If you have body art and piercings then no doubt you’ve been told by family members or friends to “cover up” or “tone it down” while you embark on your search for a job. The good news is, as the years move forward so has the attitudes towards tattoos and piercings in the workplace.
Statistics show that 1 in 10 people have a tattoo or piercing so attitudes are changing. Employers have to change with the times, and unlike thirty years ago when tattoos and piercings were seen as deviant and associated with gangs and thugs, they are now seen as fashionable, even elegant.
Nevertheless, showing your true colours and achieving success in an interview marginally depends on what sector you want to enter. If you are looking for a role within the creative field, then signs of individuality are often interpreted as ingenuity and expression and more often than not will be welcomed.
Though you must bear in mind, if you are going for a customer facing role, or aiming to work in a professional field such as a doctor or solicitor, then employers may be worried that your image will reflect on the company and alienate potential clients. If you are going for a role in the service industry piercings may conflict with health and hygiene laws.
If you’re worried, communicate with your employer before the interview. Confirm their dress code or request a copy of the employee manual. If anything, this will make you appear more enthusiastic about the company.
As the law stands in the UK at the moment, there is no legislation to protect people with tattoos and piercings from being discriminated against during the interview stage. Discrimination only applies in regards to race, gender, age, origin and sexuality. However, if an employer shows prejudice towards you once you are employed by them, legal action can be taken.
What you want for sure is that your budding employer appreciates your skills and focuses on your achievements. You don’t want them being so distracted by your appearance that they fail to see your potential. With this in mind it’s always best to tone it down; go in looking the part, wear smart clothes and be professional.
If the company doesn’t like facial piercings and tattoo sleeve then meet them half way and adapt your image. In time the facade between employer and employee disintegrates to a degree, and if you do a good job then that is what you will be recognised for.