What To Do If You Have A 2:2

You see a job vacancy. You read the description. You’re thinking “this sounds perfect for me!” You reach the end of the post and see ‘minimum degree requirement 2:1’. You exhale, deflated because you have a 2:2. Does this situation sound familiar? It definitely does to me.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Zac, I am the founder of GradTouch and I got a 2:2 from Durham University. I have put together this helpful list of tips to help other people, who did not get a 2:1, find a graduate job.

1. Don't hide it!

When you put together your CV do not list your university education as: Philosophy degree Durham University or Second Class Honours degree from Durham University. This is the first mistake most people make and it will often really grind on the person reading your CV. If you got a 2:2 just state it from the beginning, don't try and hide it by implying you may have got a 2:1.

At some point along the application process you will have to state your degree mark. If you do not state your grade you are instantly highlighting the fact that you didn't get a 2:1. Not only that, it will appear as if you are ashamed of your degree. I am sure you are not but either way you will have to get used to saying it.

2. Understand why you got the mark you did 

​Now, some people have genuine mitigating circumstances, some couldn't hack it and others (my category) just didn't do enough work. If you fall into the first category, please make sure you have some proof from your university and include this where appropriate in any application forms and on your CV. If you don't have proof then 99% of the time you will fall into the other two categories.

If you couldn't hack it, then be honest, you may have chosen the wrong course or perhaps you just reached your academic peak. Whatever the reason you need to identify and come to terms with it. I had to stop coming up with excuses and come to terms with not doing enough work as being the reason why I got a 2:2.

At the beginning I blamed my lecturer, my dissertation leader and even the cleaner of my dorm room for ruining a page of notes. One of the strongest attributes anyone can have is self-reflection. You will need to show, to any potential employer, that you recognised the problem and that you have identified what you have learnt and what you would do differently.

3. Realise that you are not just your degree 

Emphasise to your potential employer that you have learnt, accomplished and participated in many activities outside of your academic studies. These skills and experiences are just as important as academic grades so make sure you demonstrate this.

We've put together a blog on how to make your interests interesting which will prove useful when it comes to writing your CV and cover letters, so make sure you read it.

4. Be ruthlessly determined 

It is very easy to feel deflated when hunting for graduate jobs. Many will request a 2:1 minimum; however, you have nothing to lose if you do apply for jobs requesting this grade minimum. They can only say no!

● Sometimes it is worth contacting recruiters to explain why you should be put forward despite your degree grade. This will demonstrate your passion and determination for the role and separate you from the other candidates who are applying.

● Utilise social media channels to interact with potential employers and build a rapport. If you network with people and build up business contacts, then your relationships will hopefully outweigh grade minimums and restrictions.

● The key is to not let job rejections get you down and just keep plugging away. You will get there in the end.

5. Don’t Compromise 

You don’t have to settle into a job you don’t want just because you have a 2:2. What you ultimately have to remember is that getting a 2:2 will not stop you from doing what you want to do. You may have to take a slightly more elaborate route to get there but the point is you will still be able to enter the career you want!

I hope these tips have been helpful for you and put you on the right track to finding the job for you. Also, remember, GradTouch has live jobs open to applicants with 2:2 classifications, so you should check them out. 


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