By Abigail Hoeft

In these tough economic times when companies are downsizing and fewer jobs are being created, savvy job seekers are becoming more resourceful through their use of social media and other online methods. In developing a professional online presence and utilizing the Internet, job seekers can:

*Post resumes; *Tag their specific skills and interests; *Develop professional contacts; and *Increase the likelihood of finding and landing their desired job.

Popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook can be a great starting point, but for people with disabilities, online resources specifically tailored to meet the needs of disabled job seekers may be more helpful. Some of these resources include:

* Springboard Consulting – The employment center portion of the company’s site is currently in development. Interested candidates can upload their resumes and cover letters into the site’s database at www.consultspringboard.com/employment-center.

* Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE) – APSE recently formed a partnership with the job search site, Getting Hired. Check it out at www.gettinghired.com/apse.

* Goodwill Industries International – For job search resources, go to www.goodwill.org/goodwill-for-you/jobs-and-careers/.

* Job Accommodation Network (JAN) – JAN offers accommodation resources and publications for individuals with disabilities at http://askjan.org/media/index.htm.

* The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) – For the DVR of Wisconsin, go to http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr and for the DVR resources in your state, Google “DVR.”

Other Internet resources include social networking sites such as Blueverse.net (www.blueverse.net) and Disaboom.com (www.disaboomlive.com). These sites can help individuals with disabilities build and maintain friendships; find others with similar interests and experiences; and can serve as excellent information resource centers.

To conclude, the sites mentioned above are only some of the resources available to disabled job seekers. For those without Internet access at home, public libraries and job centers often provide online services for free. Being persistent in utilizing the wealth of available online resources is one proactive step that job seekers with disabilities can take toward gaining meaningful employment and finding enriching social connections.

Abigail Hoeft has had to overcome the challenges of her own disability and brings this unique perspective to her writing. As a 2011 graduate of UW-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she plans to use her passion for writing to impact the lives of other disabled individuals.

 

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