How do I tell potential employers that I quit, resigned, or was fired from my last job due to refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19?


Answered by: ByVirtualist career experts

In this response, we will address the situation for individuals who have chosen not to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. If you are unable to be vaccinated due to health reasons, we have addressed that scenario in another question within our Career Advice Library.

When addressing this matter, whether through a cover letter, resume career break section, or during an interview, it is essential to focus on several key points:

  1. Emphasize that your departure from your previous job was not due to performance issues and highlight positive aspects such as receiving excellent reviews, fostering good relationships with colleagues, and demonstrating passion for your work.
  2. Briefly explain that you made a personal and difficult decision that rendered you ineligible to continue working at the previous company.
  3. Reiterate your strong job performance and express your genuine interest in the current role you are discussing.

It is important to avoid delving into the specific reasons behind your decision. Given the divisive nature of this topic, it is advisable to maintain focus on your primary goal during the job search, which is securing a new job, rather than seeking validation or acceptance for your standpoint on a contentious issue.

Here are a few examples of how you can articulate this information in your resume, cover letters, or discussions with potential employers:

  • “During a challenging period, I made a deeply personal and difficult decision that led to my inability to continue working at that particular company.”
  • “I was part of a group affected by company strategy/policy changes, resulting in layoff. Throughout my tenure, I consistently received exceptional performance reviews from both leaders and peers.”

At ByVirtualist, our career coaching team is available to assist you in formulating and practicing your approach to discussing sensitive subjects, including this one. Whether you prefer personalized one-on-one career coaching sessions or mock job interviews, we are here to support you in navigating these challenging situations.