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On April 1, 2017 the Dutch program ‘Nieuwsuur’ broadcasted the item about the 20,000 bachelors with autism in the Netherlands who are unemployed. What can these persons do? The economy is improving so unemployment will decrease rapidly. Unemployed persons with autism however will not be the first to be chosen. Despite having the education, they will not get the position.

 Dit artikel in het Nederlands


Before you may become eligible for the job you have to give your interviewer a good impression of you as a person. However, your autism will not always contribute to that favourable impression. You have to give a firm handshake when you meet, look the interviewer in the eyes during the conversation, while at the same time you may not stare. And sometimes you do not know what the interviewer means with that difficult question. Challenges aplenty. But does the problem of not finding a position not occur much earlier? Is the problem you not being invited for the interview?

For each vacancy businesses receive numerous applications by email. Don’t think for a moment all these applications are read. Since the advent of electronic applications employers use search programs. Each vacancy mentions skills in the text the employer thinks necessary for the function. These skills are used as search terms in the search program. When you do not use these words either your application letter or resume your application will end up on the pile of the persons who will receive a meaningless thank you mail. Therefore, you should have to adjust the text of your letter and resume to each vacancy.

Employers using search programs while sifting through the stack of applications is common knowledge in the application industry. Candidates act accordingly. So now the employer still has a big stack of applications he has to sift through. Instead of reading all letters they decide to use the program a second time, but now with skills not mentioned in the text. How can someone prepare yourself on a selection process when you do not know what skills will be used in this second search?

People hard at work
People hard at work


Apply yourself smarter in the hunt for your new position. And smarter comes in two flavours: address your network or offer the solution for the business problem your future manager has.

Recruiting with an application procedure is expensive for a company. More and more companies ask their own employees whether they might know someone eligible for the new function. Imagine you graduated as a mechanical engineer. Seek out one of your old study buddies. Invite yourself for a coffee and a discuss the latest developments in the area of machinery maintenance or production processes. Or when you want to increase your proficiency in project management, why not call your local municipal construction company and invite yourself for a meet and discussion? In both cases you will become a ‘warm contact’ for those people who will think about you when a vacancy is created at your organization.

The second flavour is each manager having his or her own recurring problems. Solving these problems is not something everybody can do. It will be your task to find out what business problem you can solve, and preferably nobody else. Next find organizations inside the range you want to spend as daily commute. Of these organizations find the manager who has the business problems only you can solve. Next contact that manager. That manager may not actually need someone, but will experience the problem you can solve all the time!

Writing business problem solving letters will take more time then applying on a vacancy. But as you write these letters your skills will increase in time. As you write more of these letters, you will get better informed about the world you want to work in as you have to ponder both your background and education and the business pain of your future manager. See it as writing a business problem solving letter. In time you will turn into a consultant, like it or not.