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No matter if you’re applying for your first job or your fiftieth, a polished resume is an essential part of the application process. A good resume is your chance to catch hiring managers’ attention, secure an interview, and get one step closer to acquiring the job. Galt Foundation offers resume tips for individuals with disabilities to help you stand out from the pack.
Whether you’re applying for your first job or your fiftieth, it's essential to have a polished and professional resume on hand. Often, your resume is a company's first impression of you. If it's well-done and memorable, hopefully it won't be the last!
Your resume is your chance to stand out from the crowd. If your resume catches a hiring manager's attention, you’re more likely to secure an interview, which means you’re one step closer to acquiring a job.
For people with disabilities, the resume stage isn’t too much different than for those without, but there are a few things to be aware of to help smooth out the process. Here are some resume tips for individuals with disabilities.
Tailor Your Resume
Employers may often sift through tens or hundreds of resumes for a job application, and what they’re looking for is simple: the right fit for the job. This means that if you have the right skills and education described in the job posting, regardless of your disability, you’ll want to make sure you effectively highlight it to show that you’re the best candidate.
Since hiring managers often have to sift through many applications, it's important for your resume to stand out from the group. You can use specifics from the job posting to make your resume less generic and more tailored. Even modifying minor details can have a big impact.
For example, if a job posting specifically calls out “working on a team,” you could mention your ability to work well on a team. Or if they want applicants who have received college education, you ensure you list your program and graduation date clearly.
Focus on Your Skills
When building your resume, it’s important to consider the difference between hard and soft skills. Hard skills, such as programming, carpentry, or accounting, are skills that you learn through a course or mentorship. Soft skills, such as leadership, customer service, or time management are skills that come naturally to you or can be honed by experience.
It’s a good idea to highlight both types of skills on your resume. For hard skills, quantifiable results are preferred, such as typing speed, years of experience (i.e. as an engineer), or courses taken.
It’s also a good idea to use active language when writing your resume, as this can help create a stronger link between you and your experience. Saying “managed several high-profile projects” sounds more natural and dynamic than “worked as a project manager on several high-profile projects.”
Remember: your resume is the time to focus on your skills. You are not required by law to disclose your disability. However, if you choose to do so, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier.
Follow Resume Basics
Regardless of what job you’re applying for or where you’re at in your career, it's still a good idea to follow a few resume best practices.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Keep your resume to one page; two pages maximum (unless otherwise stated)
- Break it into sections with clear headings
- Use a legible, 12-point font (i.e. Arial or Times New Roman)
- Write in first person with no pronouns
- Avoid including hobbies and interests (unless otherwise suggested)
There are tons of blogs online covering resume best practices, such as this one from Forbes or this one from Indeed. Galt can also help you brush up your resume, if needed, as part of our employment process.
Lastly, don’t forget to take the specific job into account. Are you applying for a creative role, like a graphic designer? You’ll want to make sure your resume shows off your artistic ability. Applying for a role where you’ll be writing a lot? Make sure there are absolutely no grammar or spelling errors.
Do a Final Check
We’re all human and error-prone. Make sure you do a thorough check of your resume before you send it off. Check for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or other mistakes (i.e. wrong dates, incorrect titles, or abbreviations the hiring manager may not be aware of).
We suggest having someone look it over for you. Not only will they have a fresh set of eyes to catch mistakes, but they may flag things you don’t need or should add. After all, we may not know how truly great we are at a skill, but past colleagues, employers, or honest friends do!
Let Galt Foundation Help
Need help getting started in your job application process? We’re here to help. Galt Foundation is one of the world’s largest temporary staffing organizations for individuals with disabilities. With over 20 years of experience, we’ll support you through the employment process and match you with the right job opportunity.
If you haven’t yet secured an interview, check out our latest job opportunities here.
Feel free to get in touch with our expert team. You can reach us here or call us at 1-877-361-1277 – we’re always happy to help!