kalvano wrote:People always talk about "the risk" of facial hair, the two threads over speak of how the only things that really matter to potential employers are grades.
If some sort of neatly-trimmed beard was the deciding factor, you weren't going to get the job anyway. I've hired a lot of people, and been in debates about hiring people, and never once, not a single time, did the phrase "yeah, he's perfect for the job, but he has a beard, so no thanks" come up.
I think most people overestimate their ability to make a decent neat/tidy beard (then again I do know a lot of Asians who could barely grow facial hair to save their life). I'm not saying that it will ever be the deciding factor, or even something that they are cognizant of, but it could create an initial bias that the candidate has to overcome (which might be compounded by other nitpicky things).
I'm just talking about my experiences and listening to my employers talk about candidates. I don't think I've ever heard a beard called out in particular but I have heard things along the lines of sloppy/unorganized and I think that a beard might contribute to that perception if there are other issues. I think it is quite a small risk.
I also think there's something of the "if you have to ask" issue. If you have to ask whether you should sport a beard, even neatly trimmed, you probably shouldn't.
EDIT: I think I'm becoming more open to the idea that it's not really an issue if done right, though I'm still of the mind that you're not really losing much by shaving it off so why not.