Job Search Tips for the Disabled

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Having a disability is hard enough without it affecting your job search.  And really, it should not limit your opportunity to land a great job. So, here are some great tips to help you get your job search started.

Accentuate the Positives

First, figure out what type of job you want to find and then determine what skills you have for that job. Don’t fixate on what you can’t do but focus on what you can do.  Once you know your limitations, you can start to narrow down the job possibilities.

In the interview, continue to concentrate on what you do well.  Try creating an elevator speech that reflects how you can benefit the company.  This shows the hiring manager that you are sincere and have done your homework.

Keep Your Head Up

Don’t go in to the job search with a defeatist attitude, rather, keep your head up and approach it with confidence.  Remember that if they’ve called you in for an interview, they already think you’re at least somewhat qualified. Focus on your skills and how they relate to the position. Make sure you do your research on the company, too. They say knowledge is power, and having all of this prepared ahead of time will help you interview with confidence.

Consider Using a Skills-based Resume

Most resumes are formatted chronologically – starting with the most current position and working backwards. However, you might want to consider using a skills-based resume that displays the skills that make you uniquely qualified for the job. In the job interview, do your best to show your skills by offering up facts, numbers and results. 

Educate Yourself

Know your rights when it comes to a job and your disability, like the federal protection laws that are in place.  These laws are there to protect you from discrimination whether during the job search or in your job.  Know what you are getting into before you apply the position, also.  Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities.  However, do your due diligence prior to submission of your application.  For instance, if the position is located on an upper floor of a building that does not have an elevator, this may not be for you.  So, even though an employer may bend over backwards to accommodate, some things are just out of their control.

Companies are in need of quality talent more than ever. Keep that in mind during your job search. Just because you have a disability, doesn’t mean you can’t bring a ton of skill and expertise to the table. Be sure to focus on your strengths, keep an attitude of positivity, and educate yourself on the laws, and you’ll conquer your next job search.

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