What Atlanta hiring managers really think about your tattoos


Not sure if your body ink will help or hinder in today's job market?

Well, that depends.

Hiring managers may sway yay or nay, resting on the nature of the position and office culture.

»RELATED: AJC Top workplaces in Atlanta 2017

"Tattooed professionals are like rock stars in our industry," said Kristin Martin, director of career services at portfolio school The Creative Circus in Atlanta. "If you plan on working in advertising, tattoos are not frowned upon. It's art, expression and adds to our students' 'About Me' page."

The Creative Circus prepares students for careers in design, photography, copywriting, art direction and web development.

Alumni of the institution land jobs at global agencies like Sagmeister & WalshMicrosoft and Ogilvy & Mather.

"Advertising is like the fun side to the corporate world," said Grant Weber, a tattooed alumnus of The Creative Circus and associate creative director at Ogilvy & Mather's Atlanta location. "I've been in this field for the past 15 years, and my tattoos have never held me back. At the end of the day, it's about being qualified and interviewing well."

On the flip side, marketing and sales firms like AGI Atlanta take a more conservative approach to dress — and skin — code.

"Ultimately, tattoos are cool but not something for show in business-to-business sales," said Ed Cunliffe, president of AGI Atlanta. "In our training package, it says tattoos have to be covered up."

» RELATED: The No. 1 thing hiring managers are looking for

Dealing with business accounts and professionals of various companies, a certain level of professionalism is required and expected, said Cunliffe.

"Tattoos make more sense in artsy environments and even in sports," he said. "In sales, you have to dress the part — suits and ties are the name of the game."

Cunliffe's advice, which applies to creative to corporate industry job hunters: Research.

"Find out more about the company you're applying for," Cunliffe said, "because even though tattoos have become more popular throughout the years, they may not always be appropriate for some employers."

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