By: Sinead Creaner. Last Updated: July 2023

How to Convince Your Boss to Pay for Your Education

Job Hunting When You Don’t Yet Have Your Qualification in Your Hand

You’ve done everything you were meant to… you’ve completed all your studies, handed in your assignments, finished all your exams… but you STILL don’t have your qualification in your hand.

Sound familiar?

This situation can feel incredibly frustrating. Especially since there isn’t anything you can do to speed up the process, it’s completely out of your hands.

So what can you do to wrestle back some control of the situation?

The first thing to remember is that not having your qualification certificate in your hand right now doesn’t impact your ability to apply for jobs.

That statement might be a little difficult to accept, but it’s true. Most people would prefer the confidence that comes with holding the piece of paper before they start the process of job hunting but it’s honestly just not necessary.

The thought of putting yourself out there and applying for jobs can be a little scary. People often want the “perfect” conditions before they’ll even consider sending out that first application. But as we’ve seen time and time again with our students, job hunting success can come long before “perfect” conditions.

So what should you do?

  1. Accept the things you cannot change, but change the thing you can
  2. Keep these points in mind
  3. Take a job hunting course to land that job & get on with your life as quickly as possible

1. Accept the things you cannot change BUT change the thing you can

First things first – when you get your qualification is always out of your control (as long as you’ve completed all the course work, assignments and exams). There is nothing you can do now to speed that up. Worrying about it will certainly not make your qualification arrive any faster.

So what can you do?

The one thing you are in absolute control of is when you start job hunting.

Job hunting is not a quick process. Every application will probably involve CV submission/review and several rounds of interviewing as a minimum. Each of these stages takes time and the only point at which you might be asked to provide your degree certificate is at the very end, when you’re being offered the job. Even if you applied for a job today, that point would likely be weeks away.

And it’s not what you want to hear right now, but it’s incredibly unlikely that you’ll get the first job you apply for. What more likely is that you’ll progress to different points in various applications before finally landing that dream job offer. That all takes more time.

The sooner you start job hunting, the sooner you’ll have the job you want and can start the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Start. Job. Hunting. NOW.


2. Keep these points in mind

Here are some points to keep in mind …

Employers want people who are enthusiastic and proactive.

Industry employers have told us that they prioritise people simply for having the initiative to be enrolled on a programme and it’s a big positive for them that you’ve already completed your studies and are just waiting for your final qualification. You were a suitable candidate while studying so you’re certainly a suitable candidate now you’re finished studying and are just waiting on the piece of paper.

In fact, not waiting is actually a huge positive as it proves two things to employers – you are enthusiastic and you are proactive. These are two traits that employers find very valuable in candidates.

Watch this video from Abbott about the top qualities they are looking for when they interview someone. You’ll notice that they don’t once say “that they can hand me a copy of their qualification there and then”.

There is nothing left to be learned at University – you have all the technical knowledge.

You have been taught everything your lecturers are going to teach you. You now have all the technical knowledge you’re going to get from the university. Getting your grades and qualification won’t teach you anything new.

While it can be daunting to face interviews, you’re prepared with all the technical knowledge you need. It’s time to move forward and start your job hunt so that you can start the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Employers Understand Your Situation

Over 50% of GetReskilled students have already secured a new role before they graduate.

We don’t say that to make you feel bad, rather to give you confidence that the knowledge you have is certainly enough and that employers really do understand your situation. It is not strange, odd or unusual to be job hunting without the final piece of paper in your hand.

In fact, watch some of this interview with employers at a recent careers fair, they explicitly say ‘don’t wait, start your application now!’

Education Verification Departments Exist to Help You

Where an employer does need confirmation of your studies, universities have an Education Verification Department whose sole responsibility it is to respond to verification requests from employers.

You can either contact them directly and ask them to provide an official letter or you can pass on their details to the employer to follow up. It is worth noting that some universities charge for this service, the employer will have built the cost of this into the job interview process.

This link here is a list of all the Education Verification Departments in UK Universities.

So next time you’re feeling wary about hitting send on an application – remember these points and remind yourself that you’re qualified, you’re an exciting candidate, and your application is worth an employers time.

3. Take a Job Hunting Course, Get Your Job & Start Your Life

Job hunting is not about luck. It’s about hard work, and perseverance – skills you have already proved you have in spades because you just finished your university studies.

The biggest kept secret about job hunting is that it is a skill. A skill you need to be taught. A skill that you might not have been taught at university.

You can test your own skill level with this short quiz…

How did you do? Do you maybe still need to be taught what the older generations haven’t bothered to tell you yet?

If so, our advice is to take a job hunting course. You probably already feel overwhelmed – don’t add unnecessary job rejections to the pile. Click here to learn more about the GetReskilled Advanced Job Hunting Course for University Graduates.

About the Author

Programme Coordinator GetReskilled

Sinead Creaner

Partnership Director and Programme Coordinator

Sinead Creaner is a Programme Coordinator with GetReSkilled – meaning she helps students reach their goals with dedicated pastoral support. Over the last years, she has worked with hundreds of students by being their “Jiminy Cricket” when they need it.

She works primarily with our Springboard+ and BSc students. She has extensive international experience having lived, studied and worked in Ireland, Singapore, Australia, Boston MA and London UK over the last 12-years.

In her spare time, Sinead has published the definitive biography on the artworks of Brother Joseph McNally, a leading Irish missionary and educator in Singapore for 50-years and her book “The Life and Artworks of Brother Joseph McNally” was launched as part of the Singapore-Ireland Fund’s McNally Legacy project.