When completing a CV or application form exactly the same principles apply for disabled applicants as they do for those without a disability. However, the difference is that you may need to explain certain elements of your application that relate specifically to your disability e.g. a gap in your education, lower academics or a lack of work experience.
In this section, we address the following frequently asked questions:
I had to take time out from my studies because of an illness/disability. How do I explain a gap in my education?
You can either provide a short explanation on your CV - in a paragraph at the beginning or wherever it appears in chronological order, or on the application form under ‘Mitigating Circumstances’ or ‘Additional Information’ sections. If you decide to provide the information in a cover letter, keep it short.
Can I apply for a job if I don’t meet all the academic requirements?
Employers know that a disability or long-term health condition may have prevented you from meeting certain academic criteria and they will take genuine mitigating circumstances into account. You will need to explain lower grades and mitigating circumstances on your CV / application form and offer to provide documental evidence if necessary.
Can I apply for a job if I don’t have the required work experience?
It can be harder for those with a disability or long-term health condition to have gained work experience and employers will take this into consideration, providing you can still demonstrate these kinds of qualities through alternative means – participation in extra-curricular activities, sport clubs/societies, volunteering etc.
How can I refer to my disability positively in my application?
Highlighting the strengths you have gained as a result of managing a disability can be a great way to demonstrate your competencies. After all, dealing with the daily challenges of having a disability naturally enhances your strengths and adaptability. Draw upon a wide variety of examples in an interview.