Part One: Accepting the Truth
The first and most important thing to note is that while there are some businesses that do hire more noticeably modified people, if you have any type of piercing or combination of piercings that would be considered by a conservative individual to be "extreme" (or any of its synonyms), be prepared to either retire your piercing(s) or pass up quite a few jobs. That's not to say that you can't get a job and still keep your mods, but be realistic and admit that you may have to compromise to achieve your goal.
Don't despair just yet, though. There's a job out there for everyone, you just need to find the one for you.
Part Two: Choose Your Jewelry Wisely
Since looking the part is half the battle, here are the tips for keeping your jewelry low-key. Every modified job seeker should seriously consider putting these tips to good use.
Observe these blindingly simply recommendations on how to downplay your piercings without sacrificing them:
Classy plugs can look as "normal" and nondescript as 18 gauge studs from Claire's, even in the larger gauges (especially if they are flared in the front so as to not have front o-rings). On the other hand, tunnels are kind of in-your-face and say "look at my stretched hole." Large-gauge rings, talons, claws, pinchers, etc. also draw unnecessary (and potentially negative) attention.
Industrials can be downplayed a LOT just by switching to two small barbells instead of a long one.
Multiple ear piercings:
Barbells, plugs, or labrets in multiple quantities are less noticeable and less likely to offend than lots of rings.
Barbells & Labrets:
Changing barbell/labret ends to the smallest available basic ball or gem ends is much more like to result in them being overlooked than large, bright, or attention-grabbing ends. You can also go a step further and wear a hide-it end, though the color will not exactly match your skin tone.
These jewelry styles are unique to the "modified crowd," and as such can draw a bad reaction from more conservative individuals, where a plain barbell in the same piercing would be overlooked.
Some employers will allow a small stud or barbell in a facial piercing, but would be hesitant to consider an applicant wearing a ring in the same piercing. Don't count on a clear retainer to hide your piercing - it won't.
Get the dental acrylic Invisiballs. Just do it. It's so worth it.
You're lucky! The great advice doesn't stop there. Keep reading.
Part Three: Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Job Search
Behold, before you is a list of tips for maximizing your employability while retaining your modified status. Consider yourself privileged.
Tip #1: Don't make the employer believe that you always rock a clean-cut, non-modded look. Put simply, that means don't take out all your jewelry or swap them for retainers before you apply. You like your piercings, remember? Hiding your piercings just long enough to get the job, then showing up in all your modified glory a few days or weeks later definitely won't win you any points.
Tip #2: Don't call unnecessary attention to any of your piercings. Don't ask "How many piercings are allowed?" or "Will my piercings be a problem?" It's their job as an employer to find things wrong with you and decide whether to hire/keep you. Let them make a decision on exactly what they see, not what you tell them about.
Tip #3: Keep your jewelry as low key as possible. You want them to hire you and accept who you are, but you can compromise a little. Changing your jewelry selection just a little can make a huge difference in how you are perceived by the employer.
Tip #4: Only address what they point out. If they say "We only allow one pair of stud-style earrings per ear," then you could say "Would you be comfortable with my wearing clear retainers in my higher holes so they are not noticeable?" Don't say something like "And what about my nostril? Is that OK?" Don't mention that you can't wear "studs" in your zero gauge lobes. If they have a problem with the jewelry you're wearing, they'll tell you.
Tip #5: Remember the basic rules of applying for a job. Modified or not, these are the essentials:
• Look interview-ready when you pick up an application and when you
take the application back.
• Dress in clean, well-fitting clothes that are at least appropriate for
the position that you're applying for.
• Make sure your nails and hair are clean and nice looking.
• Make sure your breath is fresh (but no gum!)
• Leave your application with the manager, if at all possible.
• Ask the manager when they will be interviewing, and call them if they
don't call you.
• Brush up on your interview skills before you apply.
• Smile! Be friendly and outgoing. Show them your outstanding personality!
Tip #6: Ask modified friends for job leads, and notice modified employees in action. Lots of mainstream businesses are starting to come around and hire people with visible mods. Be aware of what's out there. Use the Internet to research piercing-friendly jobs.
Tip #7: BE PERSISTENT. A modified person will often have to work harder at getting their foot in the door than a non-modified person. Let the employer know you're serious. Ask when they are interviewing. If you don't hear from them, call them. If you had an interview and haven't heard back, call them. Remind them that you really want the job and show how hard you are willing to work. Don't give up unless they specifically say they don't want to hire you (yes, you personally).
Ah, the end of the article. And you survived. Congratulations! Now print this for future reference and refer back to it as needed.