Resume Writing Tips for Disabled Americans
If you are a person with a disability, one of the first considerations you make during your jobs search is to decide if you will or will not disclose your disability. While being transparent during the interview process is recommended, when writing a resume you do not need to disclose or mention your disability. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations dictate that employers cannot discriminate against prospective employees based on disabilities, to race, color, and age.
For those about to embark on the resume writing process, the experts at America’s Job Exchange offer these essential tips.
1. If you have not been employed consistently, it’s best to develop a functional resume. Functional resumes highlight your work experience and skills instead of a chronological listing of your work history. This is where you can outline any computer skills, or other specialized experience you may have.
2. Maximize the content of your resume. In some cases your gaps in work history may indicate that a disability exists. This is where you need to maximize the content of your resume. Do not embellish, but do not understate your experience either. Outline the benefits of your skills. This can include everything from being a creative problem solver, your specialized talents, to the flexibility and adaptability you bring to the work place. Outline these qualities and then back them up with your work experience.
3. Use keywords that are reflected in the job opening you applying to. Hiring managers only have seconds to review each of the countless resumes that they receive. Tailoring your resume to each job opening is imperative. This means mirroring the keywords being used, if they apply. With electronic transmission of resumes, hiring managers use database searches to look for the best candidates. Including keywords will help your resume come to the top the list.
4. Tailor each resume to each job opening. Although time consuming, it’s imperative that each resume is suited to each position. A standard, one-size-fits-all mentality will impede your chances of your resume even making the list. Along with keyword references, make sure your objective and work highlights mirror the job posting. Use online tools, such as Resume Builder to help you craft a professional resume. You can store up to five resumes in your account so that each resume is customized to the specific job you are applying to.
5. Keep it short and simple. We recommend resumes be a maximum of two pages or less if possible. Again, hiring managers only have a few seconds to review each resume. Summarizing your work history in a brief, yet engaging manger is best.
6. Highlight your education. Employers seek candidates that have any form of education that is related to the field in which they participate. If you have completed any specialized continuing education (this can include online courses) or training programs, make sure you list all of these under the Education heading in your resume.
7. References will benefit you greatly. These should be included at the end of your resume. Your past work-experience is testament to your future work product. If you have a LinkedIn profile, include this as hiring managers can determine your abilities by reading what others in your professional network have to say.
6. Always check for grammar and spelling before you submit. It’s best to check for grammatical and spelling errors. Ask a friend or family member to proofread if you can. Having errors in your resume will make the difference between landing and not landing an interview.
If you are not registered with us, register today and apply to jobs in our Disability Exchange, where employers are seeking candidates rich in talent, just like you.