There was a time when even a glimpse of a tattoo in the job interview was a career killer and cause immediate disqualification of the jobseeker. Career advice from career professionals would definitely include a warning about tattoos in the job interview.
TV reality shows like Miami Ink and LA Ink are inspiring people to get tattoos. In fact, my 30 year-old niece just got a koi, on her instep.
What number of people have tattoos?
- 36% of 18 to 25 year-olds (2006)
- 40% of those aged 26 to 40 (2006)
- 15% of Americans were tattooed (2000)
In a recent survey of employer perceptions by NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers hiring managers were asked to quantify the influence certain factors had on their hiring decisions.
- Only 29% of employers said obvious tattoos strongly influenced them
- 71% of employers said tattoos had slight to no influence on their hiring decisions.
Of course none of this means that employers look favorably on tattoos in the job interview.
Jobseekers should heed career advice from a recent Harris Interactive poll of 2000+ adults showing that 32% of people without tattoos believed that individuals with tattoos were more likely to do something deviant. More than half believed that a person with a tattoo is more rebellious.
While employers are changing their attitudes in the job interview, jobseekers conducting a serious job search should remember that personal biases affect hiring decisions. Although it is more acceptable, careers could still be stalled because of tattoos in the job interview.