Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hide Tattoos for Job Interviews

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?

Pew Foundation:
- 36% of 18 to 25 year-olds (2006)
- 40% of those aged 26 to 40 (2006)

National Geographic:
- 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.

7 comments: said...

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Anonymous said...

Neither I nor my company would ever hire someone with a tattoo or has otherwise disfigured their body.

You get a tattoo, you are instantly ruining your chances for being hired for a lot of jobs.

Mandy Stroyer said...

I'm sorry, but the above comment by "anonymous" is NOT necessarily the opinion of the majority. I have several tattoos. Some are easily hidden, some are not. I have never had a problem getting GOOD jobs, despite my tattoos. And I don't mean low paying retail jobs or jobs in the arts or music industry. I work in the medical & mental health fields. In managerial positions. I'm damn good at what I do & my tattoos have never been an issue. I dress appropriately for work, which I would do even if I didn't have tattoos. While most of my tatts remain hidden by average office attire, some of them still show, but most people don't even notice because the focus is on my abilities to do a fantastic job!

I'm sorry, but the thought that by getting a tattoo "you are instantly ruining your chances for being hired for a lot of jobs" is just small minded & ignorant.

Anna Joseph said...

Remember that, interviewers first impressions are often the lasting impression. So, you should hide or remove your tatoos for your interview, it's a better option for you.

Common Interview Questions

Tattoo Cover Up Options said...

"Anonymous" - Almost 40% of American’s now have at least 1 tattoo. That's a big portion of the candidate pool. I do understand though if companies want to have a "no visible tattoo" policy.

I have tattoos and I work for a fortune 500 company. Many members of senior leadership have tattoos.

Although my employer does not have a policy against visible tattoos. I choose to cover them if I am meeting with clients.

I would open your mind a bit, it's 2011 and you're likely going to miss out on some great candidates.

BullsEyeCareers said...

Hi Tattoo Cover Up,

They are certainly more and more prevalent and employers are less "hung up" about them. Good move to cover up with clients since you really never know what bias will impact someone's decision.


BullsEyeCareers said...

Hi Mandy,

Great points! Things are definitely changing in the workplace. However, employers do have their preferences. As you said, you are good at what you do and you have probably proven that. Many new college grads haven't yet proved themselves may have to be more cautious until they land that first big gig.