‘Tis the season! No, not the one with reindeer and jolly men with white beards. It is job hunting season!
Whether you are a high school or college student looking for a summer job, a recent grad looking to launch a career, or the parent of a job-seeking young adult, the job search process can be daunting. There are so many questions, and the amount of information online can be paralyzing. Right this very minute you might be wondering:
- What should I include on my resume?
- Do I really need a cover letter?
- How can I find something that fits my needs?
- Do employers really want to hire autistic workers?
- How can I put my best foot forward at my new job?
I recently came across several resources that can help you answer these questions and many more. I encourage you to review these websites as part of your job search process and remember that it is just that – a process. The more actions you take towards your goal, no matter how small, the faster you will find meaningful employment.
Finding a job
Spectroomz is a relatively new platform designed by a tech entrepreneur with a five-year-old autistic son. Spectroomz provides a curated list of remote jobs with autism-friendly employers that is updated regularly. The best part: you can search the jobs for free! You can also join the site by paying what you want to gain access to a variety of online training courses, including one on how to start your own business. Learn more about founder Arik Marmorstein on his podcast interview with EmbraceASD.com.
Getting a job
Did you know that over 75% of resumes are never seen by a human? Most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes and find the best candidates. This means that using the right keywords and format is crucial to landing an interview.
Resume Builder is a free website where you can use preloaded templates to craft a successful resume. Once your resume is created, you can download a PDF version to your computer. The helpful wizard feature walks you through building your resume, so you don’t miss any important sections. What I love most about Resume Builder is the option to view sample resumes in your desired industry.
The developers of Resume Builder analyzed thousands of “winning” resumes to determine key words and elements that can help you find a job in your desired industry. They also provide industry-specific sample cover letters to help you stand out within the applicant pool. They also have a keen interest in helping neurodivergent job seekers. For additional tips on writing a resume that gets noticed, check out their guide for job seekers with disabilities here.
Keeping a job
Smile and Succeed is a useful guidebook about the types of face-to-face communication common in many work environments. Author Kirt Manecke owned a local sporting goods store in his hometown and hired many young adults in the community for part-time jobs. He wanted to make sure his employees were serving customers in the best way possible, so he provided extensive training to new hires. Smile and Succeed is based on his experiences with his employees and the feedback he received from customers. While not originally written for neurodivergent jobs seekers specifically, the book’s clear descriptions, examples, and exercises aide autistic young adults for whom these skills may not come naturally. There is even a companion guide for parents to help young adults work through the chapters.
We hope that these resources help you make progress on your job search and feel encouraged by the quality resources available to help autistic jobseekers.