Personally, while hiring, it isn't a factor in itself. However, I would say that there are a few things to bear in mind if you have tattoos:
Consider what your tattoos are, and how people would react to the messages and images themselves. Having a tattoo of a noose with "F*** LIFE" is probably going to get a stronger negative reaction than a rose tattoo of the same size would. If you've got potentially controversial tattoo, consider whether covering it up will help you.
Some people associate tattoos with street gangs, thugs, etc. Ensure the rest of your appearance and mannerisms do not reinforce any of these negative images. A full-size arm tattoo PLUS a business suit probably won't register to me at all...I may not even notice. But a full-size arm tattoo plus tattered jeans and a greasy bandana around your head probably will be remembered.
For anyone else reading, before you get a new tattoo or other such body art, consider all the implications of the tattoo itself, as well as its placement. How will it look in interviews or business scenarios? How about with formal wear? Can you cover it up when necessary? These are things you should keep in mind.
I agree with the first statement, the type of tattoo can indeed have a strong influence here.
About implications, I really want to live in a world where it doesn't matter who you are (as long as you're not actively harming other people, either by behavior or appearance), and people can look at skills and passion over anything else.
Oh, I absolutely agree! It would be nice if we lived in a world where people don't look at outward appearance to judge someone. Unfortunately, that's not the world we have, and it doesn't look like we'll be changing the whole of mankind anytime soon. Thus, while we ourselves can choose to focus on character and skill instead of appearance, we should still consider how others may view us, and weigh whether the potential consequences of that are strong enough to bear our own consideration in how we present ourselves.
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