As addictive a drug as academic excellence can be, it is prudent to invest some time in activities other than studying. This is because recruiters are seeking more than just book smarts in their prospective new employees. A well-rounded graduate with a 2:1 degree, some work experience and a few interesting extracurricular activities on their CV will stand a much greater chance of being employed than a student who has only a First-class degree to show for their three years at university.
Take a look through the graduate and postgraduate roles on CareersLink and you’ll see that many only require you to possess a 2:1 degree, whilst some programmes will accept a 2:2. It is being able to articulate how you have used the skills you have developed during your degree in real-world situations and your other experiences that will help you to stand out against other candidates – any internships, part-time jobs, volunteering work or society memberships you have racked up alongside your studies. According to the 2015 High Flyers Research report, over half of the UK’s top graduate recruiters will not offer a job to a student who possesses no previous work experience.
Of course, we’re not telling you to rest on your laurels and cast your textbooks aside. Continue working hard to get the degree grade you’d be happy with – just make sure to get involved in things outside the classroom too.