Job Interviews and Tattoos

“Tattoos can mark a career”, a recent article in the Toronto Star says Toronto employers advise job candidates to “be sensible” when meeting a prospective boss for the first time, and that includes hiding any tattoos or body piercings in order to make a good first impression.  Marc Belaiche, president of says most employers view tattoos negatively.  “It’s common sense” he says.  “It’s like knowing you shouldn’t wear jeans to an interview.”

The results of a tattoo and body piercing survey by career website found that 85% of employees who responded recognized that body decorations can hinder a candidate’s chances of getting a job.  Obviously people are getting the message, as last years survey resulted in only 19% agreeing that tattoos could impede their potential to land a job!

Belaiche said, “If it’s a mechanics job, the employers don’t care but if it’s a white-collar job – meaning downtown corporate banks or financial institutions – they’re more against tatoos showing or even nose rings.  They don’t want anything out of the norm.”

Kevin Final, a temporary-services co-ordinator at Temps4u tells any potential employee to cover up before going to an interview or assignment and says hiding tattoos does not stifle a person’s individuality.  “There are a lot of things that are part of a person that expresses who they are, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate everywhere they are.”  He says clients don’t specifically ask for workers who don’t have prominent tattoos because it’s typically an unspoken understanding.  “You just don’t do it.”

If you are interested in working in work pants or jeans for the rest of your life you will likely not be negatively affected by sporting your body piercings or tattoos.  However, if you choose to seek a high profile position it will be necessary to cover up or begin a long term investment in plastic surgery to fill in the holes and remove the ink.


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