To help you navigate the unique difficulties, dilemmas and demands that dyslexic job hunting entails. We’ve teamed up with TARGETjobs to bring you this 5 part blog post on dyslexic graduate job hunting. Read other posts in this series here.
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How and when to disclose dyslexia
Whether or not to inform a potential employer about your dyslexia is a big decision. Dr Elizabeth Bradley, careers adviser for disabled students and graduates at the University of Central Lancashire, explains,
‘Each person’s dyslexia is different but people assume they know what it is, so there is a fear for graduates with dyslexia that they will be judged wrongly.’
Dyslexia is one of the most common learning difficulties. Yet students with dyslexia often worry about informing potential employers of their condition.
Am I required to disclose?
You are not obliged to disclose dyslexia, especially if you feel it won’t affect your ability to do the job. Elizabeth says,
‘Disclosure is a personal choice and you have to decide what feels right for you.’
The equal opportunities section of application forms usually asks about ‘a long-term condition that affects you on a day-to-day basis’. If you’re applying for a job where your Dyslexia won’t affect your ability to do the tasks every day, you might not feel that it is relevant.
However, one student with dyslexia told TARGETjobs, ‘It’s very important to be incredibly open because it will help you out in the end. There’s no point in being discreet.’ There are a range of adjustments that can be made to the application process, so if you feel you need extra support, don’t shy away from requesting it – it may make the difference between getting the job or not.
You should also bear in mind that if you don’t disclose your dyslexia and you then have difficulties with the application process, it is usually not possible to ask for it to be taken into account retrospectively.
Choosing the right time to disclose
You may be able to include your disclosure in the equal opportunities section of an online application form. Alternatively, if the employer requests a CV and covering letter and you decide to disclose dyslexia in these documents, don’t just state it – expand on it. If you’re applying for a job involving working in disabilities or equal opportunities, your dyslexia is relevant and could help you stand out from other candidates, so point this out.
You may prefer to wait until you’re invited to interview, when you can bring it up on the day or make a quick phone call beforehand. This way you’ll be able to explain face to face how your dyslexia affects you and how the employer could offer extra support in the workplace.
Elements of this post were originally published on the Target Jobs website
This is the last post in this series. Please let us know if you found the information in these posts relevant to your experience in the current job market.