Don't let your disability undermine your qualifications

Last updated: July 13, 2024
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Elyssa Duncan
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Don't let your disability undermine your qualifications
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Job searching is a daunting task for everyone, and for those individuals with disabilities, it can unfortunately be even more of a challenge. So, what do you do when your disability makes employers underestimate you or your qualifications? You show them all of the potential you can bring to the table, of course! Here are a few tips to make sure no “disabilities” get in the way of finding your perfect job!

Show employers you’re a great candidate

Have a resume that stands out

Having a resume that showcases your abilities, skills and experiences is crucial for getting your foot in the door. Match your resume with the job listing you are interested in by using keywords and phrases from the description. You want to show the hiring manager that you have the qualifications needed to succeed!

Need help crafting your resume? Check out this article. 

Ask for what you need to be successful

All job searchers need to showcase their talents and show that they’re able to perform the role. If you require specific accommodations to fulfill a requirement, don’t be afraid to say it! Remember, [The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990] (https://adata.org/factsheet/ADA-overview) made it illegal for companies to ask candidates about their medical history during a job interview. It also legally requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to qualified job applicants and employees.

Need a standing desk? Screen-reading software? Ability to have flexible hours? Ask for it! You should never feel ashamed about asking what you need to thrive in your potential role!

Focus on the CANs, not the CANNOTs

You want to demonstrate that hiring you is a win-win for both you and the organization! For example, folks with vision impairments could say something along the lines of “As long as I have the ability to adjust my computer screen height and resolution, I’ll be able to see things clearly and fly through all of the help tickets with ease!”

Show you’ve done your research and have thought about the things you will need to help you perform your job successfully. Phrase it positively and highlight the fact that you can do it.

Demonstrate your value

Use previous work/volunteer experience to show that you can do the work, give examples of how you’ve excelled in past roles. For some bonus points, highlight numbers to help you quantify your accomplishments. Don’t just say you “helped improve the warehouse process.” Instead, tell them you “worked alongside supervisors to increase package sorting efficiency by 74%.”

Where to get help finding a job

  • Jobcase: Jobcase is a great way to find jobs near you and connect with other job seekers, HR professionals and a team of community specialists looking to help you succeed in your job search and beyond!

  • American Job Centers: There’s nearly 3,000 centers in communities across the country, and they have lists of recent job openings, computers you can use for searching and access to career counselors.

  • State Governors’ Offices on Employment of People with Disabilities: These offices support the independence and civil rights of individuals with disabilities. They can help connect you with other state resources and organizations to assist you with job training and searching.

Additional resources to support you

Below are some additional resources that may be beneficial in your job search. Best of luck, we’re rooting for you!


**Whatever job you decide to pursue, remember being your own advocate is the BEST way to start! **

For more resources and information visit the Jobcase Disability Resource Center.


How do you rise above challenges while looking for work? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Andre Fuller
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Stock Person at Walmart

Andre Fuller looking for work this year

3w
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Anthony Brown
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Hell no

43w
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Lannie Wynn
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Business Team Leader at General Mills Inc

I unfortunately was disabled from my career after only 8 years with my Corporation, due to a medical accident. It has take years To relearn , and gain my speech. Although I have a B.S. IN Business Communications I am taking 2 night classes to bring me to speed. Or at least get a start. I believe in altering my resume to match their needs, if I have the qualifications. I dislike the computerized forms,so mine are directed to to the position. A hint that has helped me is to prepare a follow-up letter after the interview. Restating key points, and thanking them for the interview.
It is a nice way to keep your name in their mind. Lannie

4y
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Ford Simpson
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Jack of all trades,.master of none

No one wants a disability but by showing that you have determined not to let it hinder your quality work is impressive to me. A smart employer will look at your work history and be glad you work hard if not harder than most.Your disabilities have made you a strong and reliable person to hire. Respectfully,Ford

4y
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Lenin Pina
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Here's some good news for work from home job search candidates...

"Please note that Betterment is dedicated to providing accommodations to candidates with disabilities. If you need accommodations at any point throughout the interview process, please reach out to interview.accommodations@betterment.com" - Betterment Careers

Betterment is hiring full time, work from home Customer Experience Associates to work anywhere USA. Go to Customer Experience Associate at Betterment for all the job details and application instructions.

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4y
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Lenin Pina
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Hi @Elyssa Duncan , your subtitle "Focus on the CANs, not the CANNOTs" is incredibly important. It's unfortunate, but most members like to lead off their community conversations listing all their limitations. This is not a good way to impress employers.

Good employers are okay with making workplace accommodations for disabled workers, if needed. But a candidates ability to describe how their education and work experience makes them the best candidate for the job is essential.

Great read :)

4y
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