Need a New Job? 12 job search tips for ADHD

ethnic female psychotherapist listening to black clients explanation
Photo by Alex Green on

Having trouble with looking for a job? I’ll be giving you a one-stop shop of job search tips for ADHD on how to make your search easier and less stressful as a person with adhd. With these tips I’m sharing, I’ve managed to get some interviews for my career pivot in a new industry within days of showing interest. While these tips may seem obvious, many job seekers overlook them. Don’t follow in their footsteps by reading what I did to get these interviews below.

Table of Contents

    Finding jobs that you’ll actually like

    Use your network if you can (people you know, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, etc)

    Generally, finding a job from someone you already have a positive relationship with is a lot better than diving in headfirst into a new company culture altogether. Using your personal network has the benefit of netting you a job that can further possible networking capabilities or even get your foot in a door you would’ve never had access to previously. 

    People in office talking around a table about their job.
    Photo by RODNAE Productions on

    And if your personal network is lacking (like mine) then join dedicated groups with individuals in the industry you are looking for! I recommend trying industry specific facebook groups (like women in tech as an example), linkedin and their groups, and local organizations such as volunteer organizations.

    Try looking at the career pages of your favorite stores, brands, products, etc

    What’s better than your favorite thing/topic? Getting to work with it? Imagine having a hobby for building PCs. You already have an idea of where you look for components to upgrade your projects or at least influencers that have a list of places to recommend. Look for the “Careers” link at the bottom. It might also be labeled as “Jobs”, “Open Positions”, “Work with Us”, or is hidden in a menu at the top. 

    The "Work With Us" link is shown at the bottom right of the screen for those who are in the midst of a job search.
    Located at the bottom of the homepage.

    The may have a position perfect for you and your skillset. If not, many places are opting for a listing dedicated for general applications for future positions which may be called “Future Opportunities” or “General Application”. Definitely fill these out with a tailored resume and a cover letter packed with your enthusiasm to stay on their radar in case you forget to revisit and apply.

    See if your current job has an internal “internship” option to explore roles

    Try asking for the possibility of trying out a job in your current workplace. Some employers allow for internal internships to test other positions to retain employees and also see if they can do even better at another position. Novelty is super stimulating to us with ADHD. This might be the change you need if you are okay with where you are but are just feeling stagnant with your career or responsibilities. 

    Resume advice

    Identifying and writing your skills

    Writing skills in general for anyone is hard. Writing skills with ADHD is even harder. I can’t count how many times I either forgot what skills I do at my current job that are noteworthy or can’t think of a name to the skill. Other times, I can get into a self-deprecating cycle of “I don’t really do much” or “I don’t have any skills” when trying to revamp my resume. 

    Man looks frustrated at his laptop with his job search.
    Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on

    It’s ok. There’s nothing wrong in feeling like that. We can struggle to self-assess ourselves or have trauma from past interactions which resulted in low self-confidence in what we excel at.

    Here’s some tips for that.

    • Ask a friend to describe what you are good at. I always ask my best friend to tell me since I need an outside perspective that isn’t bogged down with all of the stuff in my head plus she’s super objective when describing people.
    • Pretend you are introducing yourself to someone (and they are totally okay with word vomit) or remember a time when you did that recently. What do you tell them about? My go to is saying my hobby is collecting hobbies. When I think about all of the hobbies I’ve collected and how in depth I went with them, I realized I have gotten almost an intermediate level of skill in some of those activities.
    Various items (camera, pencils, laptop, phone, tablet, coffee) that you may need for your job search are laid flat.
    Photo by OVAN on

    And if the first two aren’t feasible, find the job description of your current/last job. What of the responsibilities did you do and were there any times you were praised for something? What did they say? How can you take what they said and the description to paraphrase your achievement. 

    Figuring out what jobs are relevant

    ADHD also doesn’t lend itself to being job friendly in most industries, especially ones that refuse to budge on antiquated rigid procedures. So we have a higher chance of being fired or in my case let go with no warning (seasonal employer deleted my employee account and never answered my calls) which lends to a fuller resume. At this stage, you have a position/job title (with synonymous names) you are aiming for. This helps prevent rewriting you resume 8 different times for 8 different jobs.

