10 Tips For Neurodiverse Job Seekers

10 Tips For Neurodiverse Job Seekers

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term that refers to a collection of genetic conditions affecting how someone thinks, learns, socialises, focuses or pays attention, experiences the world, and processes information.

Neurodiverse job seekers have unique skill sets that employers are looking for. These unique skills include creativity, enthusiasm, innovation, “hyperfocus,” and the ability to build in-depth knowledge. As a neurodiverse job seeker, you bring empathy, resilience, creativity, and many other great qualities to the workplace.

In this article, we share some insight on neurodiversity as well as some valuable tips to maximise your chances of success in the job application process.


Some facts about neurodiversity


According to research, neurodiverse people make up as much as 20% of the world’s population. These are just a few examples of neurodiverse conditions:

  • Asperger syndrome
  • Developmental co-ordination differences
  • Auditory processing conditions
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD)
  • Dyspraxia
  • Autism spectrum
  • Dyslexia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Sensory integration struggles


If you are neurodiverse, you are not alone. Here are some examples of well-known historical figures and celebrities who are believed or have been suggested to be neurodiverse:

  • Albert Einstein (theoretical physicist) - ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome
  • David Beckham (former professional soccer player) - OCD
  • Emma Watson (actress) - ADHD
  • Sir Isaac Newton (physicist and mathematician) - Asperger's Syndrome
  • Simone Biles (Olympic gold medalist) - ADHD
  • Jennifer Aniston (actress) - Dyslexia


Companies that actively hire neurodiverse job seekers


Some companies are ahead of the diversity curve and understand how neurodiverse candidates enrich their organisations and the value of hiring them. Many organisations in South Africa have created specific hiring programmes focused on recruiting neurodiverse candidates. 

Some of these companies with neurodiverse hiring initiatives include:


10 Tips for neurodiverse job seekers navigating the job application process


#1 Know your strengths and challenges

Know your strengths and weaknesses as a neurodiverse individual. This will help you figure out what kinds of jobs will be a good fit for you and show off your unique skills and talents. Being aware of your challenges will help you prepare for and get past any challenges you face when applying for jobs.


#2 Consider your ideal work environment

Think about what kind of work environment you would thrive in. For example, do you like to work in a quiet and well-organised space, or do you do better in a busier and more active place? If you know what kind of work environment you would like, you can find jobs that are a good fit for you.


#3 Be clear about your neurodiversity on your CV

You have the choice to disclose your neurodiversity in your CV. If you decide to do so, include how your neurodiversity has positively influenced your work and problem-solving abilities. Neurodivergent individuals possess unique strengths, such as attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and creativity. Showcase these strengths prominently in your CV. 

Read our article on how to write a good CV.


#4 Prepare for the interview

You can excel in interviews by being prepared. It will help to practice your interview skills with a family member or friend. Before the interview, ensure you research the company and the position to be well prepared. If you are working with a recruitment manager, ask them for guidance. Ask a family member to ask you common interview questions so that you can think about how you would answer them in an interview. Seize the opportunity to make a lasting positive impression by preparing thoroughly for your interview.


#5 Ask for accommodations

During the job application process, employers will make reasonable accommodations for neurodiverse job seekers. Types of accommodations that can be made include more time to answer questions, quiet interview rooms, etc. Ask potential employers in advance about any accommodations you may prefer and if they can accommodate you. 


#6 Focus on your skills and qualifications

When you are looking for a job, you should focus on showcasing your relevant skills and qualifications. This can help demonstrate your value as a candidate. Think of specific situations in your experience where you have utilised the skill the company is looking for. Be prepared to talk about what you did, how you did it, and the positive results you achieved. By doing so, you will be able to show the interviewer that you have the necessary skills and experience to excel in the role.


#7 Be honest about your needs as a neurodiverse job seeker

Tell potential employers the truth about what you need as a neurodiverse individual. This can include needing a quiet place to work, work flexibility, or extra help while being trained. Being honest about your needs will help you set yourself up for career success.


#8 Build a support network

As a neurodiverse job seeker, you will find it helpful to build a support network while you are job hunting. Get help from a mentor or coach, or connect with other neurodiverse individuals. There are also many online resources for neurodiverse people who are looking for help and support. For example, the Neurodiversity Centre has many resources, support programmes and workshops.


#9 Don’t take rejection personally

Remember that getting turned down for a job is a normal part of the process. If you do not get the job, try not to take it personally. Instead, focus on the positive feedback you received and use it to improve your job application skills for the future.


#10 Celebrate your unique talents and skills

Remember to celebrate your unique talents and skills as a neurodivergent individual. Your unique perspective and skills are a valuable asset to any organisation, and it’s important to recognise and celebrate the strengths that make you who you are.

With the right tools and support, you can successfully navigate the job application process as a neurodiverse job seeker. You can succeed at work if you know your strengths and weaknesses, prepare for interviews, and are honest about your needs.

Neurodiversity is a valuable asset to any workplace, bringing diverse perspectives, creative problem-solving skills, and unique insights to the table.

RecruitAGraduate recognises the value that neurodiverse graduates bring to the workplace, and we strive to help them find suitable jobs where they will thrive and succeed in the workplace. Register with RecruitAGraduate here if you have not already done so.

Wishing you all the best! Follow us on LinkedIn for information and new job notifications.

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