Tattoo You? Don't Hide Them for Job Interviews Just Yet

My BNET colleague Suzanne Lucas (aka Evil HR Lady) suggests that if you sport tattoos, you'll just have to accept the fact that some people aren't going to hire you. Her good advice: When applying for a job, first look at the current employees and dress appropriately.

But I was heartened to learn that tattoos are becoming more accepted in the workplace. Outplacement specialists Challenger, Gray & Christmas report that even in today's tough hiring environment,

"... most companies are not going to view tattoos too harshly. One reason is that with everyone from soccer moms to MIT computer science graduates sporting tattoos, preconceptions about tattooed individuals are no longer valid. Secondly, and more importantly, companies have a vested interest in hiring the most qualified candidate."
It turns out that 36 percent of Millennials have some sort of body art, and 40 of GenXers are so adorned, according to a Pew Research Center report this year. In all, more than 40 million Americans sing the body electric. That represents a big dent in the available labor pool.

Of course, some professions and tattoos just don't to go together. According to CG&C:

  • Jobs where tattoos are not common include bankers, lawyers, accountants and the clergy.
  • Jobs where tattoos may not be such be a hindrance: Advertising, marketing, sales and technology. (Let's add to this list motorcycle repair technicians and tattoo artists.)
So fear not you mighty tattoo'd warrior. Your war paint won't necessarily keep you out of gainful employment.

(Image by Flickr user madaboutasia, CC 2.0)