Are beards unprofessional?
As with many other style choices such as piercings and brightly colored hair, there is no clear answer. A lot depends on the industry worked in, how the person is presented otherwise, and how tidy and well groomed the beard is. Here are some of the factors to consider:
Length Of Beard
Longer beards tend to look a bit wilder and more unkempt no matter how carefully they are groomed. If you have a clean, neatly trimmed beard or goatee however and you pair it with combed hair, crease-free business clothes and good hygiene then you will still project a professional image.
How Conservative Is Your Company
If all of the senior executives at your company wear a suit to work, are clean shaven, and have short hair then the chances are this is perceived as the right look for the company. You don’t even need to ask the question are beards unprofessional?
If the clean shaven in a suit look isn’t one you want to emulate that’s ok. If you enjoy your job and are happy to stay at the level you are then great. If you want to move up however a beard might hold you back and you may want to look for a role in a less formal company
Will You Be Customer Facing?
Sometimes, even in more casual companies, the look required is determined by the amount of time you’re likely to spend face-to-face with their customers. If your role is either back-line or purely phone based then you may well be fine having a beard, even a long one. If you’re going out to meet customers however then your bosses may feel that being clean-shaven projects a better image.
Some industries have a more formal dress code than others. Examples include lawyers, accountants and banks. Other industries such as tech or engineering firms tend to be a bit more relaxed.
So, are beards unprofessional? Not inherently but as with anything else you will need to match your look to the dress code of the company you work for or be prepared to move elsewhere.