Finding employment after graduating can be difficult for many students. However, for graduates with Aspergers Syndrome, this process can be particularly challenging. Aspergers is hidden disability affecting around 700,000 people in the UK. The condition manifests itself in different ways but more commonly it can affect communication and social skills. This can prove to be a significant barrier at interviews and assessment centres which often form part of the recruitment process.
If you are a student or graduate with Aspergers and find interviews and assessment centres particularly challenging, you may want to consider the following advice:
- Disclose your disability: whether you disclose is a significant concern for many students and graduates. You can choose to disclose at any stage of the application process. However disclosing and discussing any adjustments prior to interview may enable you to showcase your true potential.
- Discuss your disability positively: Once you have disclosed be open and talk about your disability positively. Think about the skills and positive attributes you have developed as a result of having a disability and draw on this evidence in the interview to showcase your suitability for the role.
- Articulate your needs: by knowing what adjustments you need you can be proactive in requesting the right support. The Great with Disability website has examples of the types of adjustments you can request.
- Get interview practice: interviews and assessment centres take practice and it can help to understand what employers are looking for. Do contact us in the careers service for 1:1 practice, we are able to help you even if you have graduated.
- Is this right for you: if you find you are locked in a cycle of not getting interviews or being unsuccessful in assessment centres, then do step back and consider whether this role or industry is the best fit for you? You may want to think about your strengths and explore where you could make a strong contribution. I thought the advice shared by Chris Carson is excellent and really worth considering.
The National Autistic Society have a wealth of information on their website. You may also want to explore opportunities advertised via Remploy, Even Break and EmployAbility. Finally, if you are a Bath student or graduate please contact Saiyada Fazal, our careers adviser who takes lead in supporting disabled students.