I recently applied for a graduate internship. The candidate specification required a recent degree (2013,2014,2015). I graduated in 2012 but decided to apply anyway.

I received an email offering an interview. After accepting it, however, I was told that because of the age of my degree I am not eligible.

This is completely understandable but I am dismayed by this as the job did seem like a perfect fit for me. How do I suggest that the employer makes an exception for me and at least offers me an interview?

  • 1
    Do they give reasons for why they only want "recent" degrees? 2012 is not that long ago. – David K Nov 6 '15 at 13:15
  • @DavidK I didn't see any specific reason. I don't think I can check now- the applications are closed and I assume the advert has been taken down. – Studoku Nov 6 '15 at 13:19
  • Well if you are still interested in talking to them, the first step would be to ask them why they have that policy. It could be that is an "entry level" job only, and you no longer qualify as you've been (presumably) working for the past three years. – David K Nov 6 '15 at 13:24
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    "the job did seem like a perfect fit for me" - why do you think it was a perfect fit (even though you are no longer a recent graduate according to their definition). You should probably make a case for this in your cover letter or call the recruiter and try to get a chance to state your case verbally (e-mails are likely to be ignored at this point). You have to think from their perspective though. "It's a good fit for me" is not good enough. It must be a good fit for both parties. – Brandin Nov 6 '15 at 14:55

That specific opportunity is almost certainly gone. I think the moral here is that if you're know you're outside the specification for a role (or anything else in life, for that matter) you:

  1. Flag it up early in the application process - under no circumstances try and hide the fact, even implicitly.
  2. Explain why you think your case should be treated exceptionally - for example, an explanation of what you've been doing for the past three years which means that you are still the sort of candidate they're looking for on a graduate scheme.
  • 3
    Thanks for the advice. In hindsight I probably should have mentioned the degree on the covering letter rather than just including the completion date when I mentioned that. – Studoku Nov 6 '15 at 13:46

It is common practice to omit graduation year, and dates in general from CV in order to avoid situations like this. This is widespread dirty trick cut off over-thirty crowd while avoiding age discrimination charges. What strikes me is fact that employer is able to demand grad year without getting into legal troubles. If I were you, I would lawyer up and fight.

  • 1
    Getting a lawyer for an internship? – scaaahu Aug 22 '20 at 12:59

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