Tattoos lessen likelihood of landing ...

Tattoos lessen likelihood of landing a job

There are 83 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jul 30, 2007, titled Tattoos lessen likelihood of landing a job. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Got a tattoo? It could interfere with getting a job. A new survey shows that employees are getting the message that plenty of bosses find visible tattoos or body piercings objectionable in the workplace.

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Hillsboro, OR

#1 Jul 31, 2007
i would buy it if you gave some serious statistics. I have tattoos but all of them are hidden from plain sight. If you phrased things correctly it would not categorize all people with tattoos in one group.
A Hiring Manager

United States

#2 Jul 31, 2007
Darn right it does. If somebody comes in here looking for a job and they have tattoos that seem "anti-social" or "angry" they might as well not bother. Those tattoos were chosen for a reason and that reason indicates a less-than-ideal employee. If the tattoo screams "down with the man", well, I AM the man.

I am not talking about someone with a decorative tattoo or a small tattoo. I am talking about the morons who walk in here with crazy skulls and flames and such and expect me to let them represent my company.

You can boast about how you don't "play by the rules" all you want. Around here we are looking for people who can play by the rules and get along. So sorry.
Al Traxler

Tallahassee, FL

#3 Jul 31, 2007
this is the reason why people get tattoos that are usually not seen.
you could always get the job first...then get a tattoo like i did.

Pekin, IL

#4 Jul 31, 2007
My question is, what does a tattoo have to do with an individual's intellect or ability to do the work in which he or she was hired to do?

United States

#5 Jul 31, 2007
Wow. Some top notch reporting there Patricia. Keep up the good work.


Irvine, CA

#6 Jul 31, 2007
What did you think would happen when you covered yoruself with tattoos? I live in california we are very liberal and I personally dont have a problem with it but common sense dictates that different generations or people in more consevative areas of the country just might.Why limit yourself to job where this is acceptable? Anyway all those tattos you have ,what will they look like in 30 years? Come on now just use a little discretion and common sense and you wont have a problem

San Francisco, CA

#7 Jul 31, 2007

Taft, TX

#8 Jul 31, 2007
I work for a court; I have both piercings and tattoos. I specifically had them placed in such a way as to not draw attention or so they could be easily covered. The fact is that people expect a certain appearance of the employees here. I'm 34 years old but if I let my tats/piercings show I would be taken a lot less seriously and my work would suffer. It's not about my capabilities, it's about my _perceived_ capabilities.

As for the person who commented about "angry" tattoos- one of mine is of a skull. It's in memory of my late husband, who was a biker, and reflects no anger, resentment, bitterness or desire to "take down the man" on my part. Although you may hire based on the anticipated opinions of what your customers will think, lumping all "angry" tattoos into one assumption makes you just as prejudiced as those customers.

Brentwood, TN

#9 Jul 31, 2007
How true this is. I went to interview for a position with United Healthcare, working in a office complex never visited by customers. The first two interviews, I wore shirt and tie, got a 98.6% on my entrance exam, passed all the other testing they needed me to do. They called me on a friday afternoon to try and come in for my drug testing, and I was already out for the day, and i didnt have time to change from my shorts and t-shirt I had on. Besides it was just for a drug test. Needless to say I never heard back from them until I received a letter in the mail stating I wasnt qualified enough to work there. All because of a tattoo that actually holds meaning was showing. Yes I understand perception has a lot to do with reality, but a lot of good workers are being turned away because of tattoos. Hell cologne and perfumes are a hell of a lot more offensive than tattoos.

Englewood, CO

#10 Jul 31, 2007
I turned down a good job because they said "no piercings, or facial hair". The job would've been good but my freedom won out and a month later I landed a good job where I visit customers often and have a position of authority. I have tatoos on my forearms and pierced ears. I had them when I was hired and they said nothing. I even had long hair.

So there are employers out there who judge you by your appearance and not your skill or knowledge and there are employers who overlook these little things (tattoos, piercings, hair) to some degree and judge you on how you can benefit their company.

Bottom line...Its not fair but when you go for an interview, its their company and they can make these rules if they want.

Ottawa, Canada

#11 Jul 31, 2007
I have a good job. I have many tattoos. Never once has my employer sought to make me cover them up. One is even an "angry" one, a skeleton with a top hat. I am well respected at my work. Tattoos do not make a degenerate. What happened to the unbiased approach that we are told employers are supposed to use in the hiring process?

