As your exams are wrapping up and you’re starting to ponder about results day, some of you may feel as far from a 2:1 as you feel from Freshers’ Week, all that time ago. You’re not alone – many finalists feel the same way, at the prospect of getting results dished out. Did you revise enough? What about your work in 1st and 2nd year and how can it counterbalance your final efforts? Will you make the cut? And if you find yourself at the lower end of a second class degree, or clutching hold of a third class title, what to do?
If you do end up getting a lower grade than expected, you need to remember that experience is key. Many students focus solely on the importance of their qualifications, but even those holding 1st and 2:1 degrees need to bolster their applications and covering letters with soft and hard skills to make themselves stand out from the competition. These days, holding a degree to your name is simply not enough – you need experience to back it up, regardless of your final grade.
If you haven’t got anything to put down at the moment, make sure the Summer works to your advantage, by looking for work experience either in your home town, university town or further afield. If you can afford to work for this last month (and most students will have paid for their accommodation till the end of the month), use it wisely! It may seem tempting to spend your spare time at the pub, but you should also try and be as productive as possible to help boost your CV.
If you can’t really afford transport costs and lunch, it might be an idea to look for work online – if you pitch your ideas carefully and know what sector you want to get into, digital experience could be right up your street. Find a website, Twitter account or Facebook fan page related to your chosen industry and speculatively approach them – you never know where this could lead to.
Although most graduates schemes sort through their initial batch of applicants thanks to computer scanning techniques and therefore disqualify applicants who hold a qualification lower than a 2:1, that is not to say that all is lost for those amongst you getting a lower grade. You may not be able to apply to certain elitist grad schemes, however, if you choose to look into smaller companies and burgeoning industries, you can make a successful application, landing a dream role.
SMEs tend to hold less competition for grad roles and progression within these companies holds less red tape, meaning you can work on a variety of projects and areas, without the need to run every single little detail past an array of peers. As such, your CV will blossom and you may end up getting more experience than you had initially bargained for, which can only be a good thing.