I don't think getting plastic surgery to help you get a job is a realistic investment in the US unless you also have a master's degree, or a doctorate in certain cases.

I won't say we're too fat and lazy, just that I can't see my fellow Americans jumping through those kind of hoops for a job. :B

Edited at 2010-06-11 04:02 am (UTC)
shiddex 11th-Jun-2010 03:55 am (UTC)
what the f i read it as, "KEY IS LOOKING FOR A JOB." /fail4eva
kmrawr 11th-Jun-2010 04:04 am (UTC)
notalicious 11th-Jun-2010 03:55 am (UTC)
i thought key was having plastic surgery
djlancerock 11th-Jun-2010 05:19 am (UTC)
lol me too
(no subject) - Anonymous
quietreveries 11th-Jun-2010 04:14 am (UTC)
Spending thousands to just get a job? IDK man.

Well yeah, think of it as an investment :) In the long run it'll be good if you get a high-paying job.

Plus if you're a guy, a nice suit/shirt/tie/briefcase combo will probably be very pricey...
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
nautisch 11th-Jun-2010 04:01 am (UTC)
lmao I read this as "key is landing a job" and I was like ...doesn't he have one?

this is a problem everywhere, not just korea. we read something in a class this semester about how latinas looking to be hired as nannies in L.A. had more success if they were pretty and light-skinned, and less if they were dark-skinned or "sexy" since women didn't want their husbands running off with the nannies a la jude law. it's a universal problem and tbh I don't see an end in sight :\
walkin_siesta 11th-Jun-2010 04:07 am (UTC)
lmao I read this as "key is landing a job"
lawl me too xDD
umbrella_smile 11th-Jun-2010 04:01 am (UTC)
I just read an article on how it is the same in the US too. Thinner better looking people will always be at the top of the list.
cookie_nut 11th-Jun-2010 04:05 am (UTC)
But the difference is how many people are running out and getting plastic surgery to make it happen. Weight loss and better grooming is one thing, but when companies start openly accepting and rejecting people in the US based on their looks, there will be some major shit, not to mention lawsuits.
walkin_siesta 11th-Jun-2010 04:06 am (UTC)
looks over qualifications?
so that's basically saying all korean workers do are sitting around looking pretty.. and to think i slaved away all those years in school..
evennexsoul 11th-Jun-2010 07:16 am (UTC)
gazette in your icon makes me lol.

kmrawr 11th-Jun-2010 04:06 am (UTC)
that is pretty normal, especially in korea, and regarding jobs that require social skills. i am ashamed to say it, but when a waiter or waitress is ugly or overweight i get put off. :\ then again, i haven't passed any interviews conducted but i'm not considering changing my look =___= if you're average in looks but have confidence, it makes a huge difference.
queefing 11th-Jun-2010 04:13 am (UTC)
this is nothing new. its human nature to judge based on appearances and treat attractive people more favorably. so i guess its nice that now theres an option to "level the playing field" for the uglies.

but... cant help thinking the next generation is gonna be so genetically weaker. plastic surgery is gonna create some unions that otherwise wouldnt have occurred naturally.
/nerdy thoughts
evilsupergirl 11th-Jun-2010 04:14 am (UTC)
and that's why I get annoyed when all these same fresh faced pretty people at the cash registers who can't even count change (one even asked if I had a calculator on me). blind people should be the only ones in charge of job hiring.
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