Many college students have the hope of landing their dream job after they graduate. But, will having a tattoo decrease your chances of getting a job?
Tattoos have been around for a long time, but recently they have started to become more popular among young adults. With those tattoos comes the question of how they will affect getting a job. I surveyed 50 of Point Loma Nazarene University’s students. 16% of my interviewees had tattoos and over half of the interviewees had a positive perception of tattoos, mostly due to them being a form of self-expression and art.
When asked how they thought tattoos influenced chances of getting a job, over half answered that tattoos could decrease the chances of being hired, mostly because tattoos are often viewed as unprofessional. However, 94% of the interviewees said that the location of a tattoo could affect those chances, since the tattoo may be visible in the required professional attire.
Lastly, 98% of interviewees responded “yes” to whether or not tattoos have become more acceptable in the workplace today, meaning that the negative stigmas of tattoos may be depleting. Overall, the students at PLNU seem to have a positive view of tattoos, but they do believe that tattoos can hinder chances of getting hired at certain jobs.
To get a perspective from the opposite end of the hiring process, I spoke to Devin Jones, a career coach and assistant director at PLNU’s Office of Strengths and Vocation. She said that she values communication skills, teamwork skills, and self-awareness in applicants. As a response to what her first reaction is to seeing an applicant with a visible tattoo, she replied that it depends on the job. However, she said that she asks herself “What is the content of the tattoo, and how does it represent the company?” After restating that it depends on the job, she said that she would hire a qualified candidate with visible tattoos, as long as the tattoos were not offensive.
When asked about hiring applicants with tattoos with negative meanings, she responded that “If it initially to me was off-putting, I personally would not [hire them].” Next, when asked if she thought that employers who discriminate against tattooed job applicants are showing degradation of individuality, she replied “No.” Jones said that companies have a prerogative to maintain a certain brand, and that clean-cut brands and tattoos may not be a great match. Lastly, when asked if she thought that tattoos are starting to become more acceptable in the workplace, she replied that our society is certainly moving toward that.
Written by: Payton Mouw