How To Market Yourself to Employers | Disabled Person
The above picture is of a keyboard with a red key saying "Sell Yourself".
How To Market Yourself to Employers: Tips for People with Disability
Having a disability can make a number of tasks daunting, and it may often feel as if you're alone.
That's not true, though. 61 million adults in the US live with a disability, and most of them have happy and successful lives.
To achieve this though, you'll likely need to become confident in gaining employment — and figuring out how to market yourself can seem like a momentous task, when the same things that work for other people may not work for you.
Here are some tips on how to successfully market yourself.
Concentrate on Marketable Skills
When initially filling out your application or typing up your resume to send off, one of the best general resume tips is to concentrate on marketable skills. This is true whether you're a person with a disability or not.
You might feel that your disability hinders you in certain ways, but it's important not to focus on that — inwardly or outwardly! Instead, concentrate on the things you can do and the skills you have.
Some of them you might even have because of your disability, finding different ways to navigate certain things.
All through the application process — from the application itself to the interview — you might be tempted to be down on yourself and point out things that you have trouble with. Unless specifically asked about your weaknesses (and even then, prepare a tactful answer), you don't have to do this.
Remember, you should be your biggest cheerleader throughout the application process. Beware of self-sabotage.
While you'll want to concentrate on getting across your skills, any potential employer is going to gain confidence in you if you can tell them about examples.
For example, you may be incredibly punctual, and while telling them this is helpful, it's even better to point out that you have a perfect track record of this at previous jobs.
If you're great at stepping up as a leader, tell them about it when they ask. Tell them about a time you did. If you're better at problem-solving on your own, tell them about a time you came up with a great solution.
Although these questions won't come up until the interview stage, you should think about them when you're filling out your application. Come up with a real, tangible example for every skill you write on your resume or application form and you'll have them ready to go when it's time to delve into them.
Discuss What's Necessary
Educating yourself on Disability Disclosure is vital. The essence of this is that you don't have to discuss a disability that doesn't affect you doing your job in any way.
Consider this when deciding how much you're going to tell your employer. If your disability is visible, you might want to make a brief mention of it and then move on. If it's not visible at all, you may choose not to mention it.
Ultimately, you'll have to make some judgment when it comes to how much you say. Still, it's good to have an idea beforehand of how much is actually necessary.
Know Your Rights
When it comes to an interview, knowing your rights can very much help you as a disabled person. There are many questions that are illegal for an employer to ask, and many do so anyway in an interview.
This can be due to ignorance of the law, or it could be because they're letting their own curiosity overrule their good judgment.
You're allowed to give them a straight answer if this happens. Simply firmly say that your disability doesn't affect your ability to do the job, and leave it at that. Keep saying this if they keep asking — they're in the wrong, not you!
If you have gaps in your work history, it can be wise to address them. Even if they were due to a decline in health due to your disability, that's okay!
Employers may ask about them and they may not, but you can address them before you even get to the interview process. If you're submitting a cover letter with your resume (as it's always a good idea to do!), use this as a place to get some reasons out.
This gives you an even better chance of actually getting to the interview stage.
93% of people experience anxiety at their job interviews throughout the application process. It's a very natural thing to go through.
However, you should do your best not to let this anxiety overwhelm you. Practicing confidence is a huge help.
An air of confidence will demonstrate that you think you're a good fit for the job and are certain of your ability to do it well. Answer questions as firmly as possible and do your best not to be self-deprecating or point out any of your own perceived flaws.
If you do want to disclose your disability, you should also do it with the same attitude. Confidence can truly make all the difference to the entire application process. Even minding your tone in your cover letter will help.
Now You Have Some Tips To Market Yourself
If you aren't sure how to market yourself throughout a job application process, you aren't the only one. Many people find this difficult and when you're navigating the challenges of your disability, this can seem even more daunting.
The key is to be aware of the laws, know yourself and your disability, and concentrate on what you can do — not on what you can't.
For a great disability job board that can really help you in your search, check out our listings today and find your perfect opportunity.