Should I include that I have a speech problem in my CV?

I asked before about being 30 and looking for work. As I mentioned I never had a job and so I am not sure how it all manifests itself. The way I understand it is that I send a CV and cover letter, if they are interested they give me a call, to set an interview or for a phone interview

I have a speech problem, whilst it’s fine when face to face (body language and such, I make it work) it’s hard to be understood over the phone. And honestly when you are trying with all your might just to be understood, there’s no energy left to impress theme in the areas that really matter.

Is there a way to handle this?

  1. is just not giving them my phone number enough
  2. should I mention it on a cover letter
  3. should I give them my brother’s number and let him explain if they call

I have the third point, but just what do you think


In my opinion, you should be honest. State it on the CV or cover letter. Short and simple.

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I agree with “be honest” as a general principle, but IMO don’t state it on either — it has no bearing on your suitability for developer positions. The hiring process is opaque at the best of times, and given two equally qualified candidates, you never know if a recruiting manager will see a speech impediment as a distinguishing factor, even though it has no relevance to the job.

Providing your brother’s phone number and emphasizing email as your preferred contact method is probably your best bet.

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Few weeks a go I woke up feeling crap and thought “I’d never get a job because of my disability” But since then I’ve been working on few personal project and feel really good and that I’m 100% qualified (not being cocky). So I really don’t want a non issue (my speech) to psychologically effect people that would read such a declaration in my cv


I suppose part of the answer would involve where you’re from. In Canada, it’s against the law to discriminate on the grounds of a disability:

As a manager, I don’t care if you have a disability as long as it doesn’t affect your ability to do the job. If I were looking to hire you for the role of telemarketer, your personal challenge might not make you the best fit for that role. But as a chat support agent, it’s not an issue.

You should give prospective employers the information they need, when they need it. In the same way as you would not include your Social Security Number on your CV because it’s not needed until you’re hired, you certainly would not advertise your disability on your CV lest people make a snap judgement about you based on it.

I think you should let people decide whether or not to interview you based on your résumé alone and if they call, make sure you explain your speech problem right away to establish their expectations for the call.


Yeah, that’s my line of thinking. Of course, it will eventually become apparent at interview, but by that time you’ve already got half a foot in the door, perhaps more than half a foot if you’ve also wowed them with some spiffy sample projects.

Also, consider what people usually include in their CVs. As a current hiring manager (though not for development positions), I’ve seen plenty of bad CVs (“I have great atention [sic] to detail”) and a few very good ones, but I’ve never seen one containing a disclaimer. It’s just not something that’s relevant to the purpose of a CV.


I don’t know if I would mention it on my CV. If you’re filling out an online application and it asks about disabilities, I’d mention it there. If they ask for a phone interview, I’d mention it there and maybe ask for a reasonable accommodation - ask for a face to face interview or at least skype.

I agree that you should be honest, but there is no need to bring up things that might (unfortunately) prejudice them before absolutely necessary. If the job were specifically requiring a lot of phone work, that would be different. But a coding job? Just mention it if specifically asked about disabilities or anything that might hamper your job, etc. - or when it becomes an issue.


Exactly, but would they invite me to an interview via phone call? Or is it done via Email.

Should I include a phone number on the cv

I’m in UK and as far as I know similar acts exist, and normally it’s a no brainer to leave that kind of thing out, but I’m wondering how else to handle the fact that if they call they’ll not be able to understand me

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I don’t have experience in applying and getting hired. The way I think the process works is:

  1. I apply
  2. they call
    2.1. they don’t understand
    2.2 I don’t get hired

@JaceyBennett That’s my main worry, Other wise I don’t believe there’s a reason to say anything. It wouldn’t even be lying. It doesn’t effect my coding ability. But how can I make it so that it doesn’t effect getting my foot in the door

That’s why would they get the hint if I did not include a phone number?

