How to get jobs when you have tattoos, piercings, or crazy hair (plus a FREE checklist!)

Confession time: I have zero tattoos. Zero piercings. And no crazy hair.

I have a low pain tolerance—plus, I don’t think I can pull any of them off.

But lots of postgrads do, and make them look amazing. Doesn’t matter the style: if you can rock a side shave and sleeve tattoo, you have my respect.

But here’s the bad news: badass style doesn’t always fly in the corporate world. People judge those with ink or piercings as untrustworthy, dangerous, impulsive, or irresponsible—so employers would most likely make a poor business decision if they hired you looking that way. So you’re screwed if you already have 10 tattoos and a nose ring, right?

Not so fast. There’s good news too. Under certain conditions, you can keep your badass style—but you might have to make some compromises. With these steps, though, you can reap all the benefits (*cough* higher salary *cough*) of steady employment and still look the way you want when your shift is over.

You have badass style--but you don't know how to translate it to work. Here's how to get jobs when you have tattoos, piercings, and more.

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How to Write a Killer Cold Email (with a killer example and a FREE template)

Once in a while, you’ll need something from strangers.

You might need to find out about a job opening, connect with someone important, get a quote for an article, or just get advice. And, if you’re like me and feel anxious around people you don’t know, a phone call or in-person conversation can bring out a case of awkward turtles.

Enter the cold email.

If you do them right, cold emails are the no-hassle way to get someone’s attention without the stress that comes with making phone calls. And while I was working on the first part of my capstone project for my MBA, I really needed some hassle-free help; living abroad meant that I couldn’t make a ton of calls, and I didn’t want to chat too much anyway since my son was asleep every time I sat down to work. Emails were the winning choice.

If the idea of talking to strangers on the phone makes you nervous, try this cold email strategy. Fewer nerves, more results. [Read more…]

Millennial Spotlight: Jessica Cook

I’d love to say I know Jessica Cook from one of her showbiz gigs— commercials for Axe and Mary Kay, music videos, hanging with Toby Turner (watch this or this), MTV’s Awkward, or The Voice Tailgate—but I just know her from our high school algebra class.

She was still awesome back then, though: a helluva voice in the school choir, a counselor for one of my class retreats, and just really nice in general. I’m glad others have taken notice—a lot of others, actually.

I reached out to Jessica over a year ago with these interview questions (note the Leno reference!); and yes, I should have posted our chat sooner. Still, I hope you take her timeless message to heart: get a vision, work really hard for it, and don’t be afraid to stand out.

Actress Jessica Cook came to LA knowing nobody--but not for long. Read her take on why hard work and vision can still make you successful. [Read more…]