Vaccination status top of mind for job recruiters now

West Virginia

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SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — You’ve prepared your resume and included work experience, education and special skills — but don’t forget your vaccination status. Here’s what you need to know if you’re job hunting during the pandemic.

Applicants can expect this question from the job recruiter right out of the box: are you vaccinated? As one recruiter put it, knowing a job applicant’s vaccination status up front prevents surprises later. It can be every bit as important as anything else on your resume.

Alexis Sauer is a Shepherd University student from Charles Town who is thinking about her prospects on the job market after graduation.

“I think being vaccinated is a very important thing for everybody to do if they’re able, so when you’re going into the job market I think it’s very important people know if you’re vaccinated or not. So they know about the public health risks,” Sauer said.

According to a Wall Street Journal survey, a full third of hiring managers are eliminating resumes which do not disclose vaccination status. How does that sound to Payton Heleine, a Shepherd University junior from South Carolina, majoring in communications?

“I think it’s good to know who’s vaccinated and who’s not just because vaccinations make this whole Covid thing go over a little bit easier with everyone,” Heleine said. “[It] makes it a safer work environment.”

What about job applicants who may not be vaccinated for a medical or religious reason? Marie Shindledecker, a native of nearby Inwood, West Virginia, is a junior psychology major who says employers should be understanding.

“I mean it’s obviously everyone’s right and hopefully jobs take that into consideration that it really shouldn’t be forced upon people,” Shindledecker said. “That’s my opinion.”

Likley driving a lot of this is the Biden Administration’s requirement that employers with 100 or more workers require a fully vaccinated workforce, or else undergo at least weekly testing for the Covid virus.

The data show that 70% of job recruiters will ask about your vaccination status almost as soon as they ask your name. Critics of this trend in screening job applicants say disclosure of vaccination status is unfair. Applicants, they insist, should be judged by their ability and qualifications.

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