Wearing a 2.2 shouldn’t be embarrassing

But it often is.

Ok so you’ve missed out on the 2.1. Lots of companies won’t want you to even visit their website. However, many are open to applicants with 2.2s as long as there are extenuating circumstances that you can explain and/ or you have some substantial, ideally relevant work experience.

For example, if you were setting up your own company or heavily involved in extra-curricula activities, you may be able to present yourself in a way that manages to dispel the stigma and rash negative preconceptions around the 2.2. And/ or you might have had a string of bad exams for various reasons – poor teaching, ill health, bad technique etc.

1. Get a letter

To manage this, you might try getting a letter of mitigation/ recommendation from your director of studies or faculty head that explains your circumstances and substantiates your abilities, effectively describing you as a 2.1 calibre student.

2. Explain to HR

The next step would be to contact someone in HR and explain your situation while also selling yourself concisely. For this you will need to prepare a brief punchy verbal cv. Communicating a bit of passion won’t hurt either. Build a rapport with this individual as they may ultimately sponsor your application through the cv-screening phase. Of course, you will need to impress with answers on the formal online application form. How to Make Grad Applications 36% More Effective has some tips on how to do this.

3. Use relationships and references

If you are a big people person and have strong references or recommendations from relevant people you may have worked with during internships or a perm job then this too can strengthen your cause. Having a linked in account or other similar online presence will make it easier for you to showcase these accolades, as people tend to sit in front of computers a lot and are nosy when it comes to online networking profiles. Check out Linked in Grad Guide – Get Networking for some help and tips.

Thank god some blue-chips accept 2.2s:


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