- Groundwork -
dealing with poor grades
by fergus mellon
In the US, Graduating with less than a 3.0 (in the UK this can be the equivalent of graduating with a 2:2 or a 3rd) can be a handicap. It can rule you out from many of the prestigious graduate training schemes. That said all is not lost.
While having a poor grade will mean it is more difficult to get access to the graduate schemes, most college graduates do not get these opportunities either. There are so many graduates (more than 1.5m in the US each year) that there are not enough places to go around..
So what to do? Do not give up on your dream job!
Even though it may seem like you have failed by getting below a 3.0, it just means that you did not apply yourself to your degree. If asked about your grade, don’t beat around the bush and make excuses. Say that you learnt a lesson and wished you had got a high grade, but also talk about the other activities that you did at college that took your attention from your studies. One pretty open secret is that social skills and the ability to get on with other people (aka Inter-Personal Skills) are what most employers look for. If you can demonstrate these, plus demonstrate that you have learnt your lesson and want to succeed your grade won't matter. Many people assume that the reason for a low grade is too much time spent socializing, and that one outcome from “too much socializing” is a rounded personality which most employers value.
Next Section: Responding to Recruiters or skip to The Interview
Visiting these pages because you've been to a number of interviews and not yet got a job? Don't worry. Or if you're worrying know that it's common for a job search to take months and not days. Here are some related columns on keeping motivated and dealing with the stress of it all:
Keeping Positive During Your Job Search
Dealing With Rejection and Feedback
Overwhelmed? Try a Mental Refresh