The secrets to getting your perfect job - regardless

I missed my grade and I don’t have the right skills - what do I do?! Here are a few steps to help you get your dream job regardless.


1. Play the long game

You may not get in if you missed your grade or don’t have the correct skills, but this shouldn’t stop you from changing your end goal. Sure, you might have to pick up relevant work experience in a smaller company. But, then you can work your way into your ideal firm and role later. Alternatively, keep an eye on the larger employers and their opportunities - aim for an entry-level role instead of graduate programmes and schemes.


2. Mitigating circumstances

Many recruiters may take mitigating circumstances into account if you are applying with a lower grade than their minimum. Mitigating or extenuating circumstances are, often unforeseen, serious reasons or events which affected your ability to achieve your expected academic results. These can include but are not limited to: serious injury, mental or physical illness, divorce, and bereavement. However, intoxication or getting dumped are not included (sorry). If you do have a mitigating circumstance then you should let both your university tutor and the recruiter know about it, even if it may be something you do not wish to disclose. Not talking, unfortunately, could lead to you being rejected. There is no need to go into painful detail, but rather touch on what happened and focus on how and what you did to overcome your difficulties if you do wish to go into detail. After all, resilience is a highly sought-after skill, many graduate recruiters will appreciate someone who managed to continue with education even when life got in the way.


3. SMEs (Small and medium-sized companies)

60% of the UK workforce is employed by these organisations. But they are undersubscribed to, and so their graduate-level vacancies may be better suited to if you missed your grade or don’t have the skills. Another bonus is that they offer brilliant opportunities to better early responsibility and career development. So if you haven’t thought about it, you should see what they have available for you.


4. Research employers and sectors

Carefully look at your options. Some big graduate recruiters will accept 2.2s for specific schemes, and others won’t. While many of you may not consider companies that do not attend careers fairs, or which do not operate in a particular sector, they may be looking for candidates like you. Many roles can be found across a number of industries - finance, HR, sales, IT, supply chain, and even potentially engineering -  and there may be less competition for these roles. So you should consider every option available to you and do your research.


5. Work experience and contacts

Build up your experience and contacts in your desired area, developing your networking skills never hurts. It will help you to get information about opportunities and get involved with your desired sector, and even company. It is important to make the most of the careers events you have available to you - especially careers fairs, employers visiting campus and presentations. Get out there, and get networking.


6. Boosting your qualifications

There is no harm in boosting your qualifications, some companies will consider candidates who got a 2.2 but also hold a masters. It is important to consider whether taking a masters, or postgraduate degree might improve your employability, and if it does then it could be worth doing one.