COVID vaccine requirements are creating a new wave of questions about the role vaccination status should play in hiring. You may have ponied up your COVID vaccine card for a free donut, a beer, or to get into your favorite restaurant. But should you show the card to a recruiter who calls you about an open position?

The reality is most recruiters need to know your vaccination status in order to ensure you meet the requirements of the job. Most companies with 100 employees or more have created procedures for vetting for vaccination status. And all federal government contractors are required to meet vaccination requirements. While employment requirements vary by state, for federal contractors with hard deadlines for vaccine compliance, identifying who is vaccinated is just a part of the new screening process.

Why a Recruiter Wants Your Status – Not Your Card

While recruiters may need to know your vaccine status, they likely won’t want to see your COVID card. And that’s because it contains personal information – specifically your birthdate – that recruiters don’t need to know as a part of their hiring process. That means you shouldn’t plan on taking your vaccine card to your interview or scanning it and including it on your resume. Read more about listing vaccine status on your resume here.

For many recruiters looking to verify vaccination status, third party resources or a separate email verification process are frequently used to get that information to HR without the recruiter having access to it. If a recruiter does ask to see your COVID card, it’s certainly within your rights to not display the birthdate, although HR will likely have and need that information at some point, anyway.

COVID-19 has changed the way we work – and the way we onboard. While vaccination might not get you free donuts anymore, it can help you land a federal government job.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer