Jobseekers Ask: To Tattoo or Not?

Despite the growing popularity of body ink, some say it's a hindrance to finding a job.

Reporters aren't known for their fashion sense.

The last time I worked in a newsroom, most reporters had a crumpled tie or a pair of heels in the trunk of their car for last-minute "formal" affairs, and jeans and t-shirts were common attire.

There were even a few tattoos, despite it being an "older" newsroom. As newsrooms shrink, though, should reporters—and anyone else thinking about applying for a job—think twice before getting tattoos?

According to the Huffington Post, the tight job market has lead to stricter dress codes at some companies, and clean-cut candidates may be more likely to make the cut when it comes to promotions and hiring.

Pew Research Center found that approximately 40 percent of people between the ages of 26 and 40 have tattoos, but despite their popularity, they are the third most likely physical feature to turn off an employer, according to Careerbuilder.com

"Patients tell me that their tattoos are affecting their professional lives," Eric Bernstein, laser expert and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a PR Newswire statement. "Many feel that their body could be holding them back, and this has resulted in more folks seeking tattoo removal."

Philly.com reported that as a result, the laser tattoo removal industry has grown—32 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a dermatological study done by The Patient's Guide

In a survey last year, the career-oriented website CareerBuilder.com surveyed hiring managers, asking them what "top personal attributes employers say would make them less likely to extend a promotion."

Hiring managers are in the business of hiring, so safe to say their response to the questionnaire provides insight into their general feelings about tattoos and other personal attributes.

The top attribute that would keep someone from getting promoted? Thirty-seven percent of hiring managers said "piercings," and 34 percent said "bad breath."

And 31 percent of hiring managers said in the CareerBuilder.com survey that they would be less likely to promote an employee with visible tattoos.

So, hiring managers out there, what do you think? Would you be less likely to hire or promote someone with a tattoo? Vote in the poll and tell us why in the comments. (Don't worry, yours truly won't be offended).


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