By Jason Blais
Could the tattoo on your hand, face or neck cost you a great future job? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it does pose a risk.
A past JobsIntheUS.com poll showed nearly 60 percent of the employer group saying "no thanks" to interviewees with visible tattoos - job seekers who don't err on the side of caution may be putting themselves in the "no" category.
Over the past decade, I've had the opportunity to speak directly with literally thousands of job seekers across the Northeast. During these conversations, I always advise against having tattoos visible during an interview.
While I am all for self-expression, I am also aware of the very real existence of prejudice and personal bias that is present within the makeup of all hiring decision makers. The best policy is always to reduce the number of potential reasons for a person to decide not to hire you. And the key word, not to be missed, in that sentence is "person."
'To Judge Is Human'
Employers are, in fact, human. Job seekers must understand this, and learn how to deal with it during the interview process. The presence of a visible tattoo during an interview can be distracting. The hiring decision maker is forced to surmise if you are the right candidate in a short period of time based on how you present yourself in writing, verbally and in-person. And - depending upon who is interviewing you - a tattoo could cause some doubt in certain people.
If you can't cover it up, I suggest you address it at the outset of your interview, to get it out of the way so that you and your interviewer can focus on what's most important - your ability to fill the vacant job and perform at a high level.
Making a Great Impression
If you're really concerned with making a great impression in your interview, worry less about the tattoos and more about how you can help the organization achieve its goals. For more information, check out this link to find out what employers are looking for in a candidate.