When writing your CV, it’s incredibly important to be selective with the information you include.
Everything you write should go towards proving you’d excel at the job, on a maximum of two pages. Before sending off your application, spend some time editing down your CV, excluding anything that isn’t essential.
One thing you should never cut out of your CV, however, is your degree grade. No matter what you got or how happy you are with it.
GradTouch spoke to recruiters to find out what the ideal graduate CV looks like to them.
Something that came up time and again was the importance of a clear Education section, particularly if you’re fresh out of uni and haven’t yet built up years of work experience.
“One big, huge, huge red flag I get is when people hide their grades from university or A Level,” says Jamie Beaumont, Director of Graduate Recruitment at Sales Point Recruitment – one of the fastest-growing sales recruitment agencies in the UK.
Jamie explains that when someone’s grades aren’t included on their CV, particularly recent ones like degree classification, it makes him “very sceptical as to whether they did well”. He goes on to say leaving it off just suggests you got a 2:2 or lower. He’s seen candidates make the mistake of excluding their grade when, it later turned out, they had actually achieved a 2:1 or first.
If you’re applying for a job that lists a 2:1 as a requirement and you’re worried your lower grade will damage your chances, the point still stands. You will be asked to state your grade at some point in the process, so it’s best to be honest and upfront. You can read more about what to do if you have a 2:2 here and find a whole list of companies currently hiring grads with a 2:2 or above here.
Leaving out your degree grade could instantly rule you out as a candidate.
That is according to Louise Norris, Resourcing Project Leader at award-winning restaurant brand, KFC. Louise says “If you’re a graduate just out of university then your education is probably the most important thing."
“It’s really important, if you’ve been asked on the application to state your qualifications, or if there are minimum qualifications, that candidates do actually put those down,” she continues, adding that it’s “time-consuming” to “go back to candidates and say ‘can you clarify your degree classification?’”
Though Louise always calls up grads to check their grades with them, she says, “I imagine there are a lot of [recruiters] who don’t bother to do it and just disregard the CV in the first instance.” Recruiters, hiring managers and employers alike are often inundated with applications for jobs - don't make it unnecessarily difficult for them to progress you to the next stage.
Hiding a grade you aren’t happy with says a lot about you to employers. And not in a good way.
According to Jamie at Sales Point, omitted grades suggest a candidate has “an ‘excuse manner’ – and that’s somebody who is full of excuses and not someone who’s going to take accountability”. So, own it. State your degree grade clearly and numerically next to the name of your university, years of study and course title. That’s as much detail as you need. If you’re worried about weaker academic performance, focus your efforts on making the rest of your application as strong as possible.