The application stage is the first interaction between you and the employer. It is therefore important that you present yourself in the best way that you can. The information to include in your application and how it should be phrased are two important considerations for every applicant. For individuals who have a disability or long-term health condition, there are also extra factors to consider such as:
- Whether you wish to discuss your disability in your application.
- Including mitigating circumstances in order to explain elements of your application.
- Accounting for gaps in your education that have arisen from managing your disability or long-term health condition. For more advice on how to address these issues click here (click through to Your CV).
The following sections provide advice that is relevant to any individual applying for jobs, as well as addressing issues and challenges that are specific to those with a disability.
Referring To Your Disability In Your Application
Whilst it is natural to feel concerned about the prospect of referring to your disability it could also be an excellent way of demonstrating your skills and abilities. Dealing with the daily challenges of having a disability naturally enhances your competencies, strengths, and coping mechanisms. By not talking openly about your disability you may be hiding the competencies that an employer is wishing to recruit.
- Consider the strengths and skills you have developed as a result of managing your disability.
- Think about how you can positively refer to your disability in your application.
- Use a wide variety of examples in order to demonstrate your range of experience. Do not use disability-related examples for too many questions.
When screening your application form, employers will take genuine mitigating circumstances relating to your disability into consideration. However, you need to be very clear that it is due to your disability otherwise it gives the impression of not being capable or not being bothered.
- Inform the recruiter of your mitigating circumstances as soon as you can to avoid your being screened out of the recruitment process.
- Be very clear that your mitigating circumstances are as a consequence of your disability.
- Explain the facts and ask for these to be taken into consideration.
- Help the employer to understand the situation.
The Purpose Of Your Application
What Makes You Stand Out
- Ask yourself: what makes me different & what makes me stand out?
- Think more broadly than just your academic achievements.
- Do not underestimate the value of extra- curricular activities.
- All experience is relevant; it does not have to be industry related.
- Be selective in the research you include and ensure it is in depth and up to date.
- Only include information that you are enthusiastic about and consider worthy of mention.
- Resist the temptation to copy and paste directly from newspapers and websites; adapt and justify why this information is relevant or of interest to you.
Qualifying Your Statements
I'm a hard-working, self-motivated team player with a real interest in investment banking.
This may be true however you need to substantiate this:
- Which teams have you participated in?
- What have you done to demonstrate you are hard-working?
- The about what competencies the employer is looking for and consider how you can demonstrate these competencies through your own life achievements.
- Avoid clichés.
- You have limited space - ensure you give focus and relevant examples based on your experience.
Steps To Success
- Adaptable. Tailor your application for each job opportunity to apply for.
- Keep it simple. Less can be more.
- Relevant. Be selective of your key skills and achievements.
- Sell yourself. Match your skills to their job description.
- Be honest. It's the only way to start any relationship.
- Understand your strengths. Ask yourself what you enjoy doing and what you are good at and include evidence of this in your application.
- Develop commercial awareness. Keep up to date and research the wider issues that affect the organisation you are applying to.