DEIA: LinkedIn, Resumes and Cover Letters keep Autistic people out of the workplace

I wrote an artist CV today and didn’t cry even though I really really wanted to.

Imagine wanting to cry because you have to type words on a screen.

This is why we need AI. Because some of us don’t understand the boxes the rest of the world seems to fit into so nicely.


I lied. I’m crying.

I used to cry doing homework as a kid. Any problem where reading comprehension was involved didn’t make sense to me. It felt like I was missing pieces. So English literature homework. Math word problems. Any open ended question in history. Logic problems.

I’m only telling you this because that’s how traumatic it is to have learning disabilities and neurological differences.

There isn’t just one way to do things, but capitalism prefers standardization. Writing a resume is hard enough. Then you look at the tips online and the videos on how to brand yourself and it makes no sense to me.

I’m a creative and a visionary. I’m an intellectual. I’m not a brand manager. Brand managers understand what people want to see. I’m autistic. I can barely understand the basics of what people what from this “tell me without telling me” bullshit.

Resumes, cover letters and CVs can’t be the only way. When people have tried to help me package myself they’ve gotten me 25% of the way there and then I was supposed to figure the rest out. That’s like putting someone who doesn’t know how to swim on a boat, taking them 25% of the way to the island and then throwing them off and expecting them to make it to the island.

The services that are out there for autistic adults simply don’t understand that asking us to perform like neurotypicals is harmful. It’s like asking someone in a wheelchair to get up and walk. It’s like telling a gay man to act straight. Like telling a black woman to use her white voice. These things break us down because they focus on our weaknesses and not our strengths.

I have all this talent. But in order for the standardized world to even give me a chance, first I have to brand myself when I fundamentally don’t know what that means and I have a lifetime’s worth of experience of rejection from trying.

I’m not useless. Neurotypical culture just doesn’t know how to use me.

Every job I got comes when someone sees my talent in action and gives me a chance to use it. My opportunities come from word of mouth.

The cumulative rejection can lead to chronic PTSD. These problems don’t get solved by ERGs or DEIA speakers alone. HR has to change the way they work for talent. And autism advocacy groups have to come up with AI tools to help autistics brand themselves using neurotypical standards and practices.

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