Ask the Readers: Surgery to Improve Your Job Search Odds?

How far some people will go to get hired.

Cosmetic and plastic surgery entered the mainstream years ago, but outside the adult and many modeling industries, it’s still rare to hear about people getting “enhanced” specifically for the purpose of finding a job or finding a better job.

Not anymore.

My Twitter friend @shim34 sent along this article, Job seekers in China go under the knife to boost prospects:

“It sounds like a drastic solution, but in a country where 6.1 million new college, university and vocational school graduates are just coming onto an already depressed job market, these qualify as drastic times. Young job applicants and entry-level workers are looking for whatever kind of leg up they can get.

The waif-thin Chinese woman said that in 2004, after she had double eyelid surgery, her new wide-eyed appearance was her ticket to success. “I had more opportunities for jobs and I was more accepted in all sorts of ways,” she marveled.”

In fact, the story mentions that the woman actually underwent surgery TWICE. Since she felt that it helped get her first job out of university, she didn’t really hesitate to have more surgery when the time came to job search again.

Is this really a good idea or not?

2013402342_f50b674f30PRO: A Personal Branding shortcut

If you have the money and are certain that the surgery will help you stand out in a tough job market, enabling you to find a job sooner and thus paying for itself with months of salary you might not have had otherwise, go for it. If you’re careful about the work you have done, you might even be able to “go back” if you change your mind later on.

CON: A Personal Branding shortcut

Like most shortcuts, this is a bad idea. Personal branding is not just about standing out, it’s about distinguishing yourself for the right reasons. Just because you look more appealing to a hiring company doesn’t mean you’re more capable of achieving success for them. Although that can be written off as their problem, it could quickly come back to haunt you if the company decides to end your contract once the expected results aren’t there.

Would you be willing to undergo surgery to improve your job search chances of success? Do you know anyone who already has?


Jacob Share, a job search expert, is the creator of JobMob, one of the biggest blogs in the world about finding jobs. Follow him on Twitter for job search tips and humor. In July 2009, he will be releasing The Ultimate Twitter Job Search Guide, the first ebook about using Twitter for job search.