Job candidates may have a new line item to add as more companies require measures to protect against the coronavirus

Job seekers are considering a new addition to their résumés: Covid-19 vaccination status.

As employers make vaccine rules for workers and some limit hiring to the vaccinated, people are starting to volunteer their vaccination status on job applications, in résumés and on their LinkedIn profiles.

David Morgan, chief executive of Snorkel-Mart, an online snorkeling gear wholesaler and retailer, started requiring full vaccination for the company’s 20-plus employees in the spring. He says he favors candidates who are candid about their vaccine status on their résumés because it prevents surprises late in the hiring process.

“It saves us a lot of time and hassle to just clear it out in the résumé phase,” he said. “Candidates must be aware of the fact that the vaccination status holds the same importance as your personal profile nowadays, if not more.”

In an August survey of 1,250 hiring managers, nearly 70% said they were more likely to hire somebody who indicates on their résumé that they have had the shot, according to ResumeBuilder.com, which commissioned the poll. A third of hiring managers surveyed said they were automatically eliminating résumés that don’t spell out vaccine status.

Employees and bosses across the country have been adapting to a patchwork of laws and guidelines around vaccination, testing and masking as workplaces reopen more widely. Earlier in September, the Biden administration said all employers with 100 or more workers will have to start requiring that employees be vaccinated or undergo at least weekly Covid-19 testing, creating new pressures for managers and questions for workers.

A mobile Covid-19 vaccination clinic in Los Angeles this month. A recent small-business survey showed 60% of owners wanted to hire only vaccinated people.

New data from job-search engine Adzuna shows an uptick in job postings that seek fully vaccinated candidates. In August, more than 50,000 new job postings on the site said Covid-19 vaccination was required, up from 35,000 in July and 2,300 in January. Positions in healthcare, hospitality and catering and information technology were the most likely to require vaccine disclosures.

More job seekers are adding their vaccination status to the top of their professional profiles on LinkedIn, in some cases spelling out “fully vaccinated” before their job titles. Recruiters and career coaches say the practice of sorting résumés based on vaccine status is still new, but that it isn’t a bad idea to include vaccine information on a CV.

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“I personally think it can only help,” said Ken Zwerdling, founder of the career coaching firm Global Expansion Inc. “It shows responsibility and safety right off the bat.”

Some legal experts say that it can be tricky for companies to press for this information, because they could weed out candidates who can’t be vaccinated for a religious or medical reason, said Rachel Conn, an employment attorney in San Francisco at Nixon Peabody LLP.

“It’s still potentially discriminatory if the employer is making a decision based on a protected status,” she said. “It’s kind of an unwitting trap for employers. You may make an unconscious decision because you prefer this person.”

Mollie Kerr, a 22-year-old recent graduate from Elon University in North Carolina, added that she was fully vaccinated in her LinkedIn profile after her stepfather, who works as an employment lawyer, suggested it may give her a leg up, especially following the Biden administration’s mandate. Ms. Kerr, a political science major who is looking for a job in government, also includes her vaccination status in her cover letter and said it is better to have it in there than not.

“I think it is something a lot of hiring managers are dealing with and maybe they’ll think I’ll give them less of a headache in the hiring process,” she said. “I feel that it shows I care about the health and safety of others.”

As more companies put vaccine mandates in place, some hiring managers say they are trying to find talented people who already have complied. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 small-business owners, 60% said they want to hire vaccinated people only, according to Digital.com, a software company for small business that commissioned the survey.

Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said putting vaccination status on a résumé can help a candidate by letting a recruiter skip the political and cultural debate around the topic.

“If they can make a recruiter’s life a little easier by circumventing this touchy question, it could be the advantage that gets them an interview,” he said.

Not all résumé coaches are in favor of voluntarily disclosing vaccine status. Robynn Storey, chief executive of Storeyline Resumes, said she is telling job seekers not to put their vaccine status on their résumés, adding that the onus should be on the company to ask about it upfront.

“It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Applicants need to be judged on their abilities and qualifications. It feels like asking to put height or weight on my résumé,” she said.

Disclosing vaccine status can even help with those seeking fully or partially remote jobs. More than 70% of hiring managers at companies where new employees will work hybrid schedules said they wanted to hire vaccinated applicants, and 61% of employers where people primarily work remotely preferred to hire vaccinated people, ResumeBuilder research found.

Source: Wall Street Journal September 28, 2021 | By Patrick Thomas