Dyslexic graduate told “If you can’t complete the online application form, you can’t do the job”

Dyslexic graduates disadvantaged by online application forms, claims applicantBUT TIME LIMITS AND POOR INTEGRATION WITH SPECIALIST SOFTWARE UNFAIRLY DISADVANTAGE DYSLEXIC CANDIDATES, APPLICANT CLAIMS

A dyslexic graduate has slammed online application systems as being unfair for those who share her difficulty with reading and writing.

In an article for the Guardian headlined Online job applications and dyslexia don’t mix, Claudette Jacobs claims that although the rise of online applications might be helpful to recruiters, the system can create huge barriers for people with dyslexia. The language processing disorder affects up to 10% of the population, including writer AA Gill, Jamie Oliver and Holly Willoughby.

Claudette says online application forms present all sorts of problems for people like her. The voice recognition programme she usually uses – called Dragon – is often incompatible with the technology behind the forms, and employers’ IT departments are unwilling or unable to help. Worse still, there is often a time limit on the forms, which close if you take too long to fill them out. Claudette’s slow reading speed means she is often locked out of her application.

It is much easier, she says, to adjust her CV and covering letter in her own time, but many employers say the will not accept these submissions and she must complete the form, like every other candidate. Copying and pasting from her own materials into the application form is difficult for her too. She says:

“One HR person said if I couldn’t complete an application form then I wasn’t competent to do the job. Some of my friends with dyslexia – as well as some without – have had to turn to other people to complete their application forms; some even pay for this service.”

It always makes Graduate Fog cross to hear when bright, hardworking candidates are struggling to get their careers started – and in this case it seems particularly unfair. Having battled to get their university degree, ambitious graduates who happen to be dyslexic should not be at a disadvantaged by the inflexibility of employers’ application systems. Many of these employers can well afford better systems that offer a level playing field for all applicants.

 

*DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH ONLINE APPLICATION FORMS?
If you’re dyslexic, what challenges do you face when job-hunting, and what could be done to improve the situation? If you’re not dyslexic, do you think allowances should be made for dyslexic people when competing for jobs? Or do you think it’s important that all applicants should have to go through exactly the same process when competing for a limited number of jobs?

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