How to Get a Graduate Job with a 2:2 Degree
Leaving university with a 2:2 degree may leave you feeling apprehensive about what comes next. Will employers give your application a fair shot during a period of intense job market competition?
It’s natural to think the worst when you’re disappointed with your grades, but the good news is that employers are becoming much more open-minded. Beyond grades, they may also focus on the skills and experience you can bring to the table. So, while having a 2:2 may not be the ideal solution, it doesn’t necessarily slam the door shut on your career goals.
Can you apply for graduate jobs that require a 2:1 qualification?
As you browse through job listings, you’ll likely notice that a significant number of them specify a preference for a 2:1 grade But, should you apply with a 2:2?
While nothing is stopping you from applying, think about the hours you’ll be investing in creating your application. Failing to have the correct grade may risk your application going unnoticed.
Take note of the language used within the spec. Many employers may state their ‘preferences’ and ‘desires’ rather than ‘requirements’, so it still may be worth sending your application if there seems to be some flexibility.
If you truly believe that you’re suitable for the position, despite not achieving the required grades, it may be worth engaging with the employer or recruitment company to express your enthusiasm for the role. This may provide the platform to explain specific circumstances around your degree classification. highlight relevant skills and of course, the reason why you want to branch into the field.
How to get a job with a 2:2 degree
Apply to small, start-up companies
On the UK business scene, thousands of start-ups are on the lookout for their newest team member.
What sets these enterprises apart is their unique approach to recruitment. Startup cultures tend to be much more lenient within their hiring process and typically choose to focus on a candidate’s unique skills and qualities that can contribute to their growth.
When contacting start-ups, showcase your passion for the industry, as well as your creative flair. In smaller businesses where juggling multiple tasks is the norm, proving your range of abilities becomes a vital way to stand out. Candidates who think outside of the box and promote the company’s spirit and goals are always a hit with start-up employers. So, let your unique qualities shine through – you might just the person they’re looking for!
Register with a recruitment agency
For graduates holding a 2:2 qualification, turning to recruitment agencies is often a smart move. The company’s approach is typically to connect individuals with opportunities based on skills and experience rather than solely on academic qualifications.
Recruiters will then contact you when a suitable role becomes available, which takes the stress away from having to fill out application forms and risk getting rejected.
Take Inspiring Interns, for instance—a London-based graduate recruitment agency that brings a fresh perspective to the hiring process. Here, graduates have the chance to showcase their true potential through a unique tool: the Video CV. Registered graduates are asked to create a two-minute visual presentation, discussing not only their academic background, but also their skills, experiences, interests, and other interesting personal facts. Employers then have the opportunity to view each video CV to get a feel for the candidate’s personality. For many, it’s not just about grades, but to hire people they would be comfortable working with on a day-to-day basis.
Apply for an internship
Internships are a fantastic opportunity for graduates with a 2:2 degree. The good news is that they don’t require extensive experience or a certain degree qualification.
These schemes are structured to bridge the gap between academic studies and full-time employment, where graduates have the chance to immerse themselves into the industry for several months to assess whether the role aligns with their career goals.
Internships give graduates the chance to learn more about industry dynamics and norms, as well as the chance to develop their skills outside of the classroom setting. As such, future employers will look favourably at this unique experience and may even put you one step ahead of candidates with higher degree grades. Why? Because you’ll be equipped with practical knowledge and have the confidence to hit the ground running from the very first day, without extensive training,
Consider a Masters degree
If you’re concerned about what challenges you may face in the job market with a 2:2 degree, you could always continue your studies with a postgraduate degree.
While many postgraduate courses typically require candidates to have a minimum 2:1 qualification, there may be room for exception if you include strong references from lecturers or professionals within your application, or prove you have taken on relevant work experience or extracurricular activities.
Masters degrees not only allow you to delve deeper into a specific subject matter, but the extra level of theoretical knowledge can help you stand out to employers when applying for graduate jobs.