Tips for assisting w/ a job search for someone who can't do it alone
October 16, 2013 5:14 PM   Subscribe

I've offered to help a relative with a job search because it isn't going well on her own. She is qualified (with a 2 year degree) for the job she wants to find (and is not interested in entry level retail or the sort) but doesn't have the experience or skills to go about finding it. She also may have a diagnosis of Asperger's, and whether or not that's certain, I can at least say that she is stymied by technology (forgets how to do things, forgets logins, avoids it where possible), isn't likely to search out new career listings online much less apply, and gets weary and forgetful of the search easily. I would like some help from AskMe trying to make this is as easy as possible for her while hopefully still teaching her a few tricks.

Because of the situation (she needs a job yesterday), I am content with doing everything if I have to, and I know the problem isn't that she's lazy or just ignorant of how to do it. In some ways, she simply may not be able to run a job search the way I or others would. She doesn't even usually remember how to log into her computer, but uses a reading device to go online instead. So I don't mind getting her out of the woods in the short-term, but long-term would like to give her some confidence and methods.

I will be digitizing her resume and creating a few profiles to start for her. Because of the above, I have already watched her try these things and fail. But where from there?

I am familiar with the Asperger's cookbook system which relies on a very detailed and straightforward list of steps. I think my first job for her would be to break down each and every site/step into manageable chunks, complete with passwords written on the sheet (no risk of her forgetting how to use a password app). I should attempt to create a schedule. I need to store her resume somewhere online where she can access it easily--with a dropbox link perhaps?

What technologies can I use so she can have an easier job search with less technology? If you recognize her personality type, what strategies would you suggest for her to make a job search manageable? I also suspect that interview practice may be in order, given some peculiarities that have surfaced. And at what point do I give in all the way and just submit applications online on her behalf?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I read that 95% (or something like that) of employers look at a person's LinkedIn profile. Could you help her get her's polished?
posted by cda at 5:40 PM on October 16, 2013

Unless she's applying for one of the very few jobs left that doesn't require using a computer at all, helping her come up with a system of how to record her logins and passwords so she can remember where they are written down and how to type them in will do a lot to help her with keeping the job she finds as well as the job search.

It sounds like she is applying for jobs that will be fairly minimal in computer use, it's possible that some employers in those fields do more hiring by other methods. Depending on the field, she may be able to visit employers in person, go to a hiring fair, or use personal contacts to find an apprenticeship.

You can use technology to help her with this by finding out more about how to get hired in her field. Look for boards that would discuss how to get hired in her field, find addresses of employers or which specific office to visit, search for "apply in person" jobs. Local government sites often have information about job fairs, she can take copies of her resume there with her and submit them in person.
posted by yohko at 6:22 PM on October 16, 2013

There are undoubtedly local social services agencies that assist with job hunting. Maybe connect her with one in your area (if you tell us via the mods where you're located, I'm sure someone can suggest local resources)? They may have some more specific suggestions to help with her particular needs and difficulties. Some austism/Asperger's groups may help with job placement as well, and could have tips especially suited to her.
posted by zachlipton at 6:27 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

What zachlipton says.
My husband works in high schools now, but this was his last job *exactly*. He worked with people with barriers to job entry to help them get a job: everything from reviewing resumes to networking with potential employers, as well as liaising with doctors, social services, etc... Once in a job, there were case workers on staff who would actually go to the job WITH them and help them set up systems to make sure everything went smoothly and trained other staff members how to deal/work with them. This sounds IDEAL for her! If you memail me with your location, I'll make suggestions if I can.

Realistically, if she's having this much trouble finding work on her own, she's likely to have trouble keeping a job if she did get one. She needs professional support.
posted by jrobin276 at 6:41 PM on October 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Mod note: From the OP:
The job is something that can be done without tech skills. She's had similar ones in the past through her degree program and seemed to be able to hold them down. I don't know if she would participate in a career program that the previous two commentators mentioned because of reasons. There are bigger problems going on, but this is the only one I feel remotely appropriate about approaching.

The ideas such as relevant job boards and career fairs are great. She graduated within the last few years--she may also be able to go back to her college's career office for help.

Thank you for your comments & concern! You can email me at if you'd like to follow-up privately.
posted by taz (staff) at 10:30 PM on October 17, 2013

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