By Victoria Roche, MSW, PCC, Guest Contributor

The process of finding employment has quietly undergone an evolution. Job seekers are discovering that many positions are not posted to the public and employers complain about the difficulty of finding employable candidates. Finding a job has become a complicated process for many job seekers. There are ways you can help your ADHD clients navigate through the job search process. The following is an overview of a step-by-step process to help clients identify jobs that suit their needs.

What you want to do?

Before starting the job search process, be sure to establish clear goals.

  1. What type of a job do you want?
  2. What are your skills sets? Do you have the skills needed for the prospective job?
  3. What type of work environment is most appealing to you?

If your client does not have clear answers to those questions, he or she may not yet be ready for the job search. In these cases, you can assist your clients in gaining clarity about what they want through discussion and also through assessments such as Interest Inventory, Skills, Personality Type, Work and Personal Values and an Aptitude Assessment. Clients can complete these inventories with a coach, at a local community college, or at the career service office of the college they attend or attended.

Identify Strengths, Talents and Dreams

We all have strengths and talents. Helping the job seeker discover their unique strengths can go a long way to helping them find satisfying work. There are a variety of strengths related resources to use that can help clients discover their strengths. My personal favorites are the VIA Signature Strengths that identifies top character strengths and StrengthsFinder 2.0, a book written by Tom Rath that includes a code inside the book to take the Strengths Finder assessment online.

Developing a Resume

Job seekers need a solid resume to get an interview. Employers review hundreds of resumes, so your client will need to catch the attention of the employer quickly, basically in the first third of their resume. The resume should include contact information, career objective, and a summary of qualifications. The career objective can be modified for the position the client is applying for, and can be stated in a few simple words such as “Sales Representative.”  The summary of qualifications should be 4-6 bullet points or sentences that highlight the client’s experience, strengths, skills and accomplishments.

Another tip is to search online for existing resumes for the position the client is applying for, then explore those sample resumes with the client.

For new graduates, there are two approaches to consider. The first is a conventional resume with objective at the top, then education, relevant course work, and after that experience and skills. The other format that has come into vogue lists skills and training at the top of the resume, followed by education and then experience.

Posting on Job Boards

For client who are posting resumes via the Internet on job boards, I suggest you and your client read How to Write a Resume: 18-Point Checklist on It shows how to get around the challenges of the Applicant Tracking System, the software that is typically used on job boards to scan resumes for appropriate key words.

Building Your Personal Brand

For many of today’s young job seekers, it is important they become familiar with the concept of personal branding. That means knowing their value, what they have to offer to an organization, and what type of skills they have. This type of brand building is accomplished by having an online presence. Some of these strategies include creating a LinkedIn profile and using social media as a means to building your personal brand. This concept may be new for many ADHD coaches. It is, however, something we should learn about to better assist our tech savvy ADHD clients now and in the future (and perhaps even ourselves!).

Interview Strategies

There are a few ways to help prepare your client for the interview process. Through coaching, help your client prepare by having them:

  1. Identify what position they are applying for.
  2. Learn about the company and the open position.
  3. Select at least 3 information interviews.
  4. Answer sample interview questions that you have prepared.
  5. Role play mock interviews with you. Discuss interview tips and the general rules for interviewing.

Develop an Action Plan

Developing a written action plan with steps and strategies for clients to use can be enormously helpful for ADHD clients. It will provide the structure needed, and you as the coach can provide the support and encouragement necessary to guide them through the job search process.

VRochePhotoVictoria Roche, MSW, PCC, focuses on career coaching and training. She co-leads the Career Services Specialty Training (CSST) with Wilma Fellman, the founder of the training series. Additionally, she offers coaching in person, by phone and by Skype. You can contact her via email:, phone: 973-898-0088, or Skype: vmroche1.