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What to do if you get a 2.2: Six top tips ✅

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As we argued a few weeks ago in our article ’10 things employers care about more than your grades’, missing out on the much-coveted 2:1 isn’t the end of the world.

Yes, getting a 2:2 may make it a little trickier to get a foot in the door with some graduate employers, but it by no means rules you out from landing a fantastic graduate job – you just may have to be a little sneaky about it!

Here are our top tricks for getting a great grad job with a 2:2.


1. Ignore anyone who says ‘You won’t get a job with a 2:2’

If you have a 2:2, staying positive and ignoring those who perpetuate ‘the great 2:2 myth’ – that graduate employers take out restraining orders against those who get less than a 2:1 –  will be half the battle.

The last thing you should do is admit defeat and resign yourself to life in a stop-gap job. Persistence will pay off.


2. Apply to small companies

Whilst large corporate graduate schemes will often be real sticklers for 2:1s, small companies can be a lot more flexible with accepting applications – there is generally less red tape and fewer hoops to jump through.

Social media (Twitter and LinkedIn in particular), sites like Give A Grad A Go and built in London all offer a treasure trove of small business graduate opportunities.


3. Emphasise any niche skills

Can you speak another language? Can you code? Are you a dab hand with Adobe InDesign?

These skills are very highly regarded by lots of grad employers, who’ll often prize them over stellar academics.

If you do have a sought-after, niche skill, make sure it’s displayed loudly and proudly on your CV.


4. Highlight extracurricular activities

If you haven’t got the 2:1 you were hankering after, you need to show employers that you’ve been using your time at university wisely and productively.

Make sure you display any part-time work, university sport or positions of authority you’ve held during your 3 years to emphasize to the fact that you’ve picked up valuable experience and soft skills along the way.


5. Apply speculatively

Applying speculatively is one of the best moves you can make as a job-seeking grad – it’s a way to make yourself stand from the hordes, no matter your final degree grade.

The best way to go about it is to ring the office/HR department of a company you’d like to work for (yes – calling in is scary, but emails have an unfortunate tendency to be ignored!).

Ask to be put through to the person who’s in charge of graduate recruitment and ask if they are looking for any junior/graduates at the moment.

They may say there’s nothing available at the moment, which is fine – thank them for their time and ask if they would consider keeping your CV on file.

Have a personal elevator pitch at the ready in case the company is recruiting and want to know a bit more about you – give a synopsis of your experience and education, why you’re interested in working in their company, and what you could bring to the role.


6. Register with Give A Grad A Go!

We work with tons of companies who happily recruit grads with 2:2s. If you haven’t already, upload your CV to our website.


Find more career advice on our Graduate Blog – or search our jobs board to discover the latest UK jobs for graduates!


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