Careful! Tatoos and piercings may affect your career

College is the time to discover who you are and to express yourself. Expression can be shown in many different forms; one of those forms being through body art, tattoos and piercings. Tattoos and piercings can vary from extreme gauges to a tiny flower tattoo behind your ear.

We have all practically grown up hearing that no one wants the punk with spiked green hair, giant gauges or neck and arms completely covered in tattoos to work for their company. It can be understandable as to how green hair and skin darkened with ink do not look professional, but many college students express themselves in a less radical manner.

In any college classroom, there will be students with small tattoos behind their ears, a tattoo on their foot or ankle, a cartilage piercing, an eyebrow piercing or a nose piercing. Some students will even have multiple body modifications; to college students they seem like a more reasonable and sensible version of the body art we have been warned all of our lives not to get.

The acceptability of tattoos, piercings or other body art depend on the employer and the position you are seeking. If you are trying to land a new job that involves a good bit of customer interface, body art will more than likely be seen negatively by future employers in the hiring process. Corporations want their employees to reflect their values because, after all, the employees make the company.

Even if your body art is as simple as an extra ear piercing or a small tattoo on your wrist the person interviewing you may not understand it. Often times, the person who is conducting the interview will be a generation or two older than you and will not appreciate or understand why you tattooed an infinity sign on you wrist, possibly assuming that your favorite number is eight.

Piercings and tattoos are a way for many of today’s youth to express themselves, but expression is not always wanted in the workforce. Some companies want, sometimes even require, all of their employees to be uniform in the way they present themselves while working, including teachers and wait staff at restaurants.

At places of employment such as schools and restaurants, individuals with body art will be required to cover their tattoos or remove their piercings while at work.

One test to see whether your potential place of employment will accept your ink, gauges and multiple piercings is to look through their website and advertisements. Are employees featured with body modifications like yours? If not, then it is likely that your image and the image of that company do not match and your job search should continue elsewhere.

No matter how nice of a person you are or what your personality is like, some people will always view body art with a negative connotation. This connotation could have stemmed from the idea that you are ruining your body. Tattoos are permanent and even though piercings can be taken out your appearance has been forever altered.

Students need to understand that when you apply for a job, the employer is not only looking for reasons to hire you, but also reasons not to hire you. Having tattoos or piercings does not make you any less qualified for a job, but the business may not want you looking anything less than professional.