Posted February 15, 2013 by

Survey: Tattoos Hurt Your Chances of Getting a Job

Aaron Gouveia

Aaron Gouveia, Salary.com contributing writer

Maybe it’s a tribal arm band, the orchids on your lower back playing peek-a-boo with your coworkers, or — gulp — you’re wearing it on your face a la Mike Tyson. But even if it’s that cute little leprechaun on your ankle, our latest survey results show visible tattoos at work could have a negative effect on your pot of gold.

A recent study from the Pew Research Center found nearly 40% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo, and body piercings are also a growing means of self-expression among people in this age group. In a perfect world we would all be judged solely on the merit of our work. But if the 2,675 people we surveyed are any indication, there is a lot more going on when it comes to performance evaluations, raises, promotions, and making character assumptions about people based on their appearance.

But who has the tattoos, what do people find objectionable about them, and to what extent? The results might surprise you.

Tattoos, Piercings & Credibility

Of the nearly 2,700 people we surveyed, 12% reported having a visible tattoo that can be seen by managers and coworkers during the workday. Only 3% reported having a visible body piercing (other than an earring).

The biggest takeaways from our survey include a whopping 76% of respondents feel tattoos and piercings hurt an applicant’s chances of being hired during a job interview. And more than one-third – 39% of those surveyed – believe employees with tattoos and piercings reflect poorly on their employers. Furthermore, 42% feel visible tattoos are always inappropriate at work, with 55% reporting the same thing about body piercings.

Fortunately, only 4% of those with tattoos and piercings report having faced actual discrimination because of their ink and body art.

Age Plays a Factor

Overall, 42% of those surveyed feel any and all visible tattoos are inappropriate at work. That number climbs to 55% for body piercings. And as you might guess, age plays a huge role in how tattoos and piercings are perceived at work.

The younger generation was most likely to have tattoos, as people age 26-32 edged out the 18-25 demographic by a 22% to 21% margin. That number drops steadily with age, bottoming out at less than 1% for people age 60 and older. For body piercings, the 18-25 age group topped the charts at 11%, compared to a combined 3% of people older than 40. Although respondents in each age group seemed to recognize tattoos and piercings hurt an applicant’s job search chances, there was a very clear difference of opinion regarding the appropriateness of tattoos in the workplace.

In a nutshell, the older you are the less tolerant you become regarding tattoos. Not surprisingly, people 18-25 were the most accepting of tattoos in the office with only 22% claiming they are inappropriate. That percentage jumps in each age group, maxing out at 63% of people age 60 and older finding tattoos objectionable at work.  Continue reading . . .

Article by and courtesy of Salary.com

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Posted in Advice for Candidates, Career Advice, Employers, Job Search, Research, Workplace Problems | Tagged Tagged , ,