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THE ONLY NATIONAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION FOR PROFESSIONAL RÉSUMÉ WRITERS

Perspective: Should You Disclose a Disability on a Resume?

July 06, 2021 4:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

By Norine Dagliano, NCRW, NCOPE

ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990—finally affording similar protections to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act did in outlawing discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics 26 years earlier. Simply put, with the passage of ADA, employers are prohibited from discriminating against a qualified applicant because of their disability.

The June issue of The Watercooler featured an insightful article on avoiding bias in resumes and job search communications written by Eustacia Campbell. In that article, Eustacia advised against “hiding things in one’s resume/wearing a mask to get the job.” But what does one do when it comes to revealing a disability?

A quick Google search turned up numerous articles that address the question, “Should you disclose a disability on your resume/during your job search?” Depending on when the article was written, you’ll get different advice, with articles from 10+ years ago strongly advising against disclosing this information and more recent articles, such as this one from 2019, that offers several considerations. As is often the case when writing resumes, the answer to what one should and shouldn’t do is “it depends.”

On the flip side, many employers express a desire to hire people with disabilities, including veterans with disabilities, yet report that they have trouble finding qualified candidates. If you are a resume writer or coach who assists individuals with disabilities, there are several job posting websites for job seekers with disabilities and employers who are interested in hiring them. Check out this list posted on the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) website.

If you’d like to weigh in on this topic and/or have resources and information that you feel would benefit your NRWA colleagues, please make your voice heard on the NRWA Facebook page or Member Forum. Together, we learn and grow and are better able to serve our clients!

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Norine Dagliano serves on the NRWA Board of Directors as the Written Communications Chair. She is the creator and sole instructor of the “Writing Excellence Certification Preparation Program” and the newly launched “Writing Excellence: Student/New Grad Resumes & More!” program and is a grader on the NCRW Commission. Find her online at www.ekminspirations.com or LinkedIn.com/in/norinedagliano.

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