Graduating with a 2.2 might leave you thinking you are out of the running for a Graduate Scheme. While it is true that many graduate schemes traditionally ask for an Upper second classification, however by no means all. Graduates who have a 2.2 should not be downhearted and remember there are plenty of graduates schemes that are still open that you can apply for today. Venturing into the graduate job hunt with a 2.2 can seem difficult but it is important that you play the game when applying for jobs. There are certain tricks that graduates can play to ensure that they stand in the best stead for getting that first job. It might be a little more difficult getting your graduate job with a lesser grade, but it is not impossible. Here are the 3 Golden Rules you should follow to give you the best chance at getting onto that graduate scheme.
1. ExperienceThis is something that employers now value as highly as actual academic qualifications. While taking the next step academically has always been about ensuring you are capable, the A levels to get into university, GCSEs to get into Sixth form and so on, employers want to see you know what it is like to work and you know how to perform in the particular role. This can be tricky, if you have never worked then it is advisable to get some sort of job when you graduate, whether it is bar or restaurant work, graduates need something, anything to accompany their skills. You might not believe that these jobs are worthwhile in pursuing a range of careers, but they will give you some ammo when it comes to highlighting your skills. The harsh truth is that employers are likely to more impressed with your customer service and communication skills, than your understanding of Vichy France. For 2.2 graduates this is absolutely vital. If you cannot rely on the higher grades that employers look for you need to persuade them that you can do the job.
2. Execute Job descriptionThis is some very useful job application technique that is not just reserved for graduates with a 2.2 degree. Executing the job description is about making you look like the absolute perfect candidate, like you were born to be on this scheme and you could not do anything else. It takes time to rejig your application and covering letter but it will definitely ensure more success. The first way to do this is to analyse the job description and scheme breakdown and find out what they are looking for in candidates. If it helps it might be useful to draw up a list of requirements that the employer would like satisfied. Alongside this when you rework your covering letter and CV make sure you can tick off these requirements and show the employer that you're the one for them. This is a time consuming way to apply for jobs and it can become very monotonous for you to rework your covering letter and CV each time, but from employers I have personally spoken to nothing gets a CV and covering letter binned quicker than it being either slapdash or generic. Employers like to be flattered and think they are the only one you're applying to, so it's best to play up to this.
3. No ExcusesThis is one of the most important things graduates with a 2.2 applying for graduate schemes must abide by. If you are applying to schemes with a 2.2 you must realise you are already at a disadvantage to others with a better grade. So the important thing to maintain is that you give them no excuse to bin your application. This can come in a variety of forms. So here is a checklist to make sure you stick to before you send any sort of application off:
- Spelling and grammatical mistakes
- Wrong company name
- Answering all the questions on an application form
- Attaching the wrong file (It happens!)
- Keeping your Covering letter generic or too long
- Corrupt file or dodgy file type.