An Accessible Resume

Everyone knows a resume is a critical part of finding a job. If you, like me, have a visual disability preventing you from reading print, you also know understanding how to format a resume can be difficult. Recently, I have been wanting to update my resume. As always the idea of doing so was becoming harder than I wanted. I was spending too much time wondering how sighted people would respond to my resume if it wasn’t formatted as they expect. Then, I wondered if I knew anyone I trusted to help me format it. Since I have a job, I can’t ask the Oregon Commission For The Blind to help this time. Eventually, I researched how to format a resume. The rest of this post will describe how I now feel about writing a resume, what I have learned about writing a resume, and how I chose to format my own resume. If you are interested, here is my updated resume in Word format. Since I’m posting my resume, I have used a fake mailing address and phone number. The email address is the one I use for the Demand Our Access Project. I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on my updated resume.

How I feel About Resume Writing

  • Formatting a resume exactly as most sighted people expect is not an easy thing for someone with little or no vision to do independently. That’s especially true if you don’t want to spend hours on your resume.
  • A resume formatted as sighted people expect results in an inaccessible resume, because it uses formatting changes to communicate information.
  • It is possible to make a resume that is within the expectations sighted people have for the visual presentation of resumes.
  • Your visually satisfying resume can also be completely accessible.

What I have Learned About Resume Formatting

  • Don’t use all caps.
  • Use Bold either for the titles of the positions you have held or the things you have done in your positions. The choice depends on whether you want to draw the reader’s attention to the job titles you have had or what you have done in those positions.
  • Try to keep your resume to one page. If you can’t, it should be no longer than three pages.
  • Your name goes at the top and should be centered. Your name should also be in a larger font than most of the text.
  • Your mailing address goes directly below your name.
  • Your phone number goes under your mailing address.
  • Your email address goes under your phone number.
  • Your contact information should all be left aligned.
  • Under your contact information, you should put either a skills section or a professional summary.
  • If you choose the skills section, format it as a list (bulleted if you don’t intend a priority numbered if you do) of the skills you think make you the best fit for the job.
  • If you choose the professional summary, write in complete sentences and highlight the experiences and education that most qualify you for the job.
  • If you don’t have much work experience, put your education above your work experience.
  • If you have been working for several years, your work experience should be above your education.
  • If you put your education after your contact information, put your work experience under your education.

My Resume

  1. My name is at the top. It is centered and in 16 point font.
  2. My mailing address, phone number, and email address are under my name in that order. They are all aligned left and in 12 point font.
  3. Under my contact information, I put a skills section. It’s in a bulleted list and highlights what I believe are my best professional skills.
  4. My work experience is next, beginning with my current job and working backward through my career.
  5. The final section of my resume is my education. I put my most recent educational experience first.
  6. Since work experience and education are the primary sections in my resume, I formatted them at the heading one level. Using the heading one style tag increased the size of my font and bolded the text.
  7. The individual job titles I have had are all at the heading two level. This results in my job titles being bolded. They are smaller fonts than my heading one main sections but larger fonts than the regular size font for my resume.
  8. My job duties are all presented as bulleted lists. The items in the list are not complete sentences.
  9. My individual educational experiences, like my different job titles, are at the heading level two.
  10. To be clear about the font sizes

  • My name is 16 point font.
  • The heading ones for skills, work experience, and education are all at the heading one level. They are bolded and 16 point font.
  • My individual job titles and the schools I attended are at the heading two level. They are bolded and 14 point font.
  • The regular text, including the individual list items, are 12 point font.
  • Conclusion

    During my research on resume writing, I found nothing that really explained to people with visual disabilities how to format a resume. I hope this post will help other people with visual disabilities have a better understanding of how to create a solid resume.

    For those who do not have visual disabilities, I hope this post was useful for you.

    Either way, I hope you got something from this post and that you find my resume satisfactory. I will continue looking at and improving it. If I learn anything else worth sharing, I will.

    I would appreciate hearing from you. This is our website!

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