Job-seekers, listen up: It’s time to fiddle with the font size on your resume yet again, to make room for a brand-new entry that could make or break your chances of getting a new job. Those of us who are fully-vaccinated need to display our status front and center on our CVs to ensure we’re not getting overlooked by hiring managers.
According to a new survey out today from ResumeBuilder, an incredible 33% of hiring managers say they will automatically eliminate resumes that don’t include a COVID-19 vaccination status. Read that again. This means that if you don’t have your vaccine information on display, you could immediately be cutting your job prospects down by a third.
And heads up to all job seekers in the technology industry — per the ResumeBuilder survey, an incredible 3/4 of computer and IT firms want to see an employee’s vaccine status on resumes, and research from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. echoed that sentiment. “We also found technology companies were most concerned about vaccinated workforces,” says Colleen Madden Blumenfeld, VP of outplacement at Challenger, Gray.
At first glance, it might feel strange to share something that may feel like personal medical information with a company before you’ve even made it through the first interview hurdle, but it’s important to clarify exactly what kind of medical information your vaccination status really is. The EEOC clarified months ago that asking a candidate’s vaccination status is not a disability-related question under the ADA. Likewise, it doesn’t violate any current privacy laws to ask for or offer a vaccination status, explains Blumenfeld.
If you’re fully vaccinated, Blumenfeld says she highly recommends displaying your vaccine status on your resume. This is particularly important for job-seekers who may be applying for a position at a firm with more than 100 employees. Larger corporations that have offices across the country and the world are especially concerned with ensuring the health and safety of all employees.
Where It Goes And What To Say
But where, exactly, should you put this information? “There is no set spot for it,” says TopResume career expert Amanda Augustine. “But it should ideally go into the top third of your resume, and it should fit into your professional summary or highlight section, below your contact information, but above your work history.” (This is the same section where you might indicate if you are a green card holder, or you’re willing to relocate, or travel 50% of the time, for example.)
In terms of how to phrase things, Augustine recommends writing it out as simply as possible: “Fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” And if you write COVID, COVID-19, or COVID 19, you’re still safe — the AI software known as ATS (applicant tracking systems) that review resumes will still pick up the COVID keyword. But don’t mess around with the word “vaccinated” — there’s a chance you’ll need that exact word rather than something like “vaxxed” in order to make it through the system.
How About Cover Letters And LinkedIn?
It’s not just your resume where you should display your vaccination status — “We’re seeing job seekers use a hashtag on their LinkedIn profiles to showcase their vaccination status,” Blumenfeld says. A quick search on LinkedIn shows the hashtags: #vaccinatedagainstcovid19, #fullyvaccinated, #fullyvaxxed, and #vaccinated are all popular options, for both hiring managers and job seekers alike.
You can also incorporate your vaccine status into your cover letter, but make sure it ends up on your resume, too. There’s a good chunk of hiring managers — about 50% — who say they never read cover letters, Augustine cautions. If you want to be safe, incorporate it everywhere: on your resume, in your cover letter, and on your LinkedIn profile.
What If You Can’t — Or Won’t — Go There?
And if you just can’t quite wrap your head around shouting your vaccine status from the rooftops yet, Augustine says you still have opportunities for being hired.
“The trick is understanding the type of company that you want to work for. If you’re looking at large firms that have publicly stated their workforce must be vaccinated, then it’s essential. However, if you’ve narrowed your search to smaller firms with a fully remote workforce, you can probably get by without it,” she says.
But the truth is, fully vaccinated individuals are going to have more career doors opened for them in the years to come. “Right now, companies are in planning mode for the forthcoming OSHA rule mandating vaccines or weekly negative tests for companies with 100 or more workers. HR managers are getting it from all sides as they grapple with the needs of their existing talent and the directives from senior leaders, both of which for 18 months, have changed seemingly constantly,” Blumenfeld says. “As we’re currently in a talent shortage, they’re also often under-staffed, so the daunting task of creating a process to verify records will be simplified if the majority of their workers are vaccinated. Checking a vaccination status once is easier and less costly than verifying negative tests weekly.”
No matter your industry, if it’s been a while since you dusted off your resume and dove into Word, Canva, or another system to tweak and perfect your resume, now is the time. Because don’t we all love getting hired for our #dreamjob just as much as we love being #fullyvaxxed?
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