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Edmund Lewis

October 27th, 2023

How to write about your disability in cover letters

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Edmund Lewis

October 27th, 2023

How to write about your disability in cover letters

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

A cover letter can be a good place to share information about your disability with a prospective employer.

Here are some ideas for how to go about doing this:

Motivation – it might be your disability is part of your motivation for applying because of the nature of the job role or the purpose of the organisation. Or, perhaps, part of your motivation is that the company has an active staff disability network, or a clear commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

Skills – for some disabled students and graduates, having a disability or managing a disability has enabled skills and qualities to develop such as perseverance, being calm under pressure, time-management, empathy, and problem-solving.

You could choose to write a specific example about any skill – problem-solving, for example – referencing your disability to contextualise that skill.

However, it wouldn’t be advisable to provide an example centred around your disability for every required skill. The employer will also be interested in hearing about your work experience, education, industry knowledge, and all-round suitability for the role / organisation.
You may feel the skills you have developed aren’t anything to do with your disability.

Knowledge and experience – it might be that the job requires the candidate to have experience of motivating others, or knowledge of software (such as creating spreadsheets). You could choose to cite your disability, providing context of how this has given you software knowledge or experience of motivating others, for instance.

Adjustments – in a stand-alone paragraph (the penultimate one perhaps) you could write about your disability. This might be because you:

  • would like to let the employer know you have a disability and want to give them some detail, or
  • want to let them know you will require adjustments.

It’s a good idea to focus on sharing information that is relevant for the employer to know. You can find an example of how to do this within this cover letter here.

You might also not see yourself as disabled so do use language you’re comfortable with and don’t feel compelled to use words like ‘disability’ and ‘disabled’ if you don’t want to. For example, someone might write ‘I have a stammer which means….’

If you’d like to learn more about sharing information with employers regarding your disability or about adjustments (in the recruitment process or the workplace), you can book a one-to-one appointment with one of our dedicated careers consultants, Viki and Edmund, by emailing careers.disability@lse.ac.uk.

You can find out more about the careers support available for disabled students on the LSE Careers website.

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About the author

Edmund Lewis

Edmund is a Careers Consultant at LSE, who specialises in support for Disabled students and alumni.

Posted In: Careers Advice | Cover letter | Disability and support for disabled students

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