The job hunt and the degreeBy Chris Farnell
Getting a third shouldnâ€™t feel like a let-down. We call them â€śhonorsâ€ť for a reason. But the pressure to get a 2:1 or a first is high, and at a time when the job market is tougher than ever getting a third can feel like a failure. The situation is made by employers who, completely swamped by applications for even the most menial graduate jobs, have admitted that they will throw out any resumes with less than a 2:1. What makes it worse is that this isnâ€™t because having a third will make you any less able to do a job than your contemporaries with a better degree- the 2:1 barrier is there purely to reduce the numbers. They canâ€™t be bothered to go through all the applications, so they arbitrarily cut out a huge chunk of their applicant pool.
So if youâ€™re new to job hunt and youâ€™re armed with a less than stellar degree, your challenge isnâ€™t to show employers your smarter than your degree implies, itâ€™s simply to get noticed. Here are a few tips to help you get your resume to the top of the pile.
1: Aim for smaller businesses
One of the big secrets nobody tells you about your degree is that, after youâ€™ve had your first job in your chosen field, nobody is going to care about it anymore. Most employers value experience over a good degree every time. And getting that first step up isnâ€™t as tough as it seems either. Yes, the big companies can afford to be picky. Their vacancy adverts are more visible, they get more applicants, and many of those applicants want to work with that company by name. Smaller businesses arenâ€™t as fortunate. It will still be competitive, but theyâ€™re less likely to institute arbitrary number-culling measures. These employers will be more open to hearing about your practical experience, your peoples skills and your ability to adapt, and here you can compensate for your degree with examples from your extra-curricular activities and any jobs you took while you were at university. So if youâ€™re looking for graduate engineering jobs, for instance, try checking out the smaller engineering companies, or even companies where engineering isnâ€™t the focus, but who need someone with those skills on staff for other reasons. Remember, this job is where you start, not where you finish.
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read more: Get the Best Job (Without the Best Degree)