How do I convey university grades when applying internationally?
November 3, 2010 5:17 AM Subscribe
I'm a physics graduate trying to sell myself to potential employers in a variety of industries. One of the points I'm trying to emphasize when applying is that I did comparatively well at university. However, I'm unsure how to best convey that fact to international employers.
posted by themel to Work & Money (10 answers total)
- In Austria, where my degree is from, there is a 1-5 grade system with 1 best. My degree comes with a 1.16 weighted average. Do I mention this? There is a suffix attached to my degree that indicates that my average is <= 1.5 ("mit Auszeichnung"), but I think the 1.16 is about another standard deviation above that.
- In addition, since universities are free, average degree completion times vary quite a bit. Completing studies within the curricular time frame is comparatively rare and usually indicates a higher degree of commitment to one's studies. I did this.
- Then, there's the entire question of degree naming - mine's a five-year degree (pre-Bologna-process) called a "Diplomingenieur" in the German tradition. It's equivalent to what they're selling as a master's degree nowadays (they've just chopped the first three years off and give people a bachelor degree after them). How do I indicate this? I've called it a "five-year degree" so far.
Now, I'm somewhat conflicted about how to communicate this - I don't want to spend half my cover letter rambling about how all these specifics indicate that I did really well at university, but I think the usual half-sentence in my cover-letter ("Besides excelling in my coursework, I ") also doesn't quite do it justice. Ideas, hive mind? Recipients are currently in the UK and Switzerland.
More specific subquestion: I've seen UK job ads refer to their system of degree classification, but I'm unsure whether I should try to refer to my guesstimates ("probably equivalent to first-class degree", haha) or just rely on the usual. If I apply to stuff that says "second-class degree or better from a well-known university", will they just chuck my application for being foreign?