If you’re struggling to find work, it might be worth considering a tattoo.
Job seekers have a better chance of being hired if the interviewer spots ink on their skin, according to new research.
This is because the artwork gives prospective candidates an advantage over their peers as tattoos help them to look more fashionable.
The two-year study also found that wages and annual earnings of tattooed employees were statistically indistinguishable from those without.
Bosses who continue to discriminate against people with tattoos may be settling for a less qualified pool applicant, researchers warned.
Job seekers have a better chance of being hired if the interviewer spots ink on their skin, according to new research which suggests body art benefits peoples’ careers. Pictured is David Beckham who is notoriously heavily tattooed
The research was conducted by University of Miami Business School.
Researchers, who surveyed more than 2,000 people across the US over the last two years, found that in the hiring market, tattooed job seekers were just as likely, and in some instances even more so, to gain employment.
‘The long held stigmas associated with having tattoos, and particularly visible ones, may be eroding, especially among younger individuals who view body art as a natural and common form of personal expression’, said lead author Professor Michael French, a health economist at the University of Miami Business School.
‘Given the increasing prevalence of tattoos in society – around 40 per cent for young adults – hiring managers and supervisors who discriminate against tattooed workers will likely find themselves at a competitive disadvantage for the most qualified employees.’
Wages and annual earnings of tattooed employees were statistically indistinguishable from those without them, researchers found.
It is estimated a fifth of British adults has a tattoo – rising to about three in ten of those aged 16 to 44. Meanwhile, around 20 per cent of US adults have tattoos.
Traditionally, it has been said those with ink are risking their careers, with many high-ranking managers of an older generation whose traditional view may be that it signifies a less reliable character.
This view has been corroborated by past research, which suggested bosses generally see tattooed people as less employable.
However, the latest research shows attitudes could be changing.
‘Our research surprisingly found no evidence of employment, wage or earnings discrimination against people with various types of tattoos,’ said Professor French from the University of Western Australia.
‘In our sample, and considering a variety of alternative estimation techniques, not only are the wages and annual earnings of tattooed employees in the United States statistically indistinguishable from the wages and annual earnings of employees without tattoos, but tattooed individuals are also just as likely, and in some instances even more likely, to gain employment.
Bosses who continue to discriminate against tattooed people may be settling for a less qualified pool of applicants, researchers warn. Pictured is actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian Angelina Jolie with some of her collection of tattoos
‘These results suggest that, contrary to popular opinion as well as research findings with hiring managers and customers, having a tattoo does not appear to be associated with disadvantage or discrimination in the labour market.’
In the UK, the law on equality in the workplace does not cover those with tattoos as a protected characteristic.
‘Previous research has found that tattooed people are widely perceived by hiring managers to be less employable than people without tattoos,’ said Professor French.
‘This is especially the case for those who have visible tattoos, particularly offensive ones, that are difficult to conceal.’
In the hiring market, tattooed job seekers were just as likely, and in some instances even more so, to gain employment. Pictured is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Two years ago, a study of almost 200 managers in the UK and US suggested having tattoos can actually increase employment chances where the clientele is younger.
It found managers seeking a bartender for a hypothetical nightclub gave higher ratings to images in which the candidate was tattooed.
Those looking for a waiter at an upscale restaurant, however, gave the tattooed images a lower rating.
The University of St Andrews study found offensive tattoos depicting misogynistic, Satanic, or fascist imagery, or anything related to drinking or drugs, were always unacceptable.
The full study was published in the journal Human Relations.
WHAT ARE THE OLDEST TATTOOS IN THE WORLD?
Since his discovery on 19 December 1991 by German hikers, Ötzi (artist’s impression) has provided window into early human history.
Since his discovery on 19 December 1991 by German hikers, Ötzi has provided a window into early human history.
His mummified remains were uncovered in melting glacier in the mountainous border between Austria and Italy.
Analysis of the body has told us that he was alive during the Copper Age and died a grisly death.
Ötzi, who was 46 at the time of his death, had brown eyes, relatives in Sardinia, and was lactose intolerant.
Experts discovered a total of 61 tattoos on Ötzi’s body using different wavelengths of light to pick them out on the mummy’s darkened skin.
And in December 2015 they were confirmed to be the world’s oldest – beating markings on an unidentified South American Chinchorro mummy.
Experts had thought the South American mummy with a moustache-like tattoo on its face died in around 4,000BC, before realising it’s younger than Ötzi, who was killed in around 3250 BC.
While researchers can’t be sure why Ötzi had the tattoos, many think that they served as a form of acupuncture.
‘We know that they were real tattoos,’ Albert Zink, head of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy told LiveScience.
The ancient tattoo artist who applied them ‘made the incisions into the skin, and then they put in charcoal mixed with some herbs.’
The tattoos, mostly found on Ötzi’s lower back and legs, between the knee and food, may have been a way to relieve the effects of chronic pain or injuries.
Experts discovered a total of 61 tattoos on Ötzi’s body using different wavelengths of light to pick them out on the mummy’s darkened skin and in December 2015 they were confirmed to be the world’s oldest
Ötzi was thought to have done a lot of walking in the Alps, which could have resulted in joint pain in his knees and ankles.
The 61st tattoo, found on the ribcage, has puzzled researchers who suggest Ötzi may also suffered from chest pain.
If the tattoos were not for therapeutic benefit, the researchers say they could have had symbolic or religious significance.
Alternatively, they may simply be geometric shapes with no hidden meaning.
In March, 2018, figurative tattoos were been discovered on 5,000-year-old Egyptian mummies at the British Museum.
Experts said that these were the world’s earliest figurative tattoos.
The tattoos are of a wild bull and a Barbary sheep on the upper-arm of a male mummy, and S-shaped motifs on the upper-arm and shoulder of a female.
The find dates tattoos containing imagery rather than geometric patterns to 1,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Researchers said the discovery ‘transforms’ our understanding of how people lived during this period.