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Resume Templates : Professionals who deal with disabled clients often refer to this as the disclosure issue. When, if ever, should you disclose that you have a disability?



I have a friend with a significant physical disability. Should she mention this in her cover letter?


Professionals who deal with disabled clients often refer to this as the disclosure issue. When, if ever, should you disclose that you have a disability? Remember that you are not ethically required to disclose, so the issue falls under our general principle. "Will it help me get an interview?" On that basis, disclosure in the cover letter serves no apparent purpose. Disclosure prior to an interview would make sense, however, under two circumstances.


Avoiding social discomfort… If my disability is readily visible, would I prefer to avoid surprise and possible discomfort on the interviewer's part? If the answer is "yes," make disclosure when arranging an interview time. Arranging special needs… If special accommodations need to be in place, such as an ASL interpreter, the prospective employer needs time to make the appropriate arrangements.


The desirability of including capable workers with disabilities in the work force is recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Consult a lawyer or knowledgeable counselor if you feel your rights might have been infringed.


Your opening paragraph : Identify your purpose


Atter covered the basic points, we began our discussion about the opening paragraph. This will evaluate some sample opening paragraphs and identify the best approach to take.


The grabber : a few lines that set the stage


After discussing these initial issues, we are eager to start writing the cover letters. Since this was a new topic, 1 started our session with a few basic remarks. This is a summary of what I shared with them.


The first paragraph should make the reader interested in reading the rest of the letter. A good approach is to provide the reader with some key information about you that is important to himlher.


The first paragraph needs to be brief and to the point.


The members then wrote sample opening paragraphs for the group to review. I was interested in seeing a "before and after" of how people would start their cover letter. Gabrielle started off the session with this paragraph.


An opening that won't work


"I am interested in joining your firm in a professional capacity. Although I have no recent background in business, I am certain that my analytical and communication skills would be an asset to your firm. Of particular interest to me would be a position where good interpersonal skills and problem solving will be appreciated."


The cover letter adds to your attractiveness as a candidate in three ways.


Highlighting : You can give those positive characteristics of greatest interest to a particular employer more prominence in the cover letter than you did in your resume.


Reframing : Through your cover letter, you can put some of your experiences in a frame of reference that more closely meets the needs of the employer.


New material : Your cover letter can include material of interest to an employer that would be difficult to present in a resume. Your motivation for wanting to work for that particular company is an example.


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