I am new to this forum and have some questions I hope you'll be able to help me with. Just to give you a bit of background on me, I was involved in a very serious car accident, in 2005, (was hit by a drunk driver and in a coma for 3+ months) which significantly increased the length of time it took me to complete my undergraduate degree and prevented me from actively working while still in school. As a result, I have 10+ years of education but my “real world” work experience is largely nonexistent (gives me a rather large employment gap on my resume). T. J., in her LinkedIn Lab webinars, has repeatedly stressed the importance of using numbers in your profile to help it stand out for recruiters.That being said, while I have acted as an ESL tutor (since 2007) and can use the 7 years as one of my numbers, I’m not sure if the rest of my numbers associated with it will work to my advantage…For example, during that time, I've worked closely with 5 students- ranging in age from 2-50: all from various Asian countries, with a wide range of previous English language knowledge and proficiency. While I know that my time with my students (individually and in groups) involved - and still involves - significant chunks of time - both in that I have worked with each of the students for many years and in that our sessions (while potentially happening only 1-2 per week; sometimes more frequently & sometimes less) were each hours long (anywhere from 2-8 hours)...
QUESTION 1: So, my question is: how do I use numbers, like those, to my advantage? How do I convey all of that through my Profile Summary? I’m worried that my "numerical figures," in so far as how many students I've taught, etc., are unimpressive enough (as far as ‘eye catching’ number go) that it might be counterproductive. The number of total volunteer hours I have is significantly more impressive, but that doesn't really tell potential employers about my skills though, does it? So, how do I quantify my particular experiences as J. T. recommended?
Then, with regards to the accident, I'm not sure what (if anything) I should say to potential employers about my disabilities (as they may or may not impede my ability to do my job). By and large, the residual side-effects of the accident are not readily apparent (despite the fact that I am technically disabled as a result). To clarify, my disabilities are generally considered to be “hidden,” in that I am lucky and unless you know me well and/or are familiar with my history, you wouldn't necessarily be able to immediately tell that I had any residual effects from the accident at all (this can be one of those "unlucky blessings," as the case may be, depending on who I need to convince that what, if any, accommodations I may need are legitimate and necessary). That aside, however, I do suffer from some "hiccups," so there is the possibility that I would need some accommodations at work. As such, my employers obviously need to be made aware of that fact. So...
QUESTION 2: How do I know when and what to tell prospective employers? I worry that mentioning it “too early” may work against me when trying to get a job but mentioning it to “too late” could conceivably leave any employer with a bad impression of me. Do you have any advice to offer as to how I should approach this?
Thank you very much for your time and any advice you are willing and able to give!