By Gwen Parkes, AOL Jobs
With so many people either unemployed or looking to change jobs in today's unpredictable economic environment, people are putting a lot of extra thought and time into their job searches, prepping for their interviews and padding their resumes to stand out as "the ideal hire." However, did you know that your fate as an earner could already be determined by your outward appearance and actions?
Take the quiz below to find out how many attributes and physical characteristics you have that favor you to make some big bucks, regardless of who your former employer was or how gold-plated your work history may be.
1. How tall are you?
a. 6' 0" (+)
b. 5' 6"
c. 5' 4"
d. 5' 2" (-)
Timothy A. Judge, Ph.D. of the University of Florida and researcher Daniel M. Cable, Ph.D. of the University of North Carolina, found a link between taller height in men and higher salaries. Their findings suggest that a 6'0" tall man will earn over $160,000 more over the course of a 30-year career than a shorter man in that same position.
2. What color is your hair?
Not only do gentlemen prefer blondes, but women with blond hair make a salary that is 7 percent higher than ladies with darker hair, says the University of Queensland.
3. How do people describe your face?
a. Mature looking
b. Wrinkled and weathered
c. Baby-faced and youthful
A Duke University study called "A Corporate Beauty Contest" found that mature-looking Caucasian men were perceived as more powerful in the workplace than their youthful, sprite-looking counterparts.
4. How often do you smile?
a. All the time
Rice University Professor Rick Wilson's new study found that good looks and success go hand in hand, and that people who smile a lot are seen as more trustworthy — a major bonus in the workplace if you are trying to advance your career or start a new one.
5. Men, how much hair do you have and where is it?
a. Clean shaven with all your own hair
In today's workplace, there is a huge emphasis on your image and appearance, because it is believed by many that your outward presentation goes along with your inward personality and capabilities. For example, U.S. News & World Report finds that hair implants and plastic surgery can actually improve your workplace standings.
6. Women, do you wear makeup to work?
a. All the time
Research and expert advice shows that women who wear makeup to work are perceived as more professional, and that made-up women get promoted faster than those who go au natural.
7. What's your standard workplace attire of choice?
a. Conservative suits
b. Hip dresses or fashionable ties
c. Casual, relaxed clothes
d. Sexy and tight outfits
The Harvard Business Review found that more than half of professional women believed that conservative attire was linked to higher levels of success. There is something to be said for not wearing distracting or inappropriate clothing to the office; after all, you want people to know you are a worker bee, not a working gal.
8. What is your marital status?
Want to climb the corporate ladder? Well then hitch your career-star to your better half and enjoy a greater net worth than your single friends, says Dinks Finance and Richard Niolon.
9. What's your ancestry?
According to 'The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy,' households headed by persons of Russian ancestry tend to have higher net worths.
10. How often do you smoke?
b. Occasionally (social smoking, a few cigarettes per month)
c. Frequently (several cigarettes a day)
d. Often (8 or more cigarettes a day)
If you smoke, your net worth may go up in smoke as well. According to 'The Wealth Effects of Smoking' by J.L Zagorsky, non-smokers have a net worth that is 50 percent higher than light smokers.
Calculate your score
To calculate your score, give yourself 20 points for every A answer, 15 for every B, 10 for every C and 5 for every D. (* Please note that while this quiz is based on studies and research, it is in no way scientifically certain and should not be treated as such.)
200 – 170
You are a cut-above the rest and destined to be a top-earner who easily grosses well over six figures each year. Think, law firm partner, investment banker, IT guru and entrepreneurial ninja. For people in this category, the sky is the limit and bonuses are often as big as the bucks you'll earn.
You are still coming out well above average and will enjoy a comfortable lifestyle thanks to your career. Jobs that fall into this second tier category will most likely be in high-end sales, like real estate or pharmaceuticals, or as a physician or a consultant.
Your score is right around the average. You make enough to pay bills, but do not enjoy a lavish lifestyle. Many of the jobs suited to employees in this category are standard office positions, such as federal and state workers, human resources personnel and executive assistants.
You are not destined to make big bucks in your current career situation and may want to rethink your long-term goals for career advancement. Employees in this tier often do shift work or manual labor, and don't seem to make enough to pay their bills.
Clearly getting a job today is just as much about what you look like, as it is about what and who you know. If you find that your appearance or actions are falling short in certain areas, take the necessary steps to climb the corporate ladder. Regardless of whether the critical factor be shaving, getting hitched or dying your hair — what do you have to lose?
Some things you have no control over, like your height or eye color; but other things are easily altered (such as how much you smoke), and can be the difference between a six-figure salary and a $50,000 salary.