Essential tips and examples to make the right decision on including your gpa in your resume, especially if you have a low GPA.
The connection between GPA and landing your next job can be a bit of a blur. When do you need to include your GPA on your resume?
Depending on how much professional experience you have, including your GPA could either help or hurt your chances of landing an interview. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios to help you decide.
The very first step is to read job descriptions of positions you’re interested in applying to. If the job description says that GPA is required, you need to include it on your resume. No matter what your actual gpa is or how much professional experience you have.
Employers often filter out any resumes that exclude information such as GPA, either manually or automatically through Applicant Tracking System. If you’re applying for an entry-level position, there’s a good chance that employers will require you to provide your GPA. Some may even ask for a full grade transcript.
You should also include your GPA if it’s above a 3.5 and you have less than 1 year of full-time professional experience. Companies like this because they can learn a lot about candidates with little experience from their academic performance.
In some cases, it might be helpful to include a GPA that’s a little less than 3.5, especially if the employers know that your major or school was challenging.
Be sure to include your GPA along with the scale in the education section of the resume as shown in this server resume example below.
Let’s face it - there’s no way to completely hide your low GPA, especially if it’s required by the job description. However, many employers know that academic performance isn’t always the most accurate measure of how you’d perform in the job. There are a couple of things that you can do to make your candidacy stand a better chance.
One option is to split your GPA into different groups of coursework. For example, you could calculate your Major and Minor GPA separately, or between irrelevant and relevant coursework. This is ideal for someone who would be able to report a higher GPA from classes that are more relevant to the job opening. For example, if you’re applying to a role in finance and have performed well only in Math related courses, perhaps you can report on a separate Math GPA vs Non-Math GPA.
Another way to deal with a low GPA is to highlight any leadership experience and accomplishments beyond the classroom. Whether you’re a fresh graduate or a current student, there are always ways to get involved in community organizations and show initiative. Look up volunteering opportunities near you online.
The third way is to take additional courses and acquire certifications. As long as they’re listed in the right place on your resume, certifications can be an effective way to make your resume stand out.
See how this IT Specialist resume example uses certifications instead of a GPA to stand out.
As long as the job description doesn’t say that you need to include your GPA, omitting your GPA from your resume is an option.
Your high school GPA should be left off your resume once you’ve completed your first year in college, no matter how high it was.
If you have more than 2 years of professional experience, then you could leave the GPA off your resume especially if it's not stellar. At this point, your work experience will be more relevant to most employers evaluating your candidacy.
Remember, the point of a resume is to market yourself to employers in the best possible way to win an interview. GPA is not everything! There are many other sections on your resume that you can focus on to help you stand out from the crowd. See how this property manager resume example does this below.
It’s important to first find out if your job application requires you to include a GPA. If it’s not required, you should only include it if you have a high gpa and less than a year of work experience.
Be proactive about opportunities to make your resume stand out in other sections, especially if you don’t have an impressive GPA.