Finding employment always comes with challenges. At Galt Foundation, we work to make the process easier – and can offer a few tips and resources, too. Keep reading for guidance on how to undertake a successful search for employment, plus some helpful links, all specifically tailored to job seekers with disabilities.
Looking for a job as an individual with a disability can be complicated. For applicants with disabilities, the search may come with additional challenges. Applicants with disabilities can face additional barriers to employment, including inaccessible work spaces, difficulty in accessing the correct accommodations, and employer misconceptions.
Thankfully, employers increasingly recognize the need to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces. If you're a job seeker with a disability, here are a few tips and resources that other job seekers have successfully used.
Job Search Tips for People with Disabilities
1. Highlight your abilities
Keep the focus on what you can do, emphasizing the skills and abilities you bring to the company. According to Forbes, job seekers in any situation “should take every possible chance, whether on a resume or in an interview, to remind employers why they are the right fit for a job.”
2. Know your rights as a job seeker
If you need accommodations to apply for a job or participate in the interview, you can request them through HR, or the contact person on the job posting.
You are not required to disclose a disability during a job interview, and can refuse to answer questions that may be inappropriate or illegal. Even if workplace accommodations are required, they can be requested at any time, including once an employee has started at a new job.
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare
If you prefer to address your disability during the interview stage, it's a good idea to prepare and practice how you will highlight your skills and abilities. It's also a good idea to practice communicating how your experience and disabilities are an asset to the position and the company.
4. Know what you need
If workplace accommodations are required, be prepared to provide detailed information about what you need when having the conversation with an employer or potential employer. You are the expert on the accommodations that enhance your success. Many employers don’t have experience with workplace accommodations, and may not realize that providing them is often not as expensive as they might expect. According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), most workplace accommodations cost less than $500. Knowing what you need to do your job effectively helps remove any guesswork or assumptions.
5. Get help with your job search
Employment agencies like Galt Foundation can be especially helpful for job seekers with a disability. We understand the unique challenges persons with disabilities encounter when looking for work, we can help connect talented candidates with the right employment opportunities, and we offer helpful resources and coaching.
More Employment Resources
This employment guidebook by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) can help you find a job that’s right for you.
Just need help getting started? Here are a few dos and don’ts of looking for a job.
If you’re wondering what your rights are, you can familiarize yourself with your employment rights as an individual with a disability.
Unsure of what accommodations you might need (or even what kind of accommodations are out there)? Then be sure to check out JAN’s searchable online accommodation resource (SOAR).
Connect With Galt Foundation
Looking for a job? As one of the largest staffing agencies of individuals with disabilities worldwide, Galt Foundation is a valuable resource during the job search process.