Vaccinations aren't typically something that would be included on resumes in the US. However, the changing legal landscape for employers is making COVID-19 vaccination status an important factor in how they maintain compliance in their workforce. Here is what you need to know about including COVID-19 vaccination status on your resume and how to do it the right way.

Employers are Looking for it

Before deciding whether to include your COVID-19 vaccination status on your resume, it is important to understand why this is an issue for employers. First, companies that have government contracts are subject to the Biden mandate that all federal workers and contractors require vaccination. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will also require employers with over 100 employees to get their workforce vaccinated or undergo at least weekly COVID-19 testing. There are also a number of city and state mandates that have dictated similar requirements.

Since these mandates, the language of job postings has also changed. The number of job postings on commercial job boards that include COVID-19 vaccination as a requirement has increased by 242%. And, a recent survey of employers found that 33% of them are automatically eliminating resumes that do not include vaccine status. So, your vaccination status is an increasingly important qualification for your job search.

Why Include COVID-19 Vaccination Status on Your Resume

There are many reasons why you would want to include your COVID-19 vaccination status on your resume. As noted above, employers are increasingly including this as a requirement in their job postings. This means that the applicant tracking systems (ATS) will be looking for this information on resumes as part of the process to sort out unqualified candidates. This preference is increasingly being applied across all industries - even those beyond restaurants and hospitality to include technology, finance, education, and healthcare. This requirement is also increasingly being applied to people that will work remotely as there may be a requirement at some point for the person to travel to the employer's location.

Vaccination status is only 1 requirement of the many that are typically expected for any job. So, you still need to meet the overall requirements for the job to be considered a viable candidate for the role. However, if you decide to leave vaccination status off your resume, you may fall short of the candidate that includes it on their resume who is equally qualified for the role. Thus, to avoid this disadvantage, you will want to include your COVID-19 vaccination status on your resume if you are fully vaccinated.

Why Not to Include COVID-19 Vaccination Status on Your Resume

There are many people in the US that are not yet vaccinated. There are many reasons why people have not obtained the vaccination. If you are someone that will not get the vaccination, then you should not list the absence of the vaccine on your resume. As noted above, the federal mandates apply only to employers with 100 or more employees. Thus, if you are applying to a company that is smaller than 100 employees it may not be necessary to provide vaccination status on your resume.

Keep in mind that the Equal Opportunity Commission has ruled that federal anti-discrimination laws do not prohibit employers from requiring all employees who physically enter the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19. However, those employers must still provide accommodations for employees with religious objections or disabilities that prevent obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination.

There are different rules that govern religious and disability accommodation by an employer and potential employer. There are also different rules that impact people who are candidates who have yet to be hired and the employees of an organization. Generally, it is much easier to gain protection for these accommodations after an offer has been extended by the employer. Thus, if you are someone that falls under one of these categories and want to make sure that you can avail the protections, then it may be a good strategy to wait until later in the hiring process to discuss the need for accommodations for the COVID-19 requirements.  

How to Include Vaccination Status on Your Resume

There are a couple of places you can include your COVID-19 vaccination status on your resume. First, you could put in the contact section of your resume under your name somewhere by your email or phone. This would make it clear to anyone or ATS that you meet the qualification. Second, you could put your COVID-19 vaccination status under your skills section. This could be as simple as adding a line to the area where you have the other skills like software and language abilities.

If you decide to add your COVID-19 vaccination status to your resume, then you should make sure to spell out the words so that it is easy to understand. Do not abbreviate the concepts here words like "Vax" or "Vaxxed." Using these slang terms could result in the applicant tracking systems missing your information. Instead, include something like the following:

Vaccinations: COVID-19 fully vaccinated (as of June 2021)

You could also elect to include the vaccination type or the specific dates of each shot. But, the employer will likely be looking only to determine whether you are or are not fully vaccinated. Taking the route of "fully vaccinated" also enables you to avoid discussion about whether you are or are not eligible for booster shots. Early on, COVID-19 booster shots have been limited to people with certain conditions. Thus, by including the designation of your booster shots, you may be unintentionally revealing other medical conditions that you have. So, the safest option for most is to simply include the date that you obtained your full vaccination status - much like you would include the date that you obtained a degree or certification.


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