(WFLX) - If you're finding getting a new job is harder than it looks, it may be because of your looks.
With so many employers looking to hire younger, less expensive candidates, a growing number of people are giving more than their resume a face-lift.
"How you look makes a difference," said Sandra.
She eats right, exercises and dresses well. The only thing she can't control: "Wrinkles. Wrinkles are very bad."
The 50-something-year-old veteran marketing and sales representative decided to do something after she became concerned for her job security - especially knowing that a lot of companies are looking to slash costs by hiring younger people who will work for less. "Someone may look at me now and think, 'She's not willing to work that hard anymore', which is not the truth at all."
Which is why she went for a 'recession rejuvenation'. She received Restylane in her smile lines. "It took off at least 10 years."
And she's not alone. A 2008 survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed two-thirds of American plastic surgeons treated men and women hoping to stay competitive in the work force.
Plastic surgeon Steven Dayan, M.D. explained, "The economic downturn is effecting the type of patients who are coming in."
Dr. Dayan says the unemployed have become an unconventional customer. "We do see more patients coming to me saying, 'Doctor, I've got a job interview coming up. What can I do to look my best?'"
To look their best, these patients are opting to go under the needle, instead of the knife, because of the lower costs and quicker results.
Nationwide, Botox treatments are up 13 percent in just one year with Restylane treatments up 35 percent.
"It's immediate. Someone takes inventory of you, and it's the whole image," said Rose Ann Pastor, career manager.
She says anything you can do to enhance your appearance is a plus - especially since employers will decide within the first five minutes if they would consider hiring you. "Those nonverbal communications speak much more loudly before you can get your first word out."
But CEO John Challenger says, in this economy, looks will only get you so far. "Appearance is just one issue. When you're thinking about preparing for the search, you want to think about every aspect."
He also says he looks for candidates who are highly qualified, require little training, and have a compatible personality. "Botox, or trying to get rid of your wrinkles, is not going to be a deciding factor."
Sandra knows she's can't Botox her way to better job security, but she's hoping her newfound confidence will lead to new opportunities down the road. "I want those doors to be able to open. Those same doors I was able to open in my 30s and 40s."