There has never been a greater need for students to graduate from tertiary institutions with top grades than now, and this is made even more demanding with the fact that most of the top multinational firms will only recruit the best of the best; that is, those with stellar grades.
In Nigeria, top grades entails coming out of the University with a First Class or 2.1, while for the polytechnic graduate it is distinction or Upper Credit. Truth is, coming out of the tertiary institutions with such top grades is not always easy, and is not often a determinant of how intelligent the graduate is.
While I don’t advocate coming out of the university and polytechnic with anything less than the best grades, it still remains a fact that colleges will still graduate students with 2.2, and even Third Class.
I have met some graduates that came with such lower grades; even interviewed some of them. I will say here that some are even better equipped and intelligent academically than some of the so-called top students that came out with stellar grades.
The purpose of this article is to give tips that will help those with lower grades to forge ahead and land those juicy jobs that they think are so elusive.
Let’s get on with it already!
Timely Tips For Graduates With Lower Grades
Tip 1 – Accept The Facts. Don’t Beat a Dead Horse
So, you have a lower grade. And so? There is nothing you can do about it….it’s a done fact so no need to live in regrets. Just accept it already.
The problem with most people is that instead of finding a solution, they keep on living in the past; a past of regrets. It’s time to move on bro. You will gain nothing in flogging a dead horse. Once you accept the fact that the degree is a lower one, then you can start looking for means of bettering your odds.
Tip 2 – Don’t Neglect The Power of Networking
Now that you have the right mind-set, it’s time to move ahead. One way of making it happen and landing one of those seeming elusive juicy jobs since you came out with a 2.2 or Third Class is to cash in on the power of networking. Networking is so powerful that I cannot begin to expatiate on it here.
Basically it means connecting with the right persons that are in the position to make things happen for you. It could be in religious gatherings, conferences, professional associations, etc. Just make sure you get reliable contacts and work on such contacts. Most of the persons with lower grades that got employed in multinational firms made it happen through networking.
While on this, polish up your LinkedIn profile. You never could tell who is searching for you.
Tip 3 – Improve On Your Communication Skills and The Ability To Sell Yourself
There is no mincing words that good communication skills is a must for any prospective job hunter. Firms are continually on the lookout for good communicators, which entails proficiency in both written and spoken communication.
Someone that is good in communication can sell anything; even sell himself. Where you are found wanting in the area of stellar grades, then it’s about time to polish up your communication skills and self-confidence. Watching good movies and reading the right books could help out here.
Tip 4 – Upgrade Your Professional Certificates As Soon As Possible
The effects of a 2.2 or even a lower grade can be lessened when backed up with other related professional certificates. Though it will not take away the fact that your first degree is a lower grade, adding an extra and better degree will highly ameliorate the effect of the lower grade.
For instance, for someone that graduated with 2.2 in Computer Engineering and another that graduated with a 2.2 but topped it with Masters Distinction in Software Engineering are ages apart. Though they have same First Degree, the latter with a Masters Degree would be in a far more advantageous position.
As a matter of fact, many multinational firms now consider graduates with a 2.2 grade as long as they have a good Masters result.
Tip 5 – Add To Your Skillsets
It would immensely add to your employability if you add some certain skillsets that complements what you already read and know; and if possible having certificates to back them up.
Learning such skills as Programming, Website Design and Developments, Apps Building, Graphics Design, Blogging and Social Media Marketing, etc. could really push you forward and set you at an immense advantage in the eyes of your prospective employer.
Also, it could be a way of earning a side income, or even passive income. Who knows, you could be the next Linda Ikeja.
Tip 6 – Polish Up Them CVs and Cover Letters and Go Cold-Calling
It doesn’t pay to only depend on adverts on the media for available jobs before you go job searching. You could do cold-calling. There are loads of cases of persons that got employed using the cold-calling method. Cold-calling involves applying for a job placement even though a firm didn’t advertise for an available job space. It does show a lot of confidence, and if you are able to prove to some organizations that you have what it takes, you could easily land a job.
So, get those CVs and Cover Letters doing their job. Don’t just let them lie around.
Tip 7 – Never Give Up. Exercise Patience. Pray
When you have done all of the above and even more, you should never give up even if things appear not to be going the way you want. You need to exercise some patience and remain positive. There is power in thinking positive. It’s not the end of the world.
Also, meditate and pray. No matter the God you are serving, there is power in prayers.