Most of us agonise over making sure our CV is up to scratch when we apply for a job.

For some women, however, it seems that the answer to securing an interview may be as simple as wearing a low-cut dress.

Research suggests that women whose application included a photograph of themselves in revealing clothing were 19 times more likely to be invited in for a face-to-face meeting.

The findings will today be presented at a conference on body image in London.


The study was conducted in Paris and examined the chances of earning a job interview for sales and accounting positions.

It was carried out by Dr Sevag Kertechian, a researcher at Paris-Sorbonne University, who wanted to discover what impact clothing could have on the recruitment process.

It used two similar looking French women with near identical experience on their CVs.

Each woman applied for 100 roles wearing conservative clothing and another 100 roles in a more revealing outfit, and the study took place over three years.

Of the 200 sales roles that were applied for, the submissions which were accompanied by a photo of the woman in a low-cut dress received 62 more interview offers than their more conservatively dressed counterparts.

From the 200 accountancy applications, there were 68 more interview offers for the more provocatively dressed candidate.

Dr Kertechian said: "We found that when we compared the recruiters in each field, 65 per cent of those recruiting for the accountancy roles were male - perhaps the results are down to the fact that men want to work with a good-looking female.

"For the sales jobs, the recruiters were 75 per cent female. Here I believe that sexiness and dressing provocatively could improve the candidate's chances because they would be seen as potentially able to improve sales."

Dr Kertechian added: "I think that the results suggest that people think you will be better at the job if you dress in a certain manner, but what is shocking is that women appear to have more success when they dress provocatively regardless of the role.

"Our results showed interesting trends as low-cut dresses significantly influenced the choice of the recruiters, even for accounting positions.

"Regardless of the job - whether customer-facing saleswoman or office-based accountant - the candidate with the low-cut clothing received more positive answers.

"The results were quite shocking and negative but not necessarily surprising."

The findings will be discussed at the Appearance Matters Conference, which begins today and is the world's largest event on the psychology of appearance, including body image and disfigurement.

Run by the Centre for Appearance Research, it will see more than 200 experts from across the world tackle issues including weight loss surgery, eating disorders and 'ultra-thin' dolls.