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Ignore job applicants’ claims of ‘good health’

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

Applicants will slap anything on their résumés if they think it will attract the hiring manager's eyes. So, recognizing the soaring cost of health insurance, more applicants these days are adding a "Health Profile" section to their résumés to show off their great health condition.

This "Hire me, I won't raise your premiums" pitch might impress you, but don't take the bait. Why? Basing hiring decisions on medical information could easily invite a disability or age-discrimination lawsuit.

Playing to employers' fears. Some say this résumé trend is more prevalent among foreign applicants, particularly Europeans. Others say they're also seeing health-status claims on résumés coming from older candidates, who fear that age could scare away employers looking to keep a lid on health benefits costs.

Decades ago, when the threat of discrimination lawsuits wasn't an issue, applicants routinely listed health details on résumés and applications. Job-seekers often included personal data such as height, weight, health condition, marital status ... even including photographs.

But don't be tempted to reach back to these "good old days." You should never consider health status in job applications. Instead, focus strictly on job skills, work experience, education and career progression. Nothing else should taint the decision.

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