Special Edition Question of the Month

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“How can I perform my job search if I don’t have regular Internet access?”

According to the Pew Research Center Internet fact sheet, 27% of American adults lack home broadband Internet access. Another report found 46% of adults earning less than $30,000 a year don’t have it. This means a significant portion of Americans don’t have the means to undertake a job search or operate remote interviewing from their homes.

So what can be done?

To help answer this question, the Starkloff Disability Institute reached out to a number of our partner companies. The consensus was that not being able to use the Internet for web chats doesn’t mean you still can’t interview for the job. Explain your situation to the recruiter and ask for an accommodation.

Also keep in mind that hiring processes, though still active, may take longer as hiring teams struggle to coordinate online to discuss potential candidates.

Of course, not being able to use a web cam is different from not having Internet access at all. These days, employers don’t even read a resume if it doesn’t have an email address on it. They operate under the assumption that you’re checking your email at least once a day. So if your local library or job center has closed, you might have to get creative.

You could ask a friend or relative you trust to check your email for you, or you could use a public Wi-Fi hot spot. Charter and Comcast offer online maps for locating free wi-fi hotspots. You will need to have a Wi-Fi capable device. You will also have to risk at least some social contact.

If all else fails, create an auto-response in your email that directs senders to call you on your phone instead.

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