10 Tattoos to Skip If You Want a 'Real' Job

Hello Kitty TattooThe tattoo that made your grandmother shake her head and cluck has gone mainstream. Which isn't the same as saying it's hunky dory on the job scene.

The American Academy of Dermatology estimates 25 percent of Americans of working age (18 to 50) have been inked. Now let's square that with a 9.5 percent unemployment rate and a Vault.com survey that says 85 percent of workers say tattoos and body piercings hinder your chances of getting a job.

So let's talk foresight, shall we? No matter how drunk you get, these tattoos are NEVER a good idea:


1. Teardrops on the Face. Our apologies to Lil Wayne, but it doesn't matter what the teardrops mean to you (a murder? a loss?), they're considered gang- or prison-related and have no place in the workplace. 

2. Neck Tattoos That Resemble Hickeys. If you've seen Britney Spears' most recent tattooing, you'll be relieved to hear they're fake ... and you ought to take her bad example to heart. The butterflies on her neck look more like hickeys than they do the fluttery favorite of little girls everywhere.

3. Curse Words. The f on one knuckle followed by the u, the c, and the k does not impress anyone. Anywhere. Cross your name off the corporate law firm's list AND McDonald's drive-thru while you're at it.

4. Swastikas Anywhere. Turns out the neo Nazi clubs don't really hire headhunters.

5. Sleeve Tattoos. They can be incredible, it's true. But they certainly put a damper on the cocktail wear requirement for the office Christmas party.

6. Your Name. Employers are looking for the best and the brightest to lead their company onward and upward (any more cliches handy? We'll take 'em). If they're afraid you won't be able to remember your name without a tag, you're not going to get called back.

7. Southern Flag. Sure, it's about heritage, not hate. But you're not going to be able to explain that to everyone who walks into the law firm ... and turns around and walks out.

8. Cartoon Characters. Do you want to learn you've got lung cancer from a doctor while Bugs Bunny stares at you from her wrist? It's hard to take an adult seriously who is that "into" a cartoon.

9. Misspelled Tattoos. See above "best and brightest." If you can't even get your body-branding right, chances are you'll be sending out memos that ask "Evrywon com two the confrance rum."

10. Shh on Your Finger. It's trendy. And obnoxious. Not the message you want to send to the client who you've just promised you'll bend over backwards for.

What tattoos make you shake your head?

Images via nieve44/La Luz/Flickr

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