What Job Seekers with Disabilities Need to
Whether you are entering the workforce for the first time,
returning to the job market, or seeking advancement, the challenges of a job
search are similar. Your goal is to find the position that best meets your
needs. You must be qualified and able to sell yourself as the best applicant
for the job(s) for which you apply. Here are some tips that can help you in
meeting your job search goal.
Have a strong sense of who you are. Know your assets and how to
market them to employers.
Committed to Lifelong Change
Follow job trends. Take the initiative to maintain cutting edge
skills that match changing employer requirements.
Be Computer Literate
Increasing your technical computer skills increases your
marketability in the job market. Conduct online job searches. Visit employer
Web pages and key job sites such as:
Update Your Resume Often
Customize your resume to reflect the assets you bring to each job.
Use key words that can be electronically scanned by potential employers to
positions you want. Reflect continuous employment in your skill area. Summer
employment should support your field of interest. Volunteer or obtain temporary
jobs if you are unemployed. Select a resume format that minimizes any gaps in
Be Your Best
Locating a job is a full time endeavor. Give full attention to all
that you do. Errors will knock you out of the running.
Have a written personal plan for vertical and lateral growth
opportunities. Know what you must do each day to move closer to your goal. Stay
Expand Your Network
Maintain and continuously strive to broaden your network. If you
are working, network inside the company. Join professional groups.
Research Job Trends and Companies
Select targets of opportunity that match your skill areas. Request
and study annual reports of select companies. Reflect each company s image in
all communications with each company s representatives. Make good use of
library resources. Read trade journals and business publications.
Have a Positive Attitude
A pleasant personality is a necessary asset. Your eagerness to
adapt and to be a team player is essential. Show that you are flexible. A sense
of humor and positive attitude are pluses.
Disclose a Disability Only as Needed
The only reason to disclose a disability is if you require an
accommodation for an interview or to perform the essential functions of a
particular job. Your resume and cover letter should focus on the abilities you
bring to the job, not on your disability.
Be Prepared to Conduct an
Look your best from head to toe. Dress
conservatively. Be brief and to the point when answering interview questions.
Maintain a demeanor of success and reflect the company image when you respond.
Have full confidence in what you bring to the employer and show how your skills
meet the company's specific hiring needs. Ask thoughtful questions about the
job and the company. NEVER say anything negative. Follow up immediately with a
thank you letter or e-mail transmission.
Push yourself to go the extra mile in your job search
and you will find the opportunity you are seeking.
This tip sheet was prepared in cooperation with the
Business Leadership Network (BLN), a program of the Office of Disability
Employment Policy. The BLN is a national program led by employers in concert
with State Governors Committees that engages the leadership and participation
of companies throughout the United States to hire qualified job applicants with
disabilities. This program offers employers pertinent disability employment
information; a network of companies sharing information on specific disability
employment issues; the opportunity to provide training and work experience for
job seekers with disabilities; and recognition for the best disability
employment practices. For more information on this program, contact the Office
of Disability Employment Policy (202)693-7880 (V), (202)693-7881 (TTY),