Ask Vicki: Should I mention my disability in my resume or cover letter?
In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi explains when it's necessary—and when it's not—to disclose personal information.
Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to email@example.com.
Q. Should I mention my disability in my resume or cover letter?
A. There’s no need to mention your disability on your resume or cover letter. The only time when you may want to mention your disability, such as hearing loss, is if the job you’re pursuing is relevant to your hearing loss and the employer will need to make reasonable accommodations for you as a result.
In the instance of hearing loss, let’s say you’re pursuing a job where you’re on the phone all day long, translating conference calls dictated in French. Hearing is an essential part of the job. But during a job interview, it’s illegal for the hiring company to ask (and discriminate against you) if you have any disabilities. They may, however, ask if you’re able to perform functions of the position with or without accommodation.
What’s an accommodation, you ask? According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing that would result in an undue hardship.
So, back to the resume and cover letter: You don’t need to mention your disability. Remember, your resume and cover letter are simply marketing tools that highlight your skills and experiences relevant to the job you’re applying for.