The Squiggly Careers Podcast
Job hunting is HARD - especially if you're facing additional barriers.
You might be unsure whether to disclose certain things because you worry they affect your application. That's a fair concern as we've seen this happen to so many people - BUT with a fantastic job application and interview these things are less of a barrier. (more on this on the blog soon!).
Formatting your application
Most application forms now include a person specification. This is super important when putting together your submission.
Look at the Person Spec - they're telling you what type of person they're looking for and what skills you'll need for the job. The best thing you can do is go through and write down an example for every single point in the spec. Use examples backed with evidence on how you meet all of those criteria.
With so many application forms looking different and being laid out differently - you can save yourself a lot of time by creating some examples for all of your skills, writing down your job history and references, and saving these to your desktop. When you come to complete the form you'll have a lot of the information ready. However, don't be tempted to copy and paste the same information for every role you apply for - tailor each application.
Introduce yourself in the statement, but move straight onto examples. Hook them in with your skills and experience.
End with your aspirations and what you're looking to get out of the role e.g 'I'm looking to use my experience to grow your organisation and develop my skills in XYZ'
Use personal and work experience where possible. Show diversity in your experience - especially if you're looking to change industry. They need to know that your skills are transferable.
If you're disabled and meet the specfication, most employers will now offer a guaranteed interview. Take advantage of this and complete the equality monitoring form that comes with the application.
Remember - you're disabled by barriers.
So many interviews are now being held online - so be prepared for this. Some face to face interviews are still happening - they will usually tell you this when they offer you the interview or in the initial advert.
If the interview is online, check which platform they're using e.g Microsoft Teams. Download it ahead of time and test it out.
Where possible, try not to use a mobile. A laptop or desktop will be much easier for you both. Use headphones and ensure you have a good internet connection and good quality sound.
Just because an interview is online, doesn't mean you shouldn't still dress like you're meeting them for the first time (at least from the waist up!). Dress for the role/industry you're interviewing for.
It's okay to say you're nervous. Either in face to face or online - interviewers wont be surprised if you're nervous and can make adjustments or allowances for this.
Sip water and breath deeply before hand. Let them know you need a minute to think before answering.
Ask questions at the end. Write them down ahead of time and refer to them when they ask you if you have questions. It shows you prepared and you're interested.