22 Jun 2019

Do you state during your application that you have ASD?

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3 mins

Applying without weakness

A question that is sometimes asked is whether you should state that you have ASD when applying. My idea is that, in principle, you do not state that directly on your CV or in your application letter unless the company has clear experience with ASD. Or if the fact that you have ASD yourself will give you a clear advantage. Unfortunately it is true that the first selection is based on CVs and then further examined on the basis of the letter. If that is done initially, people with “something” are placed in the “maybe / not” pile.

Also during the first interview I would not immediately state that you have ASD. That conversation is intended more as an exploratory conversation (for both parties). Such a conversation is often intended to determine whether the person on paper is also the person who is conducting the conversation. It is also the opportunity for the applicant to determine whether your job is what you are looking for.

Only when that first (acquaintance) interview has been done and you move on to a second interview, that is the best moment to indicate that you have ASD. Of course it is important to be prepared for questions. For example, whether your ASD is going to hinder you in your work. What you need to do the job well. But also where they might find more information about ASD.

ASD as strength, not weakness

It is also a good idea to bring your ASD not as a weakness but as a force. For example, that you are very punctual, for example. That you pay attention to details. That you can think “out of the box” by default. Those kind of things. Of course these strengths are different per person. So think carefully about which strengths come from your ASD!

By putting your ASD as a strength, instead of a possible weakness, a future employer will hopefully see the added value of this. By being prepared for any questions from the future employer (also indicate that you are willing to answer all their questions about your ASD as well as possible!) You already indicate to be “proactive”.

What if I just don’t say it?

I strongly advise against this. It is not fair to your employer, but not to yourself either. If your employer does not know that you have ASD, he cannot take it into account. When, after a busy morning, you finally come back from lunch full of excitement, he does not know what is going on. In my eyes you only shoot yourself in the foot!

They definitely reject me if you say I have ASD!

Oh yeah? If you start on the second conversation about your ASD you are already through the first round! And if you put your ASD as strength and offer solutions for possible weaker points, I think you will get a leg up. In my opinion, it is never true that you are rejected purely for your ASD alone. Remember; there are more candidates! There could just be someone who fits better according to the employer.

What are your experiences with applying with ASD? Are you saying it right away? Or a little later? Not at all?

Thanks for reading
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Tags: autisme werk solliciteren 
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David Westerink
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I am David, born in 1984 and I'm autistic. I write blog posts and advocate for autism acceptance. I'm willing to talk to anyone about anything.

I have my own podcast (in Dutch) about autism and neurodiversity! Checkout the AutCast!

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