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Madelyn Wilson

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Should I Disclose Chronic Illness in Resume?


At some point in life, getting a dream job is the foremost priority for many. When we start looking out for a job we often face challenges with respect to job location, flexibility, skills required among others. However, for People affected with chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, getting employed gets a little tougher. After having talked with men and women suffering from chronic disease, I can clearly say that employment gets impacted in many ways.

Despite the difficulties that the disease creates, getting employed and landing the dream job becomes all the more important. However, securing the dream position in your preferred organization that too when chronic illness is on resume becomes arduous.

I myself have been living with epilepsy for a long time and encountered many professional setbacks. Initially, I began my career at the consultancy firm where I was hired solely for being a fresher. Though I feared cracking interviews, I somehow landed the job based on my qualification and that they would train me. But this is not the entire story. After having worked for a month, I realized that I was slow at grabbing and lacked in comparison to my peers. Even though I landed the job by hiding about my chronic illness, I struggled with the work and dreaded deadlines. I finally had to terminate the employment.

Factors to Consider Before Declaring Disease on Your Resume

Though getting a job with a chronic illness is tough, but it is never impossible. Despite the illness and weakness of body, it should not deter anyone from finding their dream job. But the one question which everyone has doubts about is Whether to talk about the chronic illness on the resume or in the interview? Before providing an answer, I would say that it depends on a lot of factors.

Type of Illness and Disability

Disclosing your illness in a job interview depends on your comfort level and type of illness and disability. If the disability does not affect your job work, then talking about the same can be avoided. Also, it is suggested to wait for either two or three job interviews before declaring the illness. It is a possibility that you might still land the job without talking about the same.

Symptoms are Evident

Disclosing of chronic illness on the resume depends if the symptoms of the disease are evident and visible. How symptoms can affect your job and create impediments in becoming an efficient worker can be discussed during the interview.

If Work gets Hampered Due to Symptoms

From the past experience, it can be gauged if the work is hampered due to the chronic illness. If this is the case, then it will still hamper the work in your new office since day one and in this case, disorder should be disclosed.

Consider Situations in Which Issues might Crop Up

While targeting the dream job, you must consider situations in which the issues might crop up. Whether while an interview, during negotiations or after you are hired, be prepared with answers to how the disease can affect your job responsibilities.

Stress on Previous Work Experience

If you have previously worked successfully, then the same needs to be stressed in your current job interview. Talk confidently about how the disease didn’t affect your job and stress how you have managed to par in comparison to your colleagues. Highlighting the facts about how challenges have made you calmer and how this can make you work under pressure and deal with deadlines.

Finding the Right Organisation

If there are roadblocks that erode your confidence and you find difficulty in finding the work, then you must find the organization where your strengths are stressed. An organization that focuses on your capabilities and treat their employees equally irrespective of discrimination of sex and disability must be chosen.

Alternatively, things happen when you least expect it. I disclosed about my illness and the hiring manager looked at my successes despite my weakness and saw my strengths. I finally managed to land my favorites job.

If you choose to declare the illness and land a job and afterward you feel discriminated against at work or treated unfairly, the same can be reported to the human resource. At the same time, non-disclosure agreements can be used against the employer to eliminate any chance of declaring the situation.


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