Guest Blog: What To Do If You Get a 2:2?

Guest blog by Matt Arnerich, Inspiring Intern

It may seem like it when the grades come in and you’ve missed out on your coveted 2:1, but a 2:2 really needn’t be the end of your search for the top graduate jobs.

The most important thing to remember is to stay positive, you don’t have to give up on your ambitions by any means. A 2:2 from a top university or in a sought after subject is still incredibly valuable, and even if this is not the case you still have plenty of options.

With some helpful advice, and some hard work, the graduate job of your dreams is still very much in your hands.

Review your starting point

It is true that some graduate jobs for a number of top companies specify a 2:1 or above. However, this doesn’t mean these companies are out of your reach, just that you need to reassess your path to getting there.

It may be that your best bet is to think small, and find an SME looking to hire a graduate that suits your needs and long term job ambitions. Be selective in the company you choose, but remember that if you are applying to a smaller business they are likely to have fewer applicants. They are therefore much less likely to have the same kind of strict vetting process that companies with thousands of applicants will have.

More importantly it gives you the opportunity to emphasise the other skills you have, and find a way to relate them to the role you’re applying for.

Specific Skills and Experience

Are you a secret Adobe wizard? Are you fluent in another language? Have you run social media pages for a small business or team? Once you have the opportunity to show off the rest of your capabilities, make sure they know about any potentially valuable ‘hard’ skills you have.

If you don’t have anything you think might be useful, it’s never too late to take an informal beginners course in something like coding or Adobe Photoshop to bolster your CV.

Also don’t forget to take into account the relevance of things you did outside of your academic life at University. If you had an important role in a large society at the Student’s Union, this displays you’ve had some experience in a leadership position. Also anything to do with sponsorship shows understanding of what it takes to build a business to business relationship

Apply Directly

A direct approach can sometimes be effective with SMEs and smaller companies.

Applying speculatively by calling up companies and seeing if they have any graduate roles available is a great way of giving yourself a chance to put your best qualities across first, and avoid being filtered out of the process.

Source a company that you’d love to work for, and prepare a short pitch as you may need to sell yourself over the phone. That way when you send your CV in you’ll be memorable to the recruiter looking at it.

 Get Some Help

Graduate recruitment agencies like Inspiring Interns have loads of graduate jobs online that accept applications from graduates with 2:2. They’ll be able to give you tons of helpful advice and land the job of your dreams!

How can the Careers Service help?

  • Book an appointment with a Careers Consultant to review your CV, cover letters and applications to make sure you’re highlighting your skills and achievements effectively.
  • Register your interest for the Santander Internships scheme – we can help you get an internship with a local SME.  There are many exciting opportunities with small businesses in London.  Many of our interns go on to permanent employment with the same company.
  • Build your experience with temporary jobs.  Check out Unitemps for all the latest listings.
  • Check our vacancy listings on CareersHub for jobs and internships with SMEs.