Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Can Tattoos and Body Piercings Prevent You From Landing the Job?

Tattoos and body piercings are quite common these days. In fact, as someone who does not have a tattoo or a piercing beyond the standard pierced ears, I often find myself in the minority. To put it into perspective, 30 years ago 1 in 100 people in the U.S. had tattoos. Now 1 in 10 Americans have tattoos and more than 30% of people aged 25 to 30 have tattoos. However common place they become, there are work environments where they are simply not acceptable.

If you have body art or piercings, you must be aware of the fact that there is a distinct possibility that they can hinder your job search process. In fact, conducted a survey where 60% of employers said they were less likely to hire a candidate with tattoos or piercings. For some hiring managers, they can not get beyond the stigma of the type of people who used to get tattoos - gang members, prisoners, and pirates to name a few. It may also be that they simply view them as unprofessional. Keep in mind, there are many well-known corporations - Starbucks and Wal-Mart for example - that prohibit visible tattoos and/or body piercings in the workplace.

If you have tattoos and body piercings your options for ensuring they don't impact your consideration for a job are limited. Your first option is to cover up body art with clothing, band-aids, opaque stockings or strategically placed jewelry. Temporarily take out body piercings or use a less visible, flesh colored or clear plastic insert for those piercings that can not be removed. The only other option is to do your research in advance. Find out your potential employer's policy on body art and piercings. If they are prohibited in their dress code, you should take care to make them invisible for the interview or determine that the company may not be the best fit for you.

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