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Does having a tattoo affect whether you’ll be employed?

Author: Jenny Dallas /09 August 2017/Categories: Apprenticeships

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Does having a tattoo affect whether you’ll be employed?
We asked you the question. And the results are in! 

It is a very difficult question to answer because it depends on what the tattoo is, where it is and where you want to be employed but it is something to consider when you’re going for a job. It’s interesting to see that you have said it shouldn’t matter if you have a tattoo when you’re going for a job – but people are still concerned about the possibility of being turned down due to their body art. In 2012 a survey by The British Association of Dermatologists suggested that 1 in 5 British adults had a tattoo, so is there really a problem with having a tattoo? Unfortunately, there may be, some employers have traditional views that are woven deep into the corporate world. A tattoo may set you back depending on the company you want to work in, but that might change in the future.

I’m worried about my tattoos…

If you have a tattoo that you’re worried will hinder your chances of being employed, there are things you can do. It is the employer’s decision on whether to hire you on your body art alone however it depends on the company, the role and on your tattoo. For example, if you are going into sales and you have a butterfly tattoo on your back that can be covered it will be less of an issue (as it can’t be seen) compared to if you have a face tattoo and want to work in a customer facing job.

Employment law expert Helen Burgess told the BBC: “If there was a blanket ban on tattoos and an individual were to turn up with one if the employer followed  the proper process that would be a fair dismissal in law.”

What can I do to cover tattoos?

If you have a tattoo that can be easily covered and you’re a bit concerned, there are some things you can do to make you feel more confident. For example, if you have a tattoo on your lower arm you’re worried about, then wear a long sleeve top to the interview over a short-sleeved item of clothing. If you have something that isn’t so easily covered, such as a tattoo behind your ear, you can get some kinds of makeup that cover up tattoos very well. 

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