San Francisco, CA

#12 Aug 1, 2007
Tattoos are disgusting!
Chris Haines

Edmonton, Canada

#13 Aug 1, 2007
I'm fine with people with tattoos and piercings, but I have no time for people who highlight their hair in order to hide the gray. They should be forced to wear hats.

F***ing hypocrites. I can't believe that people are bothered by this. Can you remember a time when gays weren't allowed in some workplaces? Or blacks? Or women?


Olathe, KS

#14 Aug 2, 2007
tattoos all say the same thing > " I make bad decisions !"


“People are fun to watch”

Since: Aug 07


#15 Aug 2, 2007
I have always worked in banking. Pretty conservative place. Even with a business casual dress code, tattoos have always been out of place. My company's dress code prohibits visible tattoos, more than 2 earrings per ear, no tongue piercings, no "non-natural" hair colors, no weird hairstyles, etc. I agree with the dress code. I should mention I have 2 tattoos, not visible when wearing clothes.

It will be some time before our society wholly accepts tattoos. Older bank customers tend to be more conservative and do generally have a bias against tats and piercings. Is this wrong? Tattooing and piercings are not legally protected classes, such as race age and gender. Older customers tend to have the most money. Bank policy is dictated to cause the least offense, take the least risk. Much of corporate America is this way. I view folks with lots of visible tattoos as those who have made a statement, "I do what I want and don't care what you think." I can't hire that person, because my industry is all about following rules and taking little risk.

One of my employees asked me where she should get a tattoo (19 year old teller). I told her to get it on her butt.

Birmingham, UK

#16 Aug 8, 2007
I think is absolute pap that people get judged by tats , i mean i really want both my arms sleeved , and if i can cover them with a long sleeved shirt or similar , whats the prob? some people are just arrogant.

Severn, MD

#17 Aug 8, 2007
Although the point is doesnt make sense for a persons appearence...past effect their job security....If i am clean, well-dressed, and great at my job, the why should my art work effect the opinions of how compitent or capible I am at doing my job....Explain to me how different it is from society once looking at females with peirced ears as hussies or men with earrings as gay????? It was unspeakable at some point in history as (apparently) tattoes are today......but the next generation will find there own forms of self-expression and so will the is inevitable......accept change because it is the only thing we know is certain....change...

so much in history we( as americans and as human beings) have ostrizied people from the colors of their skin(stupid right?!) so i feel discriminating against me for my appereance ( whether agreed with or not)should be illegal, like it is for other forums of discrimination...

doesnt make sense???

we are only incouraging this type of classism, categorizing people.....and such?
and encouraging people to look at us inked folks differently because all these rules have been formed against it....

it is the new form of expression becoming more and more we all better get used to it...or if we ostrisize all of our tattoed employees, then soon we will all find ourselves with out employees.....

Progress and change are inevitable, but with them an open mind is can fight it, but it's an uphill battle...acceptance and understanding of ALL!!!!!! of our differences is the key to help all of us as people get along better. and bring in the furture (with whatever it hold,) together, as people, different but the same...

Severn, MD

#18 Aug 8, 2007
and also to all the "open mined" people knocking tattoes (something they know nothing about)...

i only hope you have the opportunity one day to be ostrisized and a yuppy, or a preppy, or a suit...with no soul or personality.or sense of humor....

to talk out of your ass with no basis or facts to back it up is ignorance which too many displayed on this forum.....speak realness and intelligence...not shit talking for the sake of shit talking ....thats very immature for the people who i am sure are a little too old to be acting like kids.....

Denver, CO

#19 Aug 10, 2007
It depends on the place that you decide to work but I work for a communications company that does not care at all how many tattoos or piercings you have. I have 5 tattoos and my nose pierced and I am a supervisor for said company.

Boise, ID

#20 Aug 11, 2007
inkless wrote:
tattoos all say the same thing > " I make bad decisions !"
You are very narrow minded. Some tattoos are bad decisions, yes, but well thought through tattoos shouldn't be an issue. It also depends on your career choice. I have friends who are tattoo artists and they make more money than most of my friends. But then I know some 17-18 year olds who are getting tattoos on their arms and legs and hands and I think that is a little far. My first tattoos were on my back, they held significant meaning to me, and they were a gift. Having "stick-it-to-the-man " tattoos is fine if you want to work for yourself. But why in the world would you go get those tattoos and then try to get a job?

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