You may have seen the following inspiring article that has been reported by multiple news outlets throughout the world:
Ryan Lowry has nothing to hide.
The 20-year-old student from Leesburg, Virginia, with autism has floored potential employers with a heartfelt cover letter shared on LinkedIn last month.
“I realize that someone like you will have to take a chance on me. I don’t learn like typical people do,” the high school student began in his heartfelt message, laying bare his unique and often misunderstood traits. “I would need a mentor to teach me, but I learn quickly, once you explain it, I get it.”
“I promise that if you hire me and teach me, you’ll be glad that you did,” he assured hiring managers in the letter that has since been liked and shared by more than 175,000 users on the professional networking platform.
Lowry added that he is also “really good with technology,” “gifted at math” and has “a unique sense of humor.”
More than 6,000 encouraging comments were written in response to the young job seeker, much of which included valuable advice. Jim Lambert, a medical sales director, was among those who were impressed with Lowry.
“Every person on LinkedIn has been hired by at least one person that took a chance on him or her,” Lambert assured. “I love your letter, attitude and self-awareness . . . A company will be more successful with you on their team.”
Others came to commiserate with Lowry’s position, acknowledging how hard it can be for those living with autism to find work as readily as “neurotypicals,” meaning those who do not have a diagnosis of autism or another intellectual or developmental difference, such as dyslexia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“The unemployment rate for people with autism is upwards of 85%,” wrote information technology specialist Tyler Cameron, citing data from Integrate, an autism employment advocacy group. “The reason is simple — they have the skills to do the jobs, but employers screen them out . . . with ‘personality tests,’ which have a heavy preference to neurotypicals.”
“We need to do better to accommodate those on the spectrum,” Cameron continued in his message, adding that he, too, is on the autism spectrum. “I get an overwhelming sense of ‘we don’t want you here’ at almost any interview I go to. Finding a job is always a huge challenge for me.”
As a result of the letter, Lowry has received more than 2,000 invitations to connect on the career network — so much so that LinkedIn’s moderators were forced to temporarily disable his account due to “sudden and overwhelming engagement,” according to Today Health, which confirmed the move with LinkedIn.
His profile has since been restored, and Lowry’s leap of faith proved to be a boon as the highly eligible employee is now in talks with several promising companies, including Dell, Amazon and Microsoft, according to his parents.
“Ryan is capable of so much,” his father, Rob Lowry, told “Today.” “The goal here for Ryan is independence.”
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” he added. “My hope was that he’d make a few connections. I thought, all we need is one person.”
“I lay in bed at night and I cry reading the messages,” said his mother, Tracy Lowry. “This raw, vulnerable letter has opened up so many opportunities.”