Is Your Tattoo Preventing You From Getting Hired?

Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
I work in a creative industry, so I've never really thought twice about hiring someone with tattoos, whether they had a tiny star on their wrist or full sleeves. I have one, and so do many of my coworkers and managers. In fact, in my industry, tattoos are yet another form of creative expression that help you stand out from the crowd.

Unfortunately, not everyone is so keen on employees with body ink. According to a new survey from Skinfo, 37% of hiring managers list tattoos as the third physical attribute that could limit career potential. The only thing worse than having a visible tat is having bad breath or piercings. There are no laws to protect the 45 million Americans who have tattoos from hiring and workplace discrimination.

Skinfo also looked at the breakdown of tattoos across industries. Maybe it's not surprising, but the U.S. military has the highest percent of tattooed staff (36%), while the government has the fewest (just 8%). I wonder how long it will take for us to have a tattooed president?

While hiring managers might balk if you have a neck, head, or face tattoo, they're less concerned if your ink can be covered up easily. Maybe heed the advice of rockabilly hero Brian Setzer (who has dozens of tats) and don't get a tattoo where the judge can see it.
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