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Do Tattoos and Piercings Affect Your Chances of Getting a Job?

Niharika Arya
Today, when tattoos and piercings are very common in society, it is surprising to know that body art might get you into trouble when it comes to being selected for a job. In this story, we try to find out if getting inked can really affect your career chances.

Did You Know?

A study conducted in 2011, by CareerBuilder, an online job portal, showed that 31% of employers ranked 'having a visible tattoo' as the top personal attributes that would deter them from promoting an employee.
In the past, tattoos were done either as a representation of a person's tribe, or were just limited to the name and religious belief of an individual. Today, tattoos have become a fashion statement. According to research conducted by Pew Research Center, approximately 40% people between the ages 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo, or body piercing.
But can sporting a tattoo hamper your chances of getting a job? A few surveys suggest that it does. Let us discuss why tattoos and piercings have become an important point in the list of preferences of employers.

➥ How tattoos and piercings affect your career?

According to a vault.com survey, 85% respondents thought that tattoos and piercings could affect your chances of getting a job. People say that they are judged on the basis of the type of tattoo that they are wearing. Apart from just judging the person, there are many other reasons given by employers in this regard.
They think it gives a negative impression of a person, and does not go with professional attitude. Some even consider it a sign of disrespect when displayed while working. It is a type of discrimination, which is based on a mere tattoo, and unfortunately, there is no law against it. 
Hence, if the dress code of a particular company does not allow a person with tattoo or piercing, then they can reject your application, or fire you if you are working with them.
If you get the job, then the next difficulty you might face is discrimination for promotions. This does not mean they are against your body art, but they think that it should not be displayed at work. You should sincerely follow the dress code of the company. Apart from the dress code, every company has its own policy which its employees have to follow.

➥ Which are the jobs where tattoos and piercings are taken positively?

If you have a tattoo or a piercing, then don't worry, as you will not be treated the same in all jobs. There are some fields where tattoos and piercings are taken positively. Creative fields such as advertising, fashion designing, web designing, etc., are considered to be very broad-minded in case of body art.
Apart from this, agriculture, hospitality, tourism, and recreation are also among the sectors where body art is not considered a bad thing. These companies allow body art to attract young employees. This also reduces the pressure of working in a conservative environment. These companies usually don't have a dress code.

➥ What should you do to cover up your tattoos and piercings?

When going for a job interview, you have to keep a lot of things in mind. As you don't know the policies and rules of the company, you have to take care if you have body art. If you have a tattoo on the arm, wear long sleeves; similarly, wear pants to cover tattoos on your leg and ankle.
If you have piercings other than a earlobe piercing, consider removing all of them. If you get selected, discuss the company's policy with the HR. Tell him about your body art and piercings. The employer may ask you to remove all the jewelry and cover the tattoo while at work.
According to the policy in effect at the Cleveland Clinic, "Tattoos must be covered during working hours to ensure a consistent professional appearance while working." So, it is better to flaunt your tattoos and piercings after working hours.
Keep your ink and piercings covered, and maintain the decorum of your company by following its respective policies.