Let’s make it clear, if you’re reading this post to decide whether it’s worth studying for your exam tomorrow, then you should probably just leave and study! However, if you’ve already graduated, you’re in the right place. Whether you’ve graduated with a 2.2, a 2.1 or a 1st class, the job market is more complex than what you think. I know it might feel like it’s the end of the world, but trust me it isn’t. Throughout this article, we’re going to see that different people are good at different things, and that you, as an individual have a lot to offer.
How will my grade affect me?
It might feel underwhelming to get a 2.2. You’re applying to grad jobs, you see all those job adverts saying “2.1 degree requirement” and you’re starting to regret spending 98% of your time at PRYZM. Don’t panic. First of all, you need to be proud of yourself! You still graduated and it’s kind of a big deal. You got a degree, it doesn’t matter what class it is, you made it to the end. By going to university you stepped out of your comfort zone, met new people, gained new skills and made sacrifices. Do you remember the person you were when you enrolled? Well, you’re a completely different person now and that matters!
Now, to answer the question, the way your grade will affect you depends on a lot of factors. It depends on what you studied, the university you went to, what jobs you’re applying to, whether you joined societies and got involved during your degree etc. In a nutshell, it’s not the end of the world, the thing is that your grade does not define you as an employee. You could be a great employee and not a great student, just like you could get a first class and suck at your first job! Fundamentally, you just need to understand what employers are really looking for.
What are employers actually looking for?
You need to understand that ultimately, companies want to make money. By hiring you, employers invest in you, and expect you can be beneficial to the structure and strength of the company. You’re a part of the puzzle they need to increase their revenue. It’s as simple as that, employers are looking for someone who can strengthen the business and if you’re good at what you do, they don’t care whether you got a 2.2 or created the Moon. What I’m trying to tell you is that, it’s much deeper than a grade. Now that you know what employers are looking for, you just need to show them that you’re the one they need!
Show the employer that you are the one
I hope you feel a bit better now. On a surface level, your final grade doesn’t mean much. You will definitely get a graduate job with a 2.2 as long as you put the effort in. Nowadays, a lot of companies value hard work and dedication over good grades, so trust me, you’re going to be okay. Nonetheless, the job market still remains very competitive, you need to show the employer that you can do the job, that you are motivated and interested! I’ve got a couple of tips for you that will help you stand out and get your first job.
- Your cover letter matters. You have to be motivated and the employer has to see it. Go the extra mile, write an amazing cover letter, personalise it, go in depth about what the company does and ask questions. By showing genuine interest and curiosity, the recruiter will know that you actually did some research about the company and that you’re more dedicated than most candidates.
- Learn new skills. You’ve just graduated but are you ready for the real world just yet? No matter what grade you got, there is still a lot you need to learn before being good at a graduate job. Now that you’ve got some free time, you have to get ahead and gain some useful skills that will help you get your dream job. There are hundreds of ways to learn new skills, online courses are everywhere, you can finally get started with Excel, SQL, UX Design, Google Analytics, Data Presentation or whatever it is you know will make you more employable.
- LinkedIn is a must. This is super important. If you haven’t yet, set up a LinkedIn account right now. It’s the number one social media for job seekers and using it the right way will significantly increase your chances to get hired. Make sure your profile is perfect, have a professional picture and be active, react to posts, engage and show genuine interest. Identify the companies you want to work for. Once you’ve got it all set up, connect with your potential employers and tell them how you can benefit the company.
- Why not give them a call? Call them before they call you! You want to control the dynamic of the situation, by calling them upfront, you will be prepared, informed about the company and have genuine questions. Though they might still reschedule a formal phone interview, they will definitely appreciate your dedication and interest. You have to go the extra mile remember?
Don’t waste time
Now that you’ve got the ingredients, it’s time to get started! Manage your time and stay productive. Most importantly, keep in mind that your grade is just a number and that it shouldn’t define you as an individual. You are the protagonist of your own life! You can make yourself more employable by being active and staying motivated.