How to make UCAS points irrelevant

Graduate scheme applications take a long time. From entering your name at step 1, to clicking submit, It can take 30 seconds for the rejection email to come through. All that work for nothing. Such a senseless waste of data.

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I feel your pain. I went through this cycle also. Inputting your GCSE grades 10 times a night is nobody’s idea of fun. It takes resilience. In my case, I received rejections due to the numerical deficiency of my UCAS points. Anything less than 300 triggers the “rejection” email. Mine were less than 300.

UCAS points can represent a barrier to some people. The person who graduates from university is vastly different from the person who took those A Levels, yet recruiters still use your performance at this time as a differentiator between candidates. In my view, they miss out on some hugely talented individuals by doing this. It is cold comfort if you are the one with low UCAS points. If you are in that boat, here is what you can do.

Pick Your Mark

Often, it is the big graduate schemes that place importance on UCAS points. This is because they receive hundreds of applications. They have to whittle down the pile somehow, and UCAS points help them to do this. Their application process is automated.

SMEs and lesser known companies are a great option. They will be looking for someone who can make an immediate impact to their business. As a graduate embarking on a new career, this can be an invaluable opportunity. You will be exposed to challenges more impactful and of greater variety. Your learning curve can be often much steeper, and as a result, more valuable.

SMEs will be less interested in your UCAS points. They will be interested in who you are and what you can offer. Your application is more likely to be read in its entirety, giving you more of an opportunity to state your claim.

Check out the opportunities at the Manchester Airport Group on Kloodle

Network Furiously

There is an old adage that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Knowing the right people could help provide your next career path. By expanding your network, you are increasing your chances of stumbling across opportunities that are perfect for you. The Student Times has some great posts with advice on how to network.. This is well worth a read.

You may not know anybody to begin with. Networking is a brick by brick process. You may feel you have no grounds to speak to certain people, especially people you deem to be superior. One approach I have used in the past is to ask them to do an interview for my blog. People are more than happy to answer questions on their career. Write up the article, thank them for their time and you will have built a strong relationship. You can then go back and ask for advice, help and careers tips.

Knowing the right people and impressing them with how helpful, knowledgeable and personable you are can instantly bypass the need for UCAS points. PRO TIP – add value to them before you ask them to do anything for you.

For further networking advice, check out this blog post on Kloodle:

Lifelong Learning

University is less about what you learn, and more about how you learn. It equips you with the skills you need to become an effective learner for the rest of your life. It is easy to think of finishing university as the end of learning. This mentality should be avoided like the plague. You should be continually learning. This attitude can be the difference between getting a career and missing out.

With the advent of new technologies and a truly global economy, skill requirements for careers are ever changing. Lifelong learning will enable you to remain employable and ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
Why not learn a language? Learn to code a computer? Read about sales and networking? Learn to write effectively? Such skills can have a huge impact on your career. With some tenacity, creativity and motivation, you can teach yourself these skills. By investing a little of your time, you can propel your career into the stratosphere.

I’ve tried to learn computer programming in my spare time. Here is my account of how I did it: .

Internships, Work Experience and Years in Industry

The best way of launching your career is to generate a strong relationship with the person who is responsible for hiring you. Internships, work experience or a year in industry are a great way to do this. Plenty of organisations now run programmes such as these. By undertaking such a program, you can develop a relationship with the person responsible for hiring long before the time comes to send in your application.
By doing great work, contributing to the team, being helpful, personable and fitting in to the organisation, you are providing a company with every excuse to hire you. Internships, work experience and years in industry are great ways to show this to a potential future employer and to be at the forefront of their mind when they are hiring their next grad.
Evidencing your work experiences on your Kloodle profile is a great way to market yourself to a potential employer.

Marketing yourself

In this day and age, we have a plethora of tools at our disposal to market ourselves effectively to a potential employer. Gone are the days of the boring CV. We can now demonstrate our credentials with dynamic, interesting content. We can upload videos showing how we raised £500 running a marathon for charity. We can keep a blog journal about our gap year to South America, chronicling our learnings and musings. We can upload work we do at university, work that we work tremendously hard to complete, but never gets seen by anybody but ourselves and our tutor. This work should impress others – impress them so much as they hire you for your skills and ability.

By evidencing our employability, and by documenting our skills, we maximise our chances of getting a career. UCA points are suddenly pointless. People can see what we are really made of, what we can really offer a company. You are no longer a number – you are a living, breathing, interesting individual. This is the premise of Kloodle and how we want everybody to be judged, by the extent of their achievements and personality as opposed to qualifications alone. Create your Kloodle profile today  .

And the best way to be most employable? Do interesting things.

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