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As an intern facing impending graduation and no firm job prospects, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that trying to land a job is more of an art than a science. After all, most of the advice floating around on nailing job interviews and increasing employability hews more to the “listen to what this executive says” side of the spectrum than the randomized double-blind trials side. Vagaries abound. “Stand out.” “Do your research.” Sure.

The science that is out there doesn’t help much, either. Most of what aids or destroys you in your job hunt, it seems, are factors outside of your control, and some of this stuff is downright confusing. Are you too beautiful for the task at hand? Not beautiful enough? What’s an enterprising job seeker to do?

According to the latest scientific research, all of these things:

Be good at annoying puzzles.
Think about the last time you felt powerful.
Wear glasses.
Have a firm handshake.
Have cross-cultural experience.
Have the same relationship status as your interviewer.
Be culturally similar to your employer.
Have a plan.
Love yourself.
Be a handsome man.
Don’t be an attractive woman.
Really, don’t be an attractive woman.
Don’t have acne.
Don’t be pregnant.
Don’t be too skinny.
Don’t be too fat.
Really, don’t be too fat.
Don’t say you are “creative” or have “extensive experience.”
Be old.
Wait, no, don’t be old.
Don’t order wine at dinner.
Don’t interview on the same day as your toughest competition.

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