Check out Afford’s resume rules for people with disability for tips to write your new resume!

Are you straight out of school or entering the workforce for the first time? You might be thinking, “I haven’t had any paid employment” or “do I need to explain my disability?” At Afford, we understand how scary it can be to prepare a resume. Below, we answer some common questions about putting together a resume for the first time.

Do I mention my disability? 

Before we jump into what to include on your resume, we would like to remind job seekers that you do not have to mention your disability on your resume.

It is your choice even at a job interview when you tell the employer. If and when you tell them, you never have to share specific medical or personal information about your disability.

Jill Griffin, a Career Strategist with a vestibular disorder, hid her disability from her workplace for six years. When she told her co-workers and managers, it improved her daily life. She now encourages others to share their stories and own their disability.

I started setting healthier work boundaries. I unequivocally prioritized my health. When I was working, I was fully present. Eventually, I transitioned into entrepreneurship, because I knew my skill set could be expertly translated to coaching and helping people working in corporate with their career strategy.”

Where do I start? 

You should make your resume on the computer. We recommend starting with a template to make it easier and look professional. Templates are available on:

Once you choose a design you like, fill in your information.

What do I include?

  • Correct contact information (Full name, mobile phone number, email, home address)
  • Career objective
  • Education
  • Paid employment, work experience or volunteering
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Skills, interests, availability (optional)
  • Referees
  1. Correct contact information  

Make sure all of your details are up to date so managers can contact you about the job.

You should also use (or create) a work email address. That way all your important emails go to one place. Make sure you use your first name and second initial, for example: john.s@gmail.com not a fun email like: harrypotterfan@gmail.com

  1. Career Objective 

A great way to introduce yourself on paper is to include a resume objective. This must grab the reader’s attention in 2-3 sentences. It should introduce who you are and why you want to work for the company. An example could be:

“I am a recent high school graduate looking for casual employment in hospitality. Completing my year ten work experience at a local café taught me many interpersonal and food preparation skills that I would love to bring to this restaurant.”

  1. Education 

Most resumes list your high school/s and the years you attended. They can also include other courses or qualifications you have. You can also include any important projects, awards or leadership roles from your time at school.

Our SLES trainee, Chloe, would add her cake decorating course in this section of her resume.

  1. Employment, work experience and volunteering

If you have paid employment, list the place and the years straight after education.

If you haven’t, you can list your work experience and volunteer work. Year ten work experience, helping a family business, or even volunteering at a charity like our Ipswich Lifestyle Centre customers who assist with Meals on Wheels, can all be listed here.

Follow up with one to three dots points or a small paragraph about what you did there.

Remember to start these sentences with action words like prepared, wrote, chopped, filed, etc. Use past tense if you no longer work there or present tense if you are still working.

  1. Extra-curricular activities

Extra-curricular activities are activities you do at school outside of your regular classes.

Lightbulb: These can include:

  • Sports
  • Musical instruments
  • Choir
  • Debate teams

These are great to list on a first resume as they show commitment and your personality. It is even better when they relate to the job.

For example, if you are applying for a job at the local library, listing that you are part of a school book club is helpful. You may have learnt skills such as communicating with people of different ages and skills.

  1. Skills, interests, availability 

You can add skills, interests and availability to your resume if you have space and want to show more of your personality.

Some skills you may have are:

  • Team work
  • Computer skills
  • Public speaking

Some interests you could list are:

  • Creative writing
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Knitting

When applying for a job with irregular hours like retail or hospitality, sharing the times you are willing to work can be something that an employer finds useful. You may be able to work be late nights, early mornings, weekends and public holidays.

  1. Referees 

Who do I put as a referee if I have not had a job before? You may wish to add a sports coach, teacher, church leader, mentor or volunteer manager.

Be sure to ask them first and let them know every time you apply for a new job. That way, they can be ready for a reference phone call.

What now? 

It’s time to write! Now that the basics on resume rules for people with disability are covered, you can create your first resume and take one step closer to landing your first job. Once you have mastered the traditional resume, consider creating a virtual resume like our SLES trainees. Ervin’s virtual resume actually landed him his first job!

Did you like these resume rules for people with disability?

Read more blogs like this here!

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