Do Tattoos Go Alone With Professionalism?

Tattoos are more acceptable now than ever before. A 2008 survey revealed that 25% of those who are aged between 30 and 39 had at least one tattoo. The percentage for the age group between 25 and 29 increased to 32%. As tattoos seem to be very common these days, will it be acceptable to wear tattoos or piercings in a professional setting?

There is no question about people’s rights of putting tattoos or piercings anywhere they like on their bodies. However, I agree with this CNN News video that people had better cover their tattoos up when it comes to professional occasions, such as job interviews, sale pitches, and presentations. It is just another human nature --- people judge others by their “looks,” especially when people do not know each other well.

Since 2010, we have discussed professional dress in a variety of ways. We talked about how event planners’ professional look may influence their business, how college students need to dress in business attire in job search, and how a bank on Wall Street put up a long list of dress codes for employees. Because hospitality is also a very conservative business, I would recommend the “old-fashioned” business attire for all hospitality professionals, which also means no tattoos and piercings.

If you are a manager, what would you think when you interview a candidate who is wearing tattoos and/or piercings? If you are a job seeker, what would you think of your future employer if the manager who is interviewing you wears tattoos and/or piercings? If you are checking into a hotel, what would you think of your hotel stay if the bellman who is carrying you luggage also wears a big tattoo on his arms?

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