Forms will typically have the following sections for you to fill in:
- Personal details
- Examination results
- Employment and experience
- Questions to answer
- Referees – usually two referees are required. One is likely to be your academic tutor; the other might be a person you did relevant work experience with, or who knows you well personally.
- "Recruitment monitoring – equality, diversity and medical information". This is not used for selection purposes (and is not always compulsory to complete) but to record statistical data on applicants eg: gender, ethnicity etc. Employers may also use the space to ask if the applicant has a disability and/or long-term health condition they should be made aware of, so that they can make reasonable adjustments in the selection process, if required.
A note on 'disclosing' a disability and/or long term health condition
Legally, you don't have to "disclose" (inform the employer beforehand) a disability on an application form (but failure to do so on a medical form, once you have accepted the job, could be considered a breach of contract). It's very important to remember that employers are keen to ensure that all applicants are given an equal and fair opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. As such, the disclosure of a disability could give you access to reasonable adjustments for the application and interview process.
Reasonable adjustments can include (but are not limited to), extra time to complete online tests, extra-time between interviews, or support in getting to the interview. Employers are also able to make adjustments tailored to your specific needs – if you do disclose a disability, the firm will likely consult with you giving you the chance to discuss the adjustments that your require. If you think you may require adjustments to complete these, make sure that you understand all aspects (including timelines) of the application and recruitment process before submitting your application.
N.B Some employers require you to complete online exercises or tests shortly after you have submitted your application (typically within 5-7 days). Ideally contact employers either before submitting your application or immediately afterwards to let them know if you need any adjustments. This will ensure that you are offered the requisite adjustments for the on-line tests/exercises, as once completed, most will not retroactively take your disability into consideration when assessing your performance.
See our equality and employment web pages for more information on disclosing a disability in the recruitment process. It may also be worth reading employer websites to find out more about their equality and diversity policies and practice. This could help you to better understand how they support employees with disabilities and/or long-term health conditions.
If you are unsure about how best to communicate with an employer about your disability, you can speak to one of our Careers Advisers, who can advise you on the most effective way to present your individual circumstances.