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Contact Information

Disability Support Services
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Phone/Voice: 910.521.6695
TTY: 910.521.6490

Location: D.F. Lowry Building, Room 107
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job search strategies for college students with disabilities


Beginning to Consider Career Options

Be Self Aware (Ask yourself)

1. What kind of work did you like/dislike the past? (PAST EXPERIENCES)
2. What do you want from a career? (VALUES)
3. What are you good at? (SKILLS)
4. What kind of job would you enjoy? (WORK INTERESTS)

Be Career Aware (Ask yourself)

1. If I enter the employment market now what are the opportunities and
would I like it?
2. If I stay in college what will I achieve? POSTGRADUATE STUDY...PhD/Masters?
3. Will further study make me more employable?
4. Will it make me more specialized?

When Starting Your Job Search

  • Identify broad types of jobs available
  • Identify possible career options
  • Find out about jobs with which you are unfamiliar
  • Use your contacts and network with friends, family, former employers, or teachers
  • Identify your past experiences/values/skills/ work interests
  • Identify careers you're interested in
  • Look at where you are
  • Find out how you will match these careers
  • Research: written materials, computer based information, tests, networks/contacts
  • Begin with job search materials: tapes, books, Internet and utilize library resources
  • Be more focused
  • Identify the companies you want to work for
  • Identify companies with disability programs

Important Job Search Strategies

Narrowing Your Career Options

  • Remember, skills and abilities are important
  • Match yourself with the world of work
  • Understand and be aware of your disability and possible accommodations that will be needed
  • Remember what you want really counts

Making Your Career Decision

  • Does the career offer the type of work I like?
  • Is there likely to be an active demand for workers?
  • Have I considered all possible choices?
  • Does the job utilize my strengths and abilities?
  • Does the job make use of the training or schooling I have or plan to acquire?
  • Does the career objectively take into account my functional limitations? Can accommodations to meet my specific needs can be made?
  • Would this career allow me to feel good about myself?

After Choosing a Career to Pursue

  • Make an action plan
  • Plan and implement a course of action
  • Make a list of actions/goals with time scales
  • Monitor and review career plans
  • Revise, modify and adapt plan when necessary

During the Job Search

  • Keep a job search schedule
  • Try informational interviewing
  • Practice interviewing with a friend

Job Search Considerations

Potential Career Resources

  • Colleges/universities
  • Employment services
  • State agencies
  • Vocational rehabilitation agencies
  • Cold calling in response to job ads
  • Internet
  • Networking, Contacts, Associations
  • Volunteering for a position
  • Yellow pages

Legal Considerations

  • Be aware of your rights under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • ADA requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodations that will allow a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the position. A qualified applicant or employee with a disability is a person who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can perform the essential functions of the job in question.
  • Employers are not required to make an accommodation if it causes undue hardship. An undue hardship is an action that requires significant difficulty or expense in relation to the
    size of the employer, the resources available, and nature of the operation.
  • Inquiries about a disability and medical conditions may not be made prior to a job offer.


  • Job hunting is an arduous prospect for anyone
  • Stay focused on your strengths
  • Be realistic
  • Be positive


General Information

Career Information

For information or individual counseling contact:

Career Services
Chavis University Center
Career Services Center, Room 210
P 0 Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Phone/Voice: (910) 521-6270
Fax: (910) 521-6166

Disability Support Services
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Phone/Voice: (910) 521-6695
Fax: (910) 521- 6891
TTY: (910) 521-6490


Appointments for career counseling may be scheduled during regular office hours
Monday through Thursday. No appointments on Friday.

Office Hours:
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.


Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011

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© The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
PO Box 1510 Pembroke, NC 28372-1510 • 910.521.6000