    Man throwing the numerous resumes he made in the air after realizing he was not optimizing his job search.
    Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

    Look at the position’s responsibilities, qualifications, and employer values. You are going to use this as a guide to pick what stays and what goes. It helps to have a master resume that lists all of your past positions no matter how short the duration was and list the things you did (or the job description from their site/listing). By picking jobs with relevant skills, achievements, and soft/hard skills, you can appeal to the recruiter reading it plus pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to move onwards in the hiring process.

    Proofread and editing

    Please proof and edit your resume! Either take a break and read over it after some time or have someone do it for you. You may be the unicorn they were looking for. But if that unicorn can’t spell, it’s an automatic reject with no questions asked unfortunately. 

    Person editing their resume.
    Photo by on

    Do they misspell words despite combing over their work with a fine tooth comb? Of course they do! But the hiring process culture is still super antiquated and ridiculously unforgiving way too often.


    What to wear

    So you made it to the interview! Great! Now what do you wear? Generally, business casual is a safe option. You don’t want to be too formal because in my experience those clothes never feel great and I don’t need to add a horrible sensory experience to this event.

    Practice common questions about your experience

    You are going to get questioned about what is on your resume. I hope you didn’t forget! My best tips to prevent word vomit are to always relate you experience back to how it will help you do the job you applied for and use STAR answers (Situation, Task, Action, Results)

    Describe a time you gave amazing customer service.

    S: A customer needed to buy an anniversary present for their partner.

    T: First, I needed to ensure that they left the store satisfied with their purchase.

    A: I asked a few questions about the recipient’s personality, idiosyncrasies, and dislikes to gauge what items to show. Then I strategically picked three choices, considering the customer’s budget.

    R: After helping them with their purchase, they decided on buying $100 more in goods, totalling $300 for their visit, and leaving satisfied.

    Mock interviews!

    Practice makes perfect! Grab a friend or look in your area for a mock interview service. My local library and my university’s career center do this for free regularly.

    Research the place you are applying to by looking at their content and media (Instagram, Facebook, their website, YouTube, etc.)

    Make sure to study up on the company but also make it fun. Look at what they post on their social media and on their website. Do they have a YouTube channel? Mention something that stood out from the videos if they ask you about what you know. I once finished a free course for one company and tried out a software product for another. Both jobs were impressed with the initiative I showed to learn more about their products.

    Bring a small notebook to have your questions and to jot down important info

    Have something to write notes on. Not only is this a great fidget, but it can also help you retain info. My last “interview” had mentioned the founder’s name and I noted it. My next interview was on Zoom and guess who showed up? If I hadn’t known their name beforehand, then I wouldn’t have been able to change my questions for him during the interview and send him a thank you note.

    Have some questions ready!

    I recommend at least 3 questions. My favorites are:

    • What do you like about working here?
    • Can you identify some challenges I will face in this position?
    • What are the next steps in the hiring process?

    That’s it! Here’s 12 tips to help you with your job search as someone with adhd.

    1. Use your network or find one in your industry.
    2. Look for positions that involve things you enjoy like a specific brand or product.
    3. Check if your current job has an internal “internship” to try something new.
    4. Identify your skills and achievements to put on your resume.
    5. FIgure out what jobs/skills/achievements are relevant to the job you want.
    6. Proofread and edit your resume!
    7. When in doubt, business casual is a safe bet for interview attire.
    8. Practice talking about your past job experiences using the STAR method.
    9. Try a mock interview for practice.
    10. Do some research about the company you are applying for on their social media or website to get a feel of the culture.
    11. Bring something to write with. Works as a brain dump and fidget!
    12. Always have at least 3 questions ready for the interviewer.

    WIth these tips, navigating a job search with adhd will be so much easier.

    Want more ADHD life tips? Check out my Youtube channel here or read some more posts here.

    Categorized as ADHD Tagged

    By Bell

    Probably forgetting something but it's on a list somewhere on my phone.

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