Dress codes

You're hired!

Piercings, tattoos, even facial hair can lose you a great job. In this section, learn how to dress the right way for your job.

Dress codes

Picture this: You’ve just finished your big job interview and you go home, change your clothes, and put your piercings back in. Successful enthusiastic group of diverse young employeesYou’re back to your normal state – the real you – and you’re loving it like nobody’s business.

Unfortunately, if you land a job, modifications are in order. Welcome to the world of the dress code, where piercings, tattoos and even certain types of facial hair are forbidden.

Here are the top employment dress code violations: 

Whether we’re talking arms, necks or hands, tattoos are a big no-no for many retail or food service jobs. 

Ear plugs or gauges
Unless you’re working in a highly creative field, those huge (or not so huge) ear plugs will probably have to go.

Nose, eyebrow or lip piercings
Expect to remove or cover up facial piercings, period. Your friends might love them, but customers? Probably not. 

For most customer service or retail jobs, dreadlocks are considered offensive. For call center or warehouse jobs, not so much.  

Long hair 
If you’re a woman, you might need a ponytail. If you’re a guy, you might need a haircut. 

Beards or other facial hair
Beards, mustaches, or even two-day facial hair growth are forbidden at some types of jobs. For many employers, clean shaven is the only way to go. 

Excessive jewelry
For food preparation or food service jobs, rings and earrings = health or safety hazards. Save your bling for when you’re off the clock. 

Long nails 
For food-related jobs, ditching your long nails is a given. For other types of jobs like retail or office work, you’ll probably still need a trim. 

Wild hair colors
Don’t get too attached to that bright red, blue-streaked or mega-blond hair. You want that job? You’ll need a natural-looking hair color. 

For many jobs, dress codes are less about an employer’s personal preference and more about presenting a certain look. If you land a job – any job – assume that you’ll have to play it safe. 

Still want a few extra tips to help prep for your interview? Check out this article on tattoos, piercings, hairstyles and your job interview.

If you're ready to test your on-the-job knowledge, hit up our You’re Hired! Do’s and Don’ts page.