Part III The Job Search, Application, and Interview Process
Once a student has decided which jobs and organizations they wish to apply to they will want to make sure that their application package is appealing and well-executed.
Resumes and Cover Letters
Unless the student has made previous contact with a prospective employer, their cover letter and resume will be the basis of an employer’s first impression and will determine whether they get an interview.
Students need to remember that they are marketing themselves. They cannot afford mistakes on their cover letter or resume – both documents must be as strong as possible. Encourage them to ensure their resume is up-to-date and free of any spelling or grammar errors. Employers typically view a resume for 15 seconds to a maximum of one minute. Applicants will want to make sure their application package grabs the employer’s attention and doesn’t give an employer any reason to rule them out.
There are several employment agencies listed in Appendix A that can assist students with resume and cover letter writing. UPEI Career Services would be a great agency to start with. Students can also contact the PEI Council of People with Disabilities, Career Development Services or one of the many employment service organizations listed in Appendix A.
Disclosure during the application process
Students need to consider whether or not they will their disability to their potential employer when they apply for a job. Before they have an interview, if a student does not need accommodations for the job interview and feels that their performance will not be unduly affected by their disability, most experts recommend that they not disclose their disability on a resume or application form (ALIS, 2016c; 2016e). For a more in-depth discussion of disclosure, please see “Disclosing a Disability to an Employer” in Part II of this guide.
Disclosure refers to the act of making information about a disability known. In the employment setting, disclosure would be the act of an employee informing their employer about their disability.