- 13 July 2016
Are you a blind or partially sighted person looking for work? We’ve put together the following top five tips to help you in your job search.
1. Plan your job search
Starting a job search can be a daunting task. There are a bewildering number of job roles in the labour market and sometimes it can be hard to know what you could and should be applying for.
Before you start sending out your CV or completing application forms you need to think about where you are now. This will include thinking about your knowledge, skills qualifications and training, your experience in paid or unpaid jobs, and your interests and passions. It is also important to think about where you want to be. Set employment objectives and think about what type of occupations you are interested in, how far you are prepared to travel to work, whether you want to work full time or part time and what training or support you require.
2. Make sure your CV is good
Most employers will make a judgment about a CV after a few seconds, so keep it as short as possible. It should outline your personal details and your relevant skills, experience and qualifications. It is used to help you “sell yourself” to a prospective employer by highlighting your strengths and achievements.
As well as being short, concise, and up to date, it should be free from spelling mistakes and poor grammar.
3. Plan when and how to disclose your disability
There are no hard and fast rules in relation to disclosure and you do not have to tell an employer about your disability. However, it can help to think about if, when and how you might disclose.
It is up to you to decide if, and at what point in applying for a job, you let an employer know that you have sight loss. Remember that the Equality Act duty to make reasonable adjustments only applies if the employer either knows that you are disabled OR could reasonably be expected to know that you are disabled. If you need an employer to make a reasonable adjustment to the recruitment process, then you should very carefully consider disclosing that you are a person with a disability.
Generally speaking, it is unlawful for an employer to ask about an applicant's health or disability unless and until the applicant has been offered a job. But there are specific circumstances when questions about health or disability are allowed before a job offer (GOV.UK have produced a guide to the ban on health and disability questions
4. Practice good interview technique
Well prepared is well performed. Effective preparation means that you will come across as confident, articulate and knowledgeable. More importantly, good preparation helps you manage your nerves and shows to the employer that you really want the job.
Think carefully about how you will convince the employer that you can do the job. Some employers may be worried about employing someone with sight loss, so use real-life examples of how you do certain tasks at work. Be positive, and come prepared to impress them with your skills.
Commonly, interviewers will ask ‘scenario based questions’ and you’ll need to relate your answer to specific events from previous work, education or leisure. An example might be: “Give us an example of when you have had to resolve a customer complaint.”
Use the STAR approach to describe answers to these questions:
- Situation - how, when, where, with whom?
- Task - what task were you faced with?
- Action - what action(s) did you take?
- Result - what results did you achieve?
The last two are really important, as they show what YOU did and how YOUR actions improved things.
5. Visit our employment web section
We’ve got loads of information and resources on looking for work, including the application and interview process, writing CVs, job search resources, disclosing your ability and good interview technique.
Alternatively you can speak to one of our specialist employment advisors who can provide specialist support and advice to help you find employment, start your own business, or stay in work if you are losing your sight. Get in touch with the Action Employment Line on 0800 440 2255 or email [email protected]