Tips for Job Hunters with Disabilities
Cast A Wide Net
Cast a wide net, especially for your first job. In order to get your foot in the door, you may have to take a job that is less than your ideal, or put together two part-time jobs.
Use A Variety Of Resources In Your Job Search
Use a variety of resources in your job search, such as friends, professors, on-line job banks, vocational rehabilitation counselors and your university placement office.
Market Your Disability As An Asset
Market your disability as an asset, emphasizing the skills you have acquired as result (i.e. creative problem solving, sign language, computer technologies).
Practice interviewing with family and friends. Most schools have career centers which do mock interviews even for alumni. Be able to confidently answer questions about your disability and accommodation needs, and how you will perform the essential functions of the job.
Disclose Your Disability When You Feel The Time Is Right
Disclose your disability when you feel the time is right. One strategy is to disclose after an interview has been arranged. Some people prefer to disclose indirectly (i.e. “You’ll recognize me because I have a golden retriever guide dog.”).
Do Your Homework
Do your homework. Before the interview, research! The knowledge will give you an understanding of the organization and allow you to impress the interviewer.
After The Interview
After the interview, write a thank you note and make a follow-up call to see how the selection process is progressing.
Be persistent! Job hunting is stressful for everyone, but don’t give up. With perseverance, you’ll find the job that is right for you.
Prepared for ACPA 2000 by Katherine Schneider, PH D., UW-Eau Claire, firstname.lastname@example.org and Judy Landes, Shenandoah University, Jlandes@su.edu