Laid Off Workers Change Looks to Attract Jobs

August 5, 2009 ( - A new survey finds a number of laid off workers are changing their appearance to attract a new employer.

According to a CareerBuilder press release, more than a quarter (28%) of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months said they have changed their appearance to make themselves more attractive to potential employers. Fourteen percent said they have lost weight, 8% have changed their hair color or hairstyle, and 5% are dressing to appear younger. Teeth whitening, enhanced makeup and cosmetic procedures were also cited.

The survey found it’s not just women worried about their appearance, both men and women said they made changes to their appearances in hopes of appealing to potential employers, at 26% and 30%, respectively.

The press release said 48% of workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last three months have found new full-time positions, up from 41% in March. An additional 3% found part-time positions, down from 8% in the previous survey.

Among compromises laid off workers are willing to make to gain employment, 44% took a pay cut, compared to 49% of respondents to the March survey who said they took a pay cut (see Laid Off Workers Report Lack of Severance and Taking Lower Pay ). However, more than half (56%) reported they were able to negotiate comparable or higher pay for their new positions.

Workers also have been more willing to relocate, 20% who were laid off in the last 12 months and found jobs relocated to a new city or state, up from 13% in March. Of those who are still looking for employment, 44% reported they would consider relocating for a job opportunity, up from 39 percent in March.

Similar to the last survey, 38% of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and landed new jobs said they found work in a different field than where they were previously employed. Of those workers, the majority said they really enjoy their new positions.

CareerBuilder found an increased number of job seekers considering starting their own business – 29%, up from 25% in March.

The CareerBuilder survey was conducted in June among 921 workers who were laid off from full-time jobs within the last 12 months.