Applying for a job

Once you have found the job you want, you will need to apply and hopefully get ready for an interview.

To apply for a job you will need:

  • a CV
  • a covering letter
  • a personal statement
  • references.

Remember it's your choice whether you discuss your disability and how you choose to talk about it with a future employer.

How to apply

Most jobs are now advertised online on the company website or via a job agency.

Before you apply for a job, it's important to read the job description carefully so you understand what the job is about and if it’s a good fit for you.

Job description

A job description gives you an idea of what kind of:

  • work you will be doing
  • the hours
  • the salary (money you will get)
  • qualifications you need.

Be prepared

Before you apply, you must make sure that you have everything the employer has requested. This can include your CV, personal statement and references.

Before you press submit, get someone else to check your application. They can check for any spelling or grammar mistakes, plus they can make sure you have told the employer all the good skills you have!

A cover letter is a summary document that you put at the front of your CV.

It allows you to highlight any areas of your CV, showing why you are the best candidate for the role.

To find out how to write a cover letter:

Whilst a personal statement is similar to a cover letter, it is a summary about your:

  • skills
  • experience
  • personal traits.

You should use it to impress the employer by making a statement about yourself, it should highlight why you are the perfect candidate.

To find out how to write a personal statement:

Or watch videos about how to:

A CV (curriculum vitae) is a document that employers will look at to see if you are the right person for the job.

In your CV you should put together some key information including:

  • your phone number and email address, so the employer can contact you
  • a personal statement - this is the first piece of information that the employer will read. It's a good idea to put what work you like to do, and what work you are looking for.
  • work experience - this can include any voluntary or unpaid roles. Remember to put this in order with your most recent, including the names and dates where you last worked and what you do for your job.
  • education - here you can write all of your grades, when you got them and what subjects you took.
  • your skills - make sure that you show off what skills you have, your personal achievements and any other training you have. This can include whether you can drive a car or not.
  • references - are very important if you are offered the job. Employers usually will ask for 2 references, either from your previous job or a teacher or careers advisor.

Don't forget, if you are unsure what to write down make sure that you ask your parents, family or friends.

Download Mencap's easy read guide to writing a CV.

Additional support

For extra help on your CV you can:

A job interview allows the employer to meet you. They can be done in person, online or over the phone.

The most important thing is to be yourself. You only need to talk about your disability if you're comfortable.

Before the interview

When you know you have an interview, there are a few things you can do. You should:

  • learn as much about the job you're applying for
  • find out as much as you can about the company
  • put together a list of why you would want to work there
  • list out all of the great strengths and skills you have
  • practice what you're going to say with friends and family
  • plan how you'll get to the interview
  • ask for large printed copies of any tests (if needed).

Watch this video from Evenbreak helping you to prepare for an interview.

View Seeability's easy read job interview guide.

During the interview

Don't worry if you feel nervous, that's okay, it's good to be nervous. You can visit Scope's website for helpful interview anxiety tips.

Just remember to:

  • arrive on time
  • turn off your phone
  • have a glass of water near you
  • be polite, say hello when you first meet the interviewer
  • dress smartly, as it can help to create a good first impression and it can make you feel confident
  • try to pay as much attention as you can to the interviewer
  • be confident, sell yourself and tell them about all of your great skills
  • stay calm and listen to each question and take time before you answer them. It's okay to ask the interviewer to ask the question in a different way
  • ask as many questions as you can about the role
  • ask the employer about the company and where you may work.

After the interview

At the end of the interview, make sure you ask any other questions you've not thought of before.

Don't forget to say thank you and, if you can, send a thank you email to the person who interviewed you.

Extra support

For extra support:

Soon after your interview, they will contact you to let you know if you have been successful. This can take a couple of weeks so don't worry if you've not heard.

You got the job

Congratulations, you got the job you applied for! You are on your way to having greater independence, learning new skills and earning money.

To prepare for your first day, there are a few things that you should do before you start:

  • Agree what date you will start to work.
  • Check what you have to wear.
  • Work out how you're going to get to work - will you take public transport or walk?
  • Find out where you need to go and who to ask for on your first day.
  • If you need extra support including a different chair or extra breaks remember to ask your employer to make reasonable adjustments.
  • Learn if the Access to Work Scheme can help you.

Don't forget, everyone has had a first day and it's normal to feel anxious. If you need support talk to your employer.

View Seeability's easy read first day at your new job guide.

You didn't get the job

Don't worry if you didn't get the job, it's a great achievement that you went for an interview. It's a good idea to not take it personally, remember there's only one job and there may have been many people applying for the role.

It doesn't mean that the employer did not like you, it just may mean that someone else is was slightly better for the role. If you want to, you can ask the employer why you were not successful, so you can understand where to improve in the future.

But remember, you'll do even better next time now that you have experience of writing your CV and going for a job interview. This is a great opportunity to think about:

  • any new skills you can learn
  • whether your skills and experience match what you're applying for
  • improving your application form or CV
  • asking the employer for any feedback on your interview
  • doing more practice questions with your friends and family.

There's lots of jobs available for you out there, you just need to find the right one for you!