The first part of the year is a great time to look for a new role. But living with a disability can complicate your relationship with the world of work.
When approaching the job-hunting process, good research and creative thinking will help your application stand out from the (non-disabled) pack. With the help of top CV writing service Purple CV, here are some tips on how to get started.
Think bespoke rather than off-the- peg
It’s tempting to rely on one CV to cover all applications, but this isn’t the best approach. As you know, employers vary in their attitude towards people with disabilities — and the roles you’re applying for may vary, too — so it makes sense to tailor your CV accordingly.
Know the law
When applying for work, you’re legally protected under the Equality Act 2010. You’re also covered by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Before you start the job application process, it’s well worth revising the sections on employment.
The law concerns all aspects of recruitment. Knowing your legal rights will empower you while you’re researching your job application, and when you’re making it.
Research your prospective employer carefully
We’d advise any candidate to find out about the company they hope to work for. But for you, extra knowledge of your prospective employer’s disability-friendliness will help you pitch your CV and covering letter at the right level.
Knowing the law comes in handy here, too. You’ll notice things which may not be relevant to your particular needs, but which speak volumes about the company’s attitude towards the rights of people with disabilities.
Don’t disclose – market
When drafting your CV, it’s your call how much information to include about your disability. But consider this: living as a disabled person means you’ll have insights and experience your non-disabled counterparts lack.
Perhaps you’re multilingual, with BSL as your first language, or maybe assistive technology aids your accuracy and productivity. These, and other, more subtle qualities, are all valuable to employers.
So, when deciding how to mention your disability in your CV, don’t think in terms of disclosure – think in terms of marketing. Granted, this might sound like a glib appeal to look on the bright side of your disability, but it’s really more about making your true value crystal clear.
Highlight skills, not timelines
CV writing can seem extra tough if you don’t have a conventional history of paid employment. But by taking a skills-based approach, you can showcase experience gained through voluntary work, hobbies and interests, or family life.
Every situation you’ve been in has served some kind of learning purpose. The key thing for your CV is to work out exactly what you’ve learned from each experience, and decide which of these skills can benefit your future employer.
Mention your goals
As a person with a disability, you can face barriers to success in the workplace, including fewer opportunities for career development. That’s why it’s vital for you to be proactive.
Don’t hold back from mentioning your career goals in your CV. If you’d like to get more experience in a customer-facing environment, come right out with it. If you’ve set your sights on acquiring a new skill, go ahead and say so.
As long as your aims are relevant to the position you’ve set your sights on, evidence of a career plan is a very good thing to have on your CV, both for your employer and your prospects.