Applying for a job
When you find the job you want, you'll need to apply and hopefully get an interview.
To apply for a job you will need:
- a CV
- a covering letter
- a personal statement
Just remember it's your choice whether to talk about your disability with a future employer.
How to apply
Most jobs are now advertised online on the company website or via a job agency.
It's important to read the job description before you apply so you know what it's about and if it's for you.
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.
Before applying make sure you get:
- your CV, personal statement, and references together
- someone else to check your application. They can check your spelling and grammar, plus make sure you've 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.
Here's your chance to highlight any areas of your CV that make you stand out.
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:
- personal traits.
This is how you impress the employer, it should tell them why you're perfect for the job. Find out how to write a personal statement by:
- reading Reed's advice and guidance to personal statements
- contacting Kent Supported Employment
- contacting CXK by emailing email@example.com.
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.
For extra help on your CV you can:
A job interview allows the employer to meet you. You can do them in person, online, or over the phone.
Don't forget to be yourself and only talk about your disability if you feel comfortable doing so.
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
Getting nervous is okay, it's a good feeling. 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.
Make sure you thank the interviewer and, if possible, send a thank you email afterwards.
For extra support:
Soon after your interview, they will contact you to let you know if you have been successful. You might not hear back for a few weeks, so don't worry.
You got the job
Congratulations! You got the job! Now you'll be able to earn money, learn new skills, and have greater independence.
To prepare for your first day, there are a few things that you should do before you start:
- Agree on a start date.
- 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, like a different chair or extra breaks, let your employer know.
- Learn if the Access to Work Scheme can help you.
We all have had a first day and feeling anxious is normal. Talk to your boss if you need some support.
View Seeability's easy read first day at your new job guide.
You didn't get the job
The fact that you went for an interview is a great achievement, so don't worry if you didn't get the job. Don't take it personally, there's only one job and lots of people may have applied.
It doesn't mean the employer didn't like you, it just means someone else was slightly better for the job. It's okay to ask the employer why you didn't do well so you know where to improve.
Now that you've written a CV and gone for a job interview, you'll do even better next time. 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.
The world is full of jobs for you, you just have to find one that's right for you!