Should You Include Your Vaccination Status on Your Resume?

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By Shannon Callahan

Account Executive

Is disclosing your vaccination status on your resume a wise move—or is it a risky proposition? As employer vaccine mandates are becoming increasingly common across the United States, recent studies—like the one conducted by Gartner—revealed that 46 percent of employers are planning to mandate vaccinations for all employees. Other data from Indeed showed that the share of job postings requiring vaccination increased by 242 percent in August.

Employers Requiring COVID-19 Vaccines Expected to Increase

As an increasing number of businesses impose vaccine mandates for their employees, job seekers are left to wonder: should I list my vaccination status on my resume? Here’s some advice for candidates who are considering including this information when applying for new jobs.

Research the company

Before deciding whether to include your vaccination status on your resume, I’d urge candidates to first research the company that they’re interested in joining. For jobseekers applying to work at large, publicly traded organizations, you can probably find information about their vaccine policies online. Some of these businesses might have implemented a vaccine mandate. Even if a company has imposed a vaccine mandate, the company must still consider and grant reasonable accommodations for candidates who have been unable to be vaccinated because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief. Whatever the case may be, doing some research can provide valuable insight on if the company is expecting candidates to have received the COVID-19 vaccine in advance of their employment start date.

Create transparency

I’ve heard some experts say that candidates choosing to include their vaccination status on their resumes are ultimately viewed in a more positive light throughout the recruiting process. Companies always admire candidates who are transparent and willing to take responsibility for their actions during their job search—and this situation is no different. If you’re comfortable with your vaccination status and ready to disclose it, doing so at this stage of the hiring process should be received positively in the eyes of your prospective employer.

Avoid awkwardness

As coronavirus vaccines have radicalized the employment market, recruiting professionals must tread carefully when considering a candidate’s inoculation status before a conditional offer of employment is extended. There can be legal ramifications for companies that consider a candidate’s vaccination status before inquiring if the candidate is in need of a disability or religious accommodation.  While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that there’s no legal breach if companies ask current staffers about their inoculation status, experts urge businesses to refrain from posing this question to prospective employees until after a job offer has been extended.

Now or later—the choice is yours

During the job search, candidates should strive to minimize headaches for the company they’re applying to. HR and TA professionals always appreciate when job seekers can make their lives easier. As more companies are requiring inoculations for their employees, candidates can avoid problems later on in the recruiting process by disclosing their vaccination status at an earlier stage. While job seekers ultimately have the choice of whether they wish to include their inoculation on the resume, they should be aware that this information will need to be shared with their prospective employer at later stages of the hiring process.

Location, location, location

Looking to include your vaccination status on your resume, but not sure where to put it? Here are a few different places where you can list this information:

  • Below your contact information: After listing your name, email address, and phone number at the top of your resume, consider placing your inoculation status directly beneath this section.
  • As a footnote: At the very bottom of your resume, it may make sense to include your vaccination status—acting almost like a footnote.

A simple line like “Fully vaccinated against COVID-19” should suffice. Regardless of where candidates choose to place this information, be sure that it’s easily visible on your resume and unmistakable to the eye. Consider bolding or italicizing the text to further highlight its presence on the page.

Potential risks

While some experts believe that listing one’s vaccination status on their resume offers a competitive advantage in the recruiting process, others are hesitant to support this trend. From a legal perspective, HR leaders have adhered to a strategy that forbids them from considering a candidate’s vaccination status until a conditional offer of employment has been made. In addition, candidates also run the risk of offending HR or TA decision-makers that do not share the same belief about the vaccine by listing this information on their resume. For these reasons, job seekers may find it worthwhile to abstain from including their inoculation status on their resumes until they receive a formal job offer.

Summary

As the number of organizations requiring COVID-19 vaccines continues to increase in the months ahead, candidates can create transparency with prospective employers by including their inoculation status on their resumes. While job seekers should not feel pressured to disclose this information, I’d urge candidates to first weigh the pros and cons of including this information on their resumes before choosing to do so. Taking a prudent approach to this emerging recruiting trend will help applicants make the decision that is best suited for them.

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