Job Seeker Blog

Piercing the Workplace Stereotype

Getting a job these days is hard work. ‘Tats’ a fact.

But rest assured that your tattoos - or piercings, for that matter - won’t dramatically reduce your chances of landing that new gig. In fact, according to John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consulting organization, employers would be significantly decreasing their potential pool of employees if they discriminate against those with tattoos and piercings.

At one time, job interviewees with visible tattoos and excessive body piercings would be put at a disadvantage upon stepping foot in an interview, but now they have become so commonplace that they no longer make such a negative impression on employers.

In fact, it may be tough to encounter a qualified candidate without body embellishment; the Food and Drug Administration estimates that more than 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo, and a 2010 Pew Research report reveals that 38% of 18-29 year olds sport a tattoo, while 32% of the 30-45 demographic have body art.

“Today, even in this tight job market, 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from soccer moms to MIT computer science graduates sporting tattoos, preconceptions about tattooed individuals are no longer valid.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,” said Challenger.

Despite the competiveness of the current job search, many interviewees do not attempt to conceal their body. According to a Pew Research report, 32% of 18-29 year olds with tattoos have their body art on visible parts of their bodies for everyone to see.

According to Challenger, “Two decades ago, showing off tattoos and body piercings would be a surefire way to get your resume placed in the ‘No Way!’ pile. Times have changed. Those making the hiring decisions are younger and not as adherent to traditions about workplace appearance.”

Although employers are generally more accepting of tattoos and piercings, some in specific industries remain conservative about their employees’ appearances.

“We may never see visible tattoos on bankers, lawyers, accountants or the clergy. However, areas such as advertising, marketing, sales and technology are more inclined to be progressive and more accepting of new fashion and lifestyle trends,” explained Challenger.

Challenger advises that job seekers with body art ask someone at the company where they are interviewing whether tattoos and piercings are acceptable in the company’s work environment.

“As a job seeker, you have to judge whether the employer you are interviewing with is going to be accepting of your body art. If that is not the case, and that is where you really want to work, then you will have to make an effort to conceal your tattoos and take out your piercings,” said Challenger.Read Full Article

posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

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