It can be demoralizing for you, especially considering that most companies will only hire a person who graduates with at least a 2-1, 2-2 is even pushing it. So, how do you circumvent your less-than-ideal grades and land that dream job with the big pay?
9 Tips for Being Successful With a third Class Degree
1. Change your attitude: If you are moping around after graduation due to your degree, you will most likely get nowhere. Nobody with a sulky or depressed attitude ever succeeded in life. So let go of your depression. What is done is done. It is time to pick yourself up and believe that you are not your grades.
2. People skill: If you hope to convince people that you are smarter than your grade, then you have to be good at convincing people, period. There is a reason why companies will most likely have a personal/oral interview before hiring, despite your grades. This is because, most for most companies, the right people skill is important. So, build your confidence, brush up on your humour and radiate intelligence.
3. Postgraduate: If you can afford it, you might want to consider a post graduate course. Most will accept a 3rd class degree holder, and some only require you pass a test to enter. A postgraduate course is a way to give yourself a second chance. A lot of people decide late into University on what they actually want to spend the rest of their lives doing, so this might cause them not to do as well. If this sounds like you, then you should consider a postgraduate study on the course of your choice and focus so you can come out on top.
4. Online courses: Online courses and certifications are also available as a way to positively impact your CV. They are relatively inexpensive but they look good on paper. Look into some and choose a few courses to take. Being certified in something might give you an edge over other job applicants even though you graduated with a Third.
5. Entrepreneurship: Just because no one wants to hire you does not mean you can not hire yourself. You should believe in yourself and your abilities if no one else does. A lot of people have turned the challenge that is graduating with a Third into something to motivate them to build empires. You can do it too. Start small and work hard.
6. Try anyway: So, the job requirement says you need at least a 2-1 degree to apply. Do not let this discourage you. If you truly believe you will be right for the position, apply anyway. If you are going this route, do not state that you graduated with a Third Class Honors in your CV. Simply attach a well-written cover letter that will win them over and convince them to call you.
7. Gather experience: There are 2 things most companies hold dear when hiring. Academic excellence and experience. Academic excellence tells them you are smart and experience tells them you know what you are doing. If you gather as much experience as you can in your field, recruiters will see the seriousness and professionalism in you, causing them to overlook your degree.
8. Network: Let’s face the facts and not deceive ourselves. Graduating with a 2.2 means that chances of joining the one of the big companies as an entry level staff in Nigeria in an open recruitment process is lower than others with better grades. Very few companies give 2.2 graduates the even the slightest opportunity to prove themselves. It is therefore very essential for you to learn to network. Improve your interpersonal skills and hone your networking skills. From observation, more than 70% of the graduates I know that graduated with 2.2 or less in the last 5 years got their jobs through networking. Strengthen your networking skills. Go to conferences, professional associations, etc. Get reliable contacts and industry informants. Polish your linkedin profile. Don’t ignore religious and ethnic gatherings too. Friends can also be very helpful.
9. Learn new skills: Your skills can enhance your employability. Search for suitable skills that can complement your BSc degree or help you build a career for which you are interested. I have seen graduates learn programming, graphic designs, web design, etc and making a whole lot of money from them. Some learn useful engineering softwares. Some are simply astounding when it comes to database management. Others have great marketing ability. Quite a few are good writers and bloggers. The list goes on and on.