How to Create an Accessible Resume

Resume Tips, Work

“Inclusion” is a vital aspect of modern hiring practices. We want people with disabilities to be able to have viable employment available. Most firms today go out of their way to create jobs that can be handled by disabled or impaired employees.

When it comes to visually impaired people, documentation becomes a hindrance. It is something that must be dealt with directly in order to make necessary documents accessible to those visually impaired employees. When you are applying to a job in which the hiring manager is visually impaired, you need to prepare your resume in a way that it can be “read’’ or accessed by that person.

There are three accommodations you can make to the creation of your resume or CV in order to make it accessible to a visually impaired hiring manager. Should you be informed that the hiring manager involved is visually impaired you are likely to be told how that manager is capable of reading your documents. 


Large print

Obviously, this is simple: your Word document or Google doc file allows for large font applications. 

However, a large print CV with larger spacing between lines will require more space than a smaller font document. If you are filing a resume in the old-school fashion of an actual printed page, you might consider reducing your CV in a way that makes it more readable. Offering more options for further communication can reduce your word count and printed space. You can reduce your work experience listing to the most recent applicable position, and then offer the phrase “contact me for earlier work experience details.”


Braille resume

The American Foundation for the Blind provides information for the use of braille computers. A visually impaired hiring manager is likely to have a Braille computer. It is your job to convert your resume or CV into something that can be read on a Braille computer. 

RoboBraille provides a four-step process for converting your document, URL, or text into a Braille document, which can then be sent electronically to the hiring manager. 

There are Youtube videos available to show you how to convert your document file into a Braille file as well. There are also private companies that will convert your document into Braille for a fee. Again, the hiring manager you are sending a document to may be able to suggest the best way to convert your document to Braille for his or her needs.


Audio resume

Some people today send audio resumes along with the text version as a way to sell themselves above and beyond the efforts of others applying for the same job. An audio resume is a perfect way to apply to a job being administered by a visually impaired hiring manager. 

Creating a link to your audio is no different than creating a link to a document, so that part requires no special training. What does matter is the information you include in an audio resume.

The most important feature in an audio resume is the quality of the audio you are creating. Most of today’s laptops or tablets include state-of-the-art digital audio recording capabilities, but you will want to make sure that is true of the device you are using. If you are not happy with the sound quality of your personal recording, you can visit a local broadcast studio; with the multiple uses of video and audio technology in personal projects today, such studios abound in most urban settings.

Once you are happy with the quality of the sound of your audio resume, the next thing to consider is what you are going to say. 

You are not just going to recite a list of your background, job history, or educational history. An audio resume is both a story and a sales pitch. You will provide the most salient details of your applicable background, but you are also going to include a more personalized description of what you have to offer. An enthusiastic voice explaining why you are perfect for a particular position will be more effective than a staid recitation of your work history and hobbies. 

Indicate in the recording that any further details can be provided.

Once you have created an audio resume, you should send it to a friend to make sure it is accessible as a link sent electronically before you send it on to the employer. 


Don’t be afraid to ask 

In a situation where a hiring manager is visually impaired, the manager will provide to potential employees an explanation of how to send in a resume. But, do not be afraid to ask for further details. Anyone with a disability who is working has been asked such questions before. They will indicate an interest in working with and accommodating a visually impaired hiring manager.