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If you only include an email, they will email you. :wink: When they email you for a phone interview, reply with your acceptance and a heads-up describing your disability so they know what to expect when they call. That way, you’ve been honest and upfront and they won’t feel uncomfortable because it got sprung on them. Everybody wins.

Dude, you are the asset. You have every right to force a potential employer to initiate communication with you via your chosen vehicle. So leave your phone number off the CV.

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Done! :slight_smile:

That’s what I needed to clarify.

Those that might be pissed off by my not providing a phone number, well …

Thanks Jacey,

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Just keep in mind, the more ways you provide people to contact you (i.e. email, cellphone, linkedin, facebook, etc…) the greater chance you will be contacted. Every recruiter has their preference in how they prefer to reach out to potential candidates. If you leave out one method (cellphone), make sure you have others such as social media (facebook or linkedin) in addition to email. It is hard enough sometimes just to get that first contact, so the more ways you can provide, the better your chances of actually getting the initial contact.


When you get your interview, may help to ease tensions (they may also be equally uncomfortable, just like you with the situation) with some self-deprecating humor — sort of break the ice, and lets them know you’re cool and you can be super-friendly and can get along with others. i.e. you’re not going to be a loner and refuse to talk to anyone in your job.

If you can show them you have the chops, tech skills, a friendly easy-to-get-along personality, your co-workers may not even notice your speech problem.

Look at this software developer guy… he’s blind. (no pun intended).

another guy


I stutter also but it didn’t prevent me from getting a job as a developer.
Whenever i am at an interview before starting with questions, i start by telling them about my speech problem and then we go on with it. most times they dont care about your disabilities, they just wanna know if you can do the job.

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That’s good, but my worry was what to do before the interview. How to ensure that they don’t call me on the phone but email instead

Speaking as a recent HR professional, don’t put this on your CV. Regardless of the laws, it could impact their initial decision to speak with you - even unconsciously. Leave it off and leave your phone number off. They will email you and then when they want to schedule a phone call, as others have said, tell them that in person is usually best or clarify up front that you need an accommodation for the call such as a video chat or perhaps a longer window for your call so you don’t feel pressured to answer quickly and they can’t get clarity when they don’t understand because time is limited.
We’ve hired a gentleman with a stutter and he would conduct phone interviews. It was really difficult because like you, he was difficult to understand on the phone, but when he clarified up front to the candidate that he stutters, the awkwardness of the situation would subside.


Thank you very much

How would you say I should handle by 6 year gap Is it too late to get a development job being 30 and no work experience of any kind?. Should I leave it for the interview or say something in the cover letter

What were you doing for 6 years? I assume not coding. But if you had a job, I’d at least mention that. If it’s not relevant, then you don’t need to go into a lot of detail. But I’d hate to leave a huge gap like that. What are they left to assume? You were in jail? You spent six years in your Mom’s basement, getting stoned?

What you need to do is demonstrate that you can function in the workforce. When we interviewed fresh out of college students, we found it challenging at times because they were so used to the classroom (having to raise their hand to use the bathroom). They won’t care that you are a thirty-something looking for your first job. Demonstrate your maturity, and you’ll be fine.

I agree, don’t leave it to their imagination. Tell them what you were doing. If you were a student, great. But leave off graduation dates unless you have to fill out a formal application. If you were volunteering or doing side projects, say that. If you weren’t, start now! I wouldn’t say you were sitting around for the last six years (I’m exaggerating) but rather if you weren’t doing anything, leave the dates off and they won’t know the difference. If they like what they see, they’ll ask you about the gap.

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I would wait until right before you actually have to talk to them. Do not alert them before. Definitely not on CV. It is a disability and shouldn’t matter until they are going to know and then give them a little heads up. I have bipolar, adhd, anxiety, ocd, and i don’t tell them until they offer me a job. If you feel that you were discriminated against in any interview, that is illegal. basically you don’t need to tell them at all unless you feel that it will impact your work.

good luck!