In a survey of restaurants, bars and hotels, 85% of employers put personal presentation and appearance as the things they looked for first when recruiting staff.

Initiative, communication skills and even the ability to follow instructions were all rated less important.

Job adverts regularly ask for people who are stylish, attractive, trendy or well-spoken.

There is now a danger, a report from the Industrial Society warns, that people without these attributes will be denied work.

The Observer 4/03/01 page 20 (Business)