Today I answered questions about – How to get a good job without a 2:1, here are the questions I answered

How to get a good job without a 2:1 Question 1

“I have recently graduated from the University of East Anglia with a first in History and was hoping to break into the financial sector by applying to the big four. Would the panel be able to share their views on how viable this path is, and how I could present my degree choice in a favourable way in the recruitment process? Thanks”
Have you checked for the requirements on the Big 4 websites? With some organisations they assess aptitude so can take people with different degrees. You would want to be clear on why you want to move into the financial sector, also there are many different roles, and some, such as client relationship management may be worth considering

How to get a good job without a 2:1 Question 2:

Maybe you could also tell some of us who graduated a while back how to get a good job with a 2:1.

Firstly I’d like to find out what you meant by a ‘good job’, what sort of criteria is it. I’d then want to think about your strengths and aptitudes. This helps to focus. Then you can look at all aspects of your application and job search
Thanks for telling us more about your situation. A good way to move forward a little is to set up some fact finding interviews with people who work in this area. These are informal chats, you aren’t looking for a job but you want to gain some information. You can then ask people who work in this area for your advice. Keep any suggested meeting quite short – about 20 minutes. Good luck
My comments and suggestions still stand, get talking to people in the CPS or LA legal department and talk about the jobs and how you could fit in, the good thing about these conversations is about finding out more to help you to narrow things down. I’m back to my client work now, so all the best but I will check back here later today.

How to get a good job without a 2:1 Question 3

“I graduated with a 2:2 in economics but also don’t have any work experience. At the moment I’m just working as a shop assistant to make some money. Do you have any advice for building up work experience and getting a graduate job?”
Maggie makes an important point – be clear on the sort of job you are after, and why you want to do it. You can now use online resources to find out about all the different types of roles and perhaps do some short MOOCs to show some commitment.
It’s not just about a graduate job though, there are other ways to get on within an organisation. You can still get promoted from within.
And you are not ‘just a shop assistant’. You have an important role relating to the customers and dealing with questions and challenges. Be proactive and offer to get more involved, both within the store you work in but also perhaps ask to spend a couple of days in the head office – and offering to do this on your day off would really show commitment.

How to get a good job without a 2:1 Question 4

“I finished my BA Business with a 2:2 last month however I have been working part time in M&S as a Section Manager while studying. I have now graduated and am a full time Section Manager. I love my job and I’ve known since I started with M&S 4 years ago that it was the career for me. I want to apply for the retail management Grad Scheme but will my 2:2 be enough? Will it help that I’m already a Section Manager? Is staying in store and progressing internally better than the Grad Scheme for me?”
It’s worth talking with your HR department for advice. There is usually some flexibility for internals applying for schemes. I would expect that your practical experience will be welcomed and it shows some commitment to your company.

How to get a good job without a 2:1 Question 5

I graduated with a 2:2 in 2014 and wanted to work in Marketing or design. Unfortunately my mother was sick at the time and I live in an area with very few graduate opportunities. I decided I would help care for my mother and work self-employed as much as possible for some contacts I had built up previously, I was able to work some fairly big contracts including being a head marketer and designer for a music festival and helping rebrand several high class hotels.
After my mother passed in 2015 I needed to move away and so took a stable government job so I could move to a bigger city and start fresh, I’ve been trying to do extra work alongside this but wanted some time to myself and most of my contacts wanted somebody local. Now I’m tired of this job and am looking to get back into my field of marketing and design. Any tips for me?
It sounds like you have some good experience, and I hope you are making this clear on your CV. Often a recruiter will look at your latest job first, so may miss the other experience you have. I’d suggest you opt for a combination CV – highlighting your marketing experience. I’d also make direct approaches to organisations. I’m not sure how flexible you can be (re income) but offering to do short term assignments can often work and will give you more recent experience too.

How to get a good job without a 2:1 Question 6

My son graduated last summer with a 2:2 from a Russell Group uni and has spent the last year travelling, volunteering and working as a Deliveroo rider. He doesn’t have much confidence that he will ever get a graduate job when there are thousands of applicants with 2.1s/firsts to choose from. He desperately wants to work in the Development/Charity sector but thinks he stands little chance in such a competitive market. Would his chances increase with a Masters? Should he carry on volunteering in the hope it leads to something?
Hi there, just popped in early and saw your question.
Think carefully before choosing a Master’s degree. It could be worthwhile but seek out some advice from people working in the area he wants. Be wary of what a University says – they want to fill their places.
There are lots of routes into a job, and it doesn’t have to be a graduate scheme. Getting in is a first step, but he needs to stand out – what does he have going for him that others don’t have?
It can be good to get some focus on what type of charity and the role he wants to aim for. Is it fundraising, front line work or what? Then to seek out relevant voluntary work, but also to aim to get some work shadowing.
His CV has to be focused on the job he wants and the needs of the organisation, much less on what he seeks to gain/learn and more on what he can offer a company – key personal qualities alongside any relevant experience.
It can help to build contacts. Who does he know, or does a family friend now. Could someone get him a 20-minute meet with someone. If not, he can seek to find people, perhaps by volunteering at an event or finding people on LinkedIn.
Thanks for your advice. I will pass it on although he can’t afford to spend too much time in unpaid volunteer roles. I guess it’s difficult for him to work out what type of role he wants until he gets the experience but getting volunteer/shadowing experience means he is penniless – a difficult one!
. ok, so what sort of paid work will provide some useful transferable skills. does he need to hone admin/ customer/ sales/ and aim for a job doing something to enhance his CV. Telesales isn’t for everyone but they are quite easy to get and certainly helps someone to gain resilience. He could then look to do relevant volunteering on 1 day a week.
And this is not a choice for ever, finding out more on different jobs/ sectors can be useful. He will be working for many years to come

And finally

With fifteen minutes left of the debate, could our panel please round off by giving their top three tips for graduates looking for a job with a 2:2 degree or lower.

  1. Don’t think it must be a major company, look for SMEs as well
    2. Be clear on what you offer – your key strengths, and why you are after the job with this organisation. The recruiter will want to know you want to work for them, not any other company.
    3. Whatever job you do look for opportunities to be proactive and do more than required.


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Published On: August 9th, 2017 / Categories: Students and Graduates /

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