As we continue to navigate our post-pandemic world, many new questions and debates are popping up on COVID-19 vaccination status and at what point it’s appropriate to disclose that information to prospective employers.
With many workplaces mandating full vaccination as a requirement, job seekers and career professionals are questioning whether vaccine status should be included on resumes when for so long the resume has been no place for health/medical information. (To be clear, in some countries vaccination is mandatory for employment but that is not yet the case in the US).
To understand how the current debate on vaccination status is impacting recruitment and hiring, the CDI Education Committee posed the following question to a handful of recruiters from different industries:
With an influx of discussion and debate on LinkedIn regarding whether COVID vaccination status should be included on resumes, we’re seeing new issues popping up that may impact hiring.
What new expectations are you seeing from hiring authorities, and what new questions are you asking candidates and why?
Here’s what they had to say:
Ron Beck | Director of Healthcare Leadership & IT Recruitment at Carecor Health Services Ltd.
COVID vaccination status is the hottest topic in the employment world in years, and not likely to cool down anytime soon.
Many feel that getting vaccinated is a good idea, while others are concerned about side effects or the employer’s ability to reduce the rights of the worker. That division is also not going away anytime soon.
So, while I feel it’s not a mistake to include your vaccination status on your resume, I would not want to see this status become a mandatory item on resumes. The employers are already taking the first step on this issue. In many cases we now see “fully vaccinated” as a mandatory item in the qualifications section of job postings.
Further, a newer and common interview question is: “Can you please share your COVID vaccination status with us?” Similarly, for years we’ve “We maintain a smoke-free and perfume-free working environment.” But it would be too personal and not necessary to include “I’m a non-smoker who doesn’t wear perfume” on your resume.
Speaking of too personal, cybercrime continues to grow rapidly. So, avoid adding your date of birth or street address to your resume, opting only for a phone number, e-mail address, city, and state / province. Be ready to share the more sensitive data as part of the employment on-boarding stage once you decide to accept an offer.
Wendy Schoen | CEO & Managing Partner at Schoen Legal Search
There has been much discussion of late as to whether you should include your vaccine status on your resume.
Long conversations have been sparked on the subject on LinkedIn by resume writers. Donna Svei shared a graph sharing the results of a Resume Builder survey of hiring managers. It showed the following:
Will you automatically eliminate a resume that doesn’t state if the applicant is vaccinated against COVID-19?
- 33% said – yes, will automatically eliminate resumes
- 35% said – no, will not automatically delete resumes
- 32% said – no, but vaccinated applicants are given priority.
However, most of those in the career advice business seem to be in the camp that you SHOULD include your vaccine status. But, there are those who say that by doing so you are revealing your age (if you state that you have had a booster, you tell the world that you are over 65). And the very real concern about legality.
My concern continues to be the legal connotations that accompany your including this information on your resume. As I said, many of the experts raised this issue as well. Health information has NO PLACE on your resume. It is blatantly illegal. Period. You are not required to reveal any other vaccinations or health conditions on your resume, so Covid-19 vaccines are no different.
Even in the face of the potential new federal mandate for companies with more than 100 employees, it has no place on your resume. The company CAN tell you that they have a vaccine mandate in place and that if they hire you, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination at the time of offer (or offer up proof for your exemption). THAT is totally different. That falls into the category of having to prove that you have certain licenses to be able to take a particular job.
So, to be clear, I am ANTI-vaccine status on your resume. But I am PRO-vaccine.
Eglys Perez | Director of Recruiting at TorontoJobs.ca
As more and more companies are implementing COVID-19 vaccination policies, employees are required to be fully vaccinated against the virus in order to enter their workspace. Those who are not vaccinated will be required to show negative results from a recent test and will need to do this repeatedly.
Essentially, anyone who is to enter a shared work environment will have this additional requirement to meet, which means recruiters are now having to screen for COVID-19 vaccination status and address this requirement during the preliminary screening.
While many interviews are still occurring online, companies are beginning to transition their staff back to the common workspace, resulting in more face-to-face job interviews again. Screening questions could include “Does our client’s vaccination policy in any way prevent you from attending an in-person interview or accepting the position?”, “What is your vaccination status?”, and “Are you able to show proof of vaccination status?”
What This Means for Your Client the Job Seeker
Among the recruiters we heard from, the consensus is that vaccination status should not be included on the resume, but that job seekers should expect vaccine-related questions throughout the interviewing and onboarding process. As career professionals this means we can educate our clients on how to prepare for these questions and ensure they have the proper supporting documentation in place, whether that be proof of vaccination or exemption.
When it comes to resumes and other marketing materials, there is a strong case for omitting vaccination status, even if it is a legal working requirement in your client’s province, country. or state. As with other health/medical information, revealing COVID-19 vaccination status on a resume is too personal and is not recommended.
In conclusion, we should continue to emphasize resume writing best practices and focus on our client’s unique value proposition as opposed to their health information.
Special thanks to CDI Education Committee who contributed to this Q&A spotlight. Curated by Laura Hartnell.