Doomed forever? Or is there hope yet?


Hi all, first post here so apologies if I’m doing something wrong.

I have recently graduated with a 2:2 degree in economics from uni of sheffield and am looking to apply for an accounting graduate scheme, as you’ve already guessed though, I’m having issues with the 2:2 part as the majority of firms ask for a 2:1. There are a very small number of firms that accept a 2:2 and even then, they are either not recruiting at this time or are already full, etc…

My question is that is there any hope for me at all for applying and getting an interview for a firm that asks for a 2:1? I know I don’t have any hope for the big 4 or any large significant medium sized firms too, ideally I am looking for a small or small-medium firm to employ me and pay for my ACCA or ACA exams.

I figure that the only way I can convince them to even interview me is by explaining on my application form that despite my 2:2, I am still a suitable candidate for the job but this is the part I’m having problems with. I don’t have any specific reasons for not getting a 2:1 or anything really, the only approach I’m really able to take is that I had an eye opener during my university years and am now a new man, with a different approach to my degree and career… The way I’m making this work is by saying I had a few domestic issues which led me to failing 3 modules in my 2nd year and when I retook them, they were capped at 40. This meant I had to work extra hard in my final year to salvage anything out of my degree, and I managed a 2:2 out of it.

I was wondering if anyone here would be able to offer any advice on what else I could say or do to improve my application form/convince the recruiters that I’m not a total failure? Or am I doomed? If it helps, I’ve managed the 300 ucas points bit, it’s just the 2:2 that’s holding me back.

Many thanks in advance for reading.


Repo, welcome to the WikiJob forums.
I know many firms will take into account any extenuating circumstances, so your best bet is to have a word with the graduate recruitment/hr people and see what they say. Obviously they could say no, but if they feel that you would have done better without those circumstances, especially considering you have the 300 UCAS points so I’d say you would be expected to get a 2:1.
So before applying to anywhere wanting 2:1 or higher phone them up and see if they’ll consider you, it is worth a go.
Good luck in your job hunt!
P.s. have you considered businesses rather than just accountancy firms?



Many thanks for your reply, your advice is much appreciated. I think you’re right in the sense that my best bet is to give them a call before I apply. So far I have been applying anyway and not getting anywhere which as you can imagine is very frustrating. I think the only problem I would have here though is explaining a good enough reason for not getting a 2:1.

I’m also looking at businesses, not only accounting or financial firms, apologies if I wasn’t clear earlier. Absolutely anyone really, that would employ me and pay for my accounting examinations!

Thanks again for your reply and also for the welcome. If anyone else has anything to add please feel free!


Hi Repo, I’ve heard direct from the horse’s mouth (at a conference for Grad Recruiters!) that if you’re stuck with a 2.2 you should always give the HR Department a call and speak to them directly about your application. What’s the worse that could happen? It’s true that in more challenging times paper sifting the application form is inevitably a little more brutal, however if you speak to someone from the company and explain your situation, they may be able to put your form further up the pile. Another good way of getting around this is to visit careers fairs, where you can meet face-to-face with employers - often (although not always) employers make a note of who they have spoken to that really impressed them and will flag up any applications that come through from those people.
Good luck!


Many thanks for your comments Sarah, it seems that the way forward is, as mentioned, calling up the firm before applying. I agree that it is a good idea and may also get you some brownie points with the firm. I’ll definitely be giving it a go from now on. Many thanks for your input guys, you’ve been a great help!