Should your resume tell employers if you are vaccinated?

With the coronavirus pandemic well into its second year, the U.S. economy continues to experience massive changes across most industries. Companies and workers have been forced to adjust to life with a virus that shows no sign of going away anytime soon. Part of that adjustment now involves COVID-19 vaccinations, as some in government and private industry have been moving to mandate that employees receive the vaccine if they want to continue to work.

If you are a current job seeker, all the talk about mandates may leave you wondering whether you should update your resume with your own vaccination status. In this post, we will examine the pros and cons of including vaccination status in a resume and offer some advice about how to include that information in a clear and straightforward way.

The push for vaccine mandates

Vaccine mandates have been a hot topic throughout much of 2020, with several major private enterprises proposing mandates for their workers. At the federal level, President Joe Biden announced mandatory vaccinations for some federal workers in July. He then expanded his mandate order in September, declaring that companies with more than 100 workers would also be required to force employees to get vaccinated or provide regular proof of a negative Covid test result. That most recent action could impact more than 100 million U.S. workers.

Meanwhile, various state governments have moved to block mandates within their jurisdictions. For example, Florida's Governor has threatened to fine local businesses and government entities that attempt to impose such mandates. Though he has pushed to increase vaccination rates for his citizenry, he has vowed to resist any federal attempt to impose vaccine requirements on his state's citizens.

As that debate continues to play out across all levels of society, many companies have initiated their own mandates for employees. Each has its own reason for requiring vaccinations, of course. Some are doing so to ensure that they are following any government-imposed requirements. Others may be turning to mandates to protect their workforce and prevent disruptions of the kind they experienced during 2020's nationwide lockdowns.

Regardless of the motivation behind those corporate mandates, the fact is that many workers and job seekers are confronting a stark reality. They need to be able to prove that they have received the vaccine or run the risk of not being able to work at all.

Reasons to update your resume with vaccination status

There are several key reasons why you should consider including vaccination status on your resume, and they can all impact your ability to land your next job. For example:

  • A September survey by ResumeBuilder.com revealed that a third of surveyed hiring managers say that they will not even consider a resume that fails to identify the candidate's vaccination status.

  • That same survey found that 32 percent of respondents choose to prioritize vaccinated candidates over the unvaccinated.

  • That preference for vaccinated applicants was consistent across multiple industries, including technology, finance, retail, hospitality, education, and healthcare.

  • 61 percent of companies that hire remote workers seem to be looking for vaccinated job candidates, so even remote workers can be affected by these preferences.

Of course, companies are still going to prioritize job qualifications, but that might be of little comfort if your resume fails to include your vaccination status. If your rival applicants have the same qualifications and have included that vaccination information on their resumes, you may find yourself at a significant disadvantage in the hiring process.

Reasons why you may not want to include vaccine status on your resume

There are many millions of Americans who have either decided to forgo the vaccine or who have simply not yet received their shots. Roughly 98 percent of the estimated 43 million Americans who tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic survived their bout with the illness. Many of those people may choose to rely on natural immunity. Meanwhile, other Americans may have legitimate hesitancy about the new vaccines. Here are just a few of the reasons why job candidates like you may not want to disclose your vaccination status:

  • You may have legitimate concerns about disclosing any private medical information

  • You have not received the vaccine and have no intention of getting the shot

  • You are applying for a job at a company with fewer than 100 employees

It is important to note that those reasons may seem perfectly legitimate to you, but that does not mean that your prospective employer will agree with your decision. Any failure to include vaccination status could doom your application and consign your resume to the company dustbin.

How to include your vaccination status on your resume

Since your resume is a vital tool in your job search effort, most resume experts agree that it should include all relevant information that can help you land employment. At this point in history, that information should include your vaccination status. Here are some key tips to help you properly disclose that information:

Clearly list your status

When listing your vaccine status, be sure to use words that are likely to be recognized by any company's ATS software. Do not use words like “vax” or “vaxxed” or any of the other shorthand expressions people use on Twitter and Facebook. Instead, be sure to use the words “Vaccinated” and “COVID-19” or “Covid 19” to ensure that your status is properly read by those tracking systems. For example:

“I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19” or “I have completed the COVID-19 vaccination process.”

Hiring managers and recruiters may scan your resume (visually or automated) for these keywords, so it's best to address it in plain language.

Include it near the beginning of your resume

Since hiring managers are increasingly concerned about applicants' vaccination status, it is important to place this information in a prominent place--for now. The best place to include this information is toward the end of your summary statement, since that statement is typically the first thing hiring managers read.

Be honest

The one thing you absolutely must do is be honest about your status. If you lie and the company requires that you provide proof, you will be rejected for the job. If you are not vaccinated yet, and do not intend to get the vaccine, do not say otherwise.

Add vaccine status to your LinkedIn and social media profiles

If you include social media links in your resume, you can add your vaccination status to those sites as well. That not only provides consistency between your resume and online presence but may also get you some needed attention from job recruiters in search of qualified, vaccinated candidates. Again, however, this will come down to personal preference and whether or not you want to advertise your vaccination status.

Summary

Regardless of how you feel about vaccine mandates, they are quickly becoming unavoidable for many workers and job seekers. To successfully compete in this emerging post-lockdown world, it is vital that you know how to include your vaccination status in your resume. Proper disclosure of that information may give you just the advantage you need to land your next job.

Do you have more questions about what to include on your resume? Work with our professional resume writers.

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