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Should you put that you’re vaccinated against COVID-19 on your résumé?

It’s a relevant question for people searching for a new job—but the answer isn’t so simple.

Should you put that you’re vaccinated against COVID-19 on your résumé?
[Source photos: sakkmesterke/iStock; Thirdman/Pexels]

With a growing number of companies requiring employees to be vaccinated, it might make sense to put your status on your résumé. It also feels like sharing personal information that’s not yet needed. When do you share your status with a potential employer?

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The sooner the better, finds a survey of 1,250 hiring managers by ResumeBuilder. Nearly two-thirds of companies are mandating COVID-19 vaccines for employees and a third of hiring managers would automatically eliminate résumés that don’t include vaccine status.

“Employers don’t seem to be requesting candidates put this information on résumés,” says Carolyn Kleiman, career coaching counselor and professional résumé writer for ResumeBuilder. “But if I’m an active job seeker who’s fully vaccinated and I am applying for a job where I know the employer has mandated vaccines for employees, I would be more apt to put ‘Fully vaccinated against COVID-19’ on my résumé. If an employer is using that keyword as a screening tool, it could help me get my résumé read a little bit further.”

But not every recruiting expert agrees. Bill Armstrong, president of the recruiting firm Gava Talent Solutions, would not advise candidates to put their vaccine status on their résumé or cover letter. “Résumés and cover letters were designed to present an individual’s unique skills and talents as they pertain to a particular role, and candidates should not be required to add any personal medical information to these documents,” he says. “A candidate would not put other personal medical information on these documents, and that standard should also hold true for vaccine status.”

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Taking a Case-by-Case Approach

Valid points are on both sides of the equation, says Stephanie Bettinelli, managing director of HR specialty services at OneDigital, an HR services provider. “It is certainly not required that a candidate include their vaccination status on a resume,” she says. “To many, it may feel inappropriate since it isn’t relevant to one’s work experience or skill set. Some candidates may worry that just by noting their vaccination status, it could rule them out solely based on the hiring manager’s political views on vaccination.”

However, if a fully vaccinated candidate does their homework and finds that vaccinations are important to the hiring organization or required for the job, they may want to consider including their status in their cover letter or even on their résumé, if specific to that hiring organization.

Sharing your vaccination status on your résumés is similar to providing a criminal or credit background check, says Steven Rothberg, chief visionary officer and founder of College Recruiter, a job site for recent graduates. “It isn’t normal, and it doesn’t happen often,” he says. “Talent acquisition professionals might even feel uncomfortable about it. But when you ask them privately whether they’d be more or less likely to advance a candidate who they know to be more likely to be hired due to a clean background check, almost all of those talent acquisition leaders will admit that the candidate won’t be any worse off and, quite possibly, gain an advantage.”

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How to Add Your Status

Kleiman suggests listing it the same way that candidates who need a certain security clearance or citizenship on a résumé. “It’s usually somewhere at the top, under their name and contact information, front and center, bold, so it is not missed and not misread by an ETS,” she says.

Vicki Salemi, career expert for the job site Monster, suggests using a succinct sentence that also mentions your preference for location. For example, “I am fully vaccinated and look forward to full-time opportunities an office, hybrid, or remote.” For those who are not vaccinated, Salemi suggests addressing the issue with: “I am open to getting tested weekly and interested in a full-time hybrid situation (I did not get vaccinated).”

Adding your status is likely a temporary addition, says Kleiman. “I don’t put that I got my chickenpox vaccine, but we’re not in a chickenpox pandemic right now,” she says. “With a fair number of employers screening candidates based on this, there’s probably a fair amount of candidates who are fully vaccinated and are unfortunately being unfairly screened out.”

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