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Resume and Interview Tips for Students with Disabilities

  • If your disability is visible, the best time to disclose it is after the interview has been set and you telephone to confirm the arrangements. Pass the message in an offhanded manner: “Because I use a wheelchair for mobility, can you suggest which entrance to your building would be the most convenient?”
  • If your disability is not visible, such as mental illness or epilepsy, you need not disclose it in your resume or on the phone unless you’ll need special accommodations. Even then, you can hold the disclosure until the negotiating stage once you’ve received a potential job offer.

What to Disclose on a Resume

  • If you know your disability won’t affect your ability to perform your job, then don’t mention it!
  • Top 3 Reasons to Avoid Disclosing a Disability
  • Fewer Interview Invitations: Not securing an interview is one of the major potential pitfalls of revealing a disability on a resume
  • A Reason to Eliminate You: Your resume is a marketing document. Show that you have the requirements the employer is seeking, and eliminate anything that might move you to the ‘reject pile,’ whether that’s typos, coffee stains on your document or having a disability.
  • The Law Is on Your Side: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you don’t have to say anything

Explaining Gaps in Your Work History

  • If your illness-related job history has gaps,
    • write “Illness and Recovery” next to the dates in your resume.
    • It's honest, and the "recovery" part says, "I'm back and ready to work!"

Contact

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Career Center
Indiana State University
231 North 6th Walkway
Terre Haute, IN. 47809
(812) 237-5000
(812) 237-4392 (fax)