HR professionals tend to discriminate against attractive female job applicants who include a photo of themselves, but favour good looking men who do the same, new research has revealed.

A study, by the Royal Economic Society, looking at “beauty” bias among recruiters found that good looking women who send a picture in with their job application were invited for fewer interviews than plainer candidates or people who do not include a picture.

But, conversely, handsome men who send a photo in with their CV were more likely to be called for interview than less attractive men.

Researchers said the study “proves that there is a double standard between good looks as a positive factor in men versus women”.

They also found that recruiters are more likely to be women in their 20s who are “more likely to be jealous when confronted with an attractive woman in the workplace but not an attractive man,” leading to the double standard results.

The findings contradict current psychology and organisational behaviour research on beauty, which associates attractiveness, for men and women, with almost every conceivable positive trait and disposition, researchers said.