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Tattoos Are Taboo in Job Interviews

July 20th, 2011 · No Comments

I was encouraged to write about the growing popularity of  tattoos by coworkers and recruiters who have noticed a rise in the number of job applicants sporting the new fashion craze. 

I asked several hiring managers and recruiters this week about their reactions to seeing tattoos on job applicants.  Like me, most said they had no objections to an individual’s decision to sport a tattoo, but all said they should not be visible during interviews.  They simply create an unnecessary distraction, and some wonder “what was she thinking when she put a giant bird of paradise on her leg?” 

Tattoos are being poplarized by celebrities and sports figures, and by TLC reality shows,  “Miami Ink” and NY Ink” featuring tattoo artist Ami James.  James was featured in last Sunday’s New York Times, and he may have surprised some readers by noting that he’s drawn the line on where he’ll put tattoos.  He won’t do “job stoppers”–anything on the hand or above the neck that you can’t cover up during a job interview. 

As the Times notes, James knows that plenty of employers rank tattoos right up there with drunken party pictures on Facebook.  Good idea to follow James’ simple tattoo rule:  Make sure you can cover it up during a job interview.

Tags: Advice from a Pro · Job Search

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