How to job hunt if you get a 2.2 when you graduate

Joan S. Reed
What to do if you graduated with a 2.2 degree - Jemmyblog

A university degree is meant to broaden your horizons, prove your grasp of the chosen subjects, and open far more job careers and opportunities. After all, it is proof of all the sleepless nights spent studying in order to acquire relevant knowledge. Unfortunately, as many job applicants soon find out, simply acquiring a degree is just not enough. Indeed, many believe that instead of helping them land their dream job, having a 2.2 degree actually locks them out of many desirable job positions. Still, even a 2.2 degree can be sufficient with the right approach to job hunting. 

Of course, the first step toward a successful job application is to use every advantage at your disposal to make your candidacy stand out. The earliest moment you can distinguish yourself from all other applicants is at the CV stage. Do not think of the CV as a simple list of all your current accomplishments. Instead, visualize it as a representation of yourself, detailing both your professional and social skills. 

Creating a different CV for each job offer you wish to apply for is also strongly advised. Instead of agonizing over each application and mulling on what is the most relevant information to include, it may be easier to turn to a CV writing professional. The experts will also ensure that your CV meets all current requirements, such as being ATS (Applicant Tracking System) compliant.

Applying For Jobs With a 2.2 Degree

The recent trends in job hiring have seen companies, even major organizations considered to be among the top work destinations, move away from rigid and strict entry requirements based on academic results. For example, top accountancy firms such as Deloitte, EY, and KPMG have started to rely on their own internal assessment as a way to determine whether an applicant will be a good fit for their graduate schemes and open job positions. EY and PwC have even removed the 2.1 requirements altogether. 

Of course, some sectors – finance, law, etc., have historically established a reputation for demanding stricter entry requirements when compared to other sectors. However, that doesn’t automatically make you ineligible if you have a 2.2 degree, as even here some companies have started to loosen up their hiring process. Not to mention that you may still apply for 2.1 jobs if certain mitigating circumstances (illness, bereavement, etc.) have impacted you and caused your grades to suffer greatly. In these cases, you may need to check how to properly disclose such extenuating circumstances to recruiters. 

Expand Your Job Search

Do not let yourself think that your 2.2 degree is holding you back. There are plenty of successful people and celebrities who possess such a degree, and they have proven that with enough determination, any goal is possible. Not to mention that your academic results will hold value only when applying for your very first job. Afterward, recruiters and employers will be far more interested in your professional performance and expertise. The key is to land this first job and start building from there. 

To help you identify such desirable positions, you may need to expand your initial job search horizon. Consider looking for employers that may not typically be associated with the specific profession, as they are likely to be more flexible and have lower entry-level requirements. The same also applies to startups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises). These types of companies make up the vast majority of the economy, and they might be the perfect place to start your career. Smaller employers are likely to attract fewer job applicants than the bigger and more popular organizations, which could mean that they will not artificially reduce that number even more by setting a strict 2.1 degree rule. 

Look Into Postgraduate Degrees

Some employers with an imposed 2.1 degree requirement may be willing to accept candidates with 2.2 degrees if they also present postgraduate qualifications, typically a master’s. However, this varies widely even between companies operating in the same sector, and you may need to contact the employer directly to receive a more concrete clarification on the matter. There is also the question of whether the cost of a master’s degree and another year of intense studying is worth it in order to get into a graduate programme with a large employer. 

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