Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Getting Started » Five Tips for Job Hunting with ...
Five Tips for Job Hunting with a Disability

Five Tips for Job Hunting with a Disability

By Margaret Steen

Finding a job isn't easy for anyone in this market, but for job hunters with disabilities, the search can seem especially daunting.

"There is a tendency among people to make assumptions," said Dan Ryan of the University of Buffalo, author of the Job Search Handbook for People with Disabilities. Interviewers may be uncomfortable or worry that a disability in one area will carry over into others.

Ryan and other experts offer these tips for making sure a disability doesn't stand in the way of getting a job.

Keep the Focus on What You Can Do -- Not What You Can't

All job seekers must convince an interviewer that they're up to the job requirements. If you need to ask for an accommodation, phrase it in positive terms: "As long as I'm able to get my wheelchair in the door, I can attend the meeting."

Interviewers are always more convinced by someone who offers a detailed plan than by someone who just says, "Sure, I can do that." So explain not just that you can do the job, but how.

"Say you're required to go from Building A to Building C three or four times a day and you're sitting in a wheelchair. Explain how you will do it: 'I'll just roll my wheelchair up the ramp and do the job,'" said Gwen Ford, director of business management and program services for Project HIRED, a nonprofit in San Jose that helps people with disabilities find jobs.

Discuss Only What's Necessary About Your Disability

If you're asked to an interview on the fifth floor of a building with no elevator and you can't get up the stairs, you'll need to explain that ahead of time. But "in most circumstances, the longer you put off disclosing your disability, the better off you are," Ryan said.

If your disability is visible, it might be better to briefly acknowledge it, Ryan said -- then move quickly to how you would do the work. "What you want to do is confront it and point out the fact that it doesn't affect your ability to do the job," he says.

Show, Don't Just Tell

Point to previous jobs or -- if you don't have any -- internships or volunteer work. "Demonstrate that you can do the job," Ryan says. "It's true for everybody, but it's just that much more important" if you have a disability.

Be Confident

"The attitude of the job seeker has a huge impact on whether or not they get the job," Ryan says.

If you are self-conscious about your disability or feel like you don't have many job skills, try to boost your self-confidence before you interview. If you haven't held a job before, think of skills you have learned from hobbies. You'll find out that you have more skills than you ever realized, Ford said.

Educate Yourself

Many groups and Web sites offer help for workers with disabilities.

The US Department of Labor offers resources for job hunters with disabilities, including information on the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The Job Accommodation Network offers advice on workplace accommodations for a wide range of disabilities.

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/27/2015
San Francisco, 94105
Posted: 05/27/2015
Posted: 05/27/2015
McAllen, 78502
Posted: 05/27/2015
La Feria, 78559

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-318