I often see clients who have visible tattoos and facial piercings and the question of whether to cover or not cover for a job interview frequently comes up.
The first step is to predict the reaction of the employer/company where you are interviewing. One employer may not be the least bit rattled by tattoos while another may have strict rules against facial piercings and tattoos, especially in offices that maintain a specific corporate image (ie: banking) or where you’d be handling food or dealing with the public. Of course if you’re interviewing for a job at a tattoo studio or motorcycle repair shop then by all means show off those tatts and piercings!
As part of the company research you should be doing prior to interviewing try to find out all you can about the company culture.
I recommend that my clients err on the conservative side and remove facial piercings and cover tattoos if they are not sure about the employer’s policies.
This advice is coming from someone who spent years as a senior designer and art director in the creative industry. Yes it’s true, “artsy” environments such as design, advertising or the music industry usually (but not always) offer a lot more leeway however I still caution clients to research and then think about removing the body jewelry and covering tattoos.
Once hired you can find out the drill on whether or not it’s acceptable to uncover those tatts and put the multiple eyebrow rings and labret back in.
If a workplace culture frowns on such adornments, and a client is not willing to cover, then I often have them think about this strategic question, “What is more important: being me and expressing myself through my visible body art or landing this job?”
If “being me” prevails then I would suggest forgoing the interview and searching for a more accepting and liberal environment.
As a final word I am pleased to tell you that as tattoos and piercings have become much more mainstream businesses and employers are also becoming increasingly accepting of body art and therefore finding workplaces that allow you to “be yourself” are becoming more and more common.