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Do tattoos harm job prospects?


Would you hire somebody covered in tattoos and body piercings? If your first inclination is ‘no’, think again: the tattoo craze is so widespread these days that business will have to get used to hiring people covered in ‘ink’ if they want to attract and keep the best talent.

I’m amazed at how many twenty-somethings have tattoos. As a university lecturer, I see thousands of students on campus each year, many with tattoos that cannot be easily concealed. At my local gym, it is rare to see young people without a tattoo. Same goes for professional sportspeople, especially footballers, who devote their bodies to ink.

The tattoo craze seems to have morphed from young people having a small, concealable tattoo, to having several that cover the arms, back, or even the neck. It must be addictive for some people.

In my entrepreneurship course, students have even presented business ideas on launching tattoo apps for smartphones, websites and other services that allow people to share designs and earn royalties. Clearly, there are millions to be made as a new generation embraces body ink.