Finding employment can be tricky, but there are ways to streamline the search
April 23, 2019
Since graduating from Hofstra University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations in December, I have been trying to find a job. So far, I haven’t had much luck. However, I have gone on a few interviews and learned a little bit about the job hunt process. Here are four things to keep in mind when job hunting with a disability:
Keep your resume in tip-top shape
Your resume is the first thing most employers will see when you apply to a job. Think of it as a first impression. You want your resume to impress your potential employer. You want them to remember it. As they say, first impressions last. My suggestion is to just take a look at it every so often, even if you don’t have anything to add. You could always spice it up by changing the layout or design.
Make sure the job site is accessible
I once applied to a job and was contacted by the employer wanting to schedule an interview. Of course, I responded right away and scheduled the interview for the next week. However, a few days before, a little inkling inside of me told me to ask if their office was wheelchair accessible. I sent an email asking and they responded saying that their office is located on the second floor and there was no elevator. So, there went that idea. Obviously, there was no way that was going to work. It’s hard to believe that even today, not all places are accessible. But that’s the reality we live in. It’s a good thing I listened to my gut, otherwise I would’ve gone all the way to where the interview was, only to find out I couldn’t even get to the office. Lesson learned = always be prepared!
During an interview, focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t
When going on an interview, you want to make it clear that you are not only qualified, but also capable of fulfilling the duties of the position. Unfortunately, it is common for people to doubt our abilities due to our disabilities. There’s not much we can do about that. But what we can do is show them what we are capable of. Talk yourself up a little bit. Give them examples of why you would be an asset to their team.
Don’t give up
Finding a job when you have a disability is hard, and at times it may feel impossible. Trust me, I know. People without disabilities have a hard time finding jobs in general. We must go the extra mile to prove that we are the right candidate for the position. We are often looked over for others who are less qualified. We aren’t always given a chance. The struggle is REAL. But these are the reasons that keep you going. Somewhere out there is the perfect job for you. Don’t give up. I’m not.
Henry Viscardi School Class of 2014
Rachel graduated from Hofstra University in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in civic engagement. She runs her own blog about beauty and disability advocacy and hopes to use her expertise to advocate for disability rights.