Should You Include GPA on Your Resume? For potential employers, your GPA provides a quick indicator of your accomplishments at a university or college. It’s no small feat to win your courses semester after semester, so when it comes time to share your CV with employers, a high GPA can be a strong selling point.
If you are currently in college or soon graduating, these tips can help you decide whether or not to include your GPA on your resume, as well as show where and how to include it correctly.
In high school and college, job seekers tend to include their GPA in their CVs, particularly if these GPA is strong (generally above 3.5). However, after college, it can be difficult to know when to remove this decimal number from your resume. If you have a good GPA, it is an asset on your resume.
If not, it may harm your candidacy. This is especially the case when employers are looking for competing candidates who have outperformed in school.
The GPA listed in the Education section of your resume can help or hurt your chance of getting an interview. Make sure you know when to include this information, and when to leave it.
When to include GPA on your resume
There is no set rule on whether to keep or remove your GPA from your resume after college. However, the general guideline is that during the first or second year after college it is a good idea to keep your GPA on your resume.
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This is especially true if you have a very high GPA – around 3.5 or higher. As a recent college graduate with limited work experience, your GPA can be a major reflection of your skillset, your work ethic, and your personal drive for success.
In some cases, the employer may specifically request your GPA in the job advertisement or application. Make sure to include it when required, so that it gets your application full consideration.
When to include GPA on your resume
Generally speaking, you should include your GPA in the resume if:
- A potential employer requires a GPA on appeal
- You are applying for your first job
- You have been out of school for less than 3 years
- Your GPA is 3.5 and above
This is self-evident, but if your employer asks you to include a GPA on your resume, you should respect that regardless of your GPA score.
If you are still in college or this is one of the first jobs you are applying for, of course, you have little or no work experience. This is when your GPA can be taken as an indicator of your performance. But remember, only if your GPA is higher than 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
A score below 3.5 is not particularly noteworthy and can actually reduce your chances of being hired.
When Not to Include a GPA on Your Resume
Once you have 2-3 years of work experience it is time to remove your GPA from your resume. At this point in life, your work experience speaks more of your skills than your old GPA.
Abandon your previous academic success, and use this extra space on your resume to provide an example of doing more recent work. This will show employers that you are not “resting on your laurels” after school, but that you have matured into a future-looking professional who is now fully involved in your career.
Also, be sure to leave your high school GPA once you have been in college for a year or two. At this point, you have a college GPA that you can include instead (unless that’s too low). Again you don’t want to include your GPA when it is not too high. In particular, leave your GPA if it is 3.0 or lower. You can leave it outside of your CV even when you are still a student.
Do employers check your GPA?
The truth is that many small businesses do not care about your GPA, and therefore, you will likely not validate the result. However, large companies often expect to see your GPA – in fact, 67% of companies said they screened candidates on their GPA, according to a survey.
Likewise, in 2018 when the National Confederation of Colleges and Employers asked employers about the impact of the traits that employers look for on candidates’ CVs – a high GPA was rated 3.4 on a 5-point scale, which is a fairly high impact:
Should you include your GPA on your entry level resume?
The answer is simple: include it if your GPA will help you or will be, at worst, neutral. Do not include your GPA if it will harm you.
The general rule of thumb is to include a grade point average of B (ex: GPA: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher. While this rule applies to most jobs, it is not absolute. Some jobs and some employers may require a higher base floor. For example, many government jobs and many elite employers set a 3.5 / 4.0 GPA as a minimum. And if you are applying to graduate school, it can go up to 3.8 / 4.0, especially if you are considering medical school.
But for most jobs, 3.0 / 4.0 is the general minimum GPA to include on your resume. So what to do if you don’t have an average 3.0 GPA? You can take two different approaches. If your GPA is higher than 3.0 for your major (which can sometimes be the case for college students who had a low GPA in the first year and demanded it gradually in later years), you can list your GPA like this: 4.0 scale. The second way is to leave it outside of your resume entirely.
Where to put your GPA on your resume
Place your GPA in the education section of your resume, along with any other academic achievements or grades. Ensure that you follow the appropriate format by listing your GPA either on its own line, or after the name of your degree.
Additionally, place your education section at the top of your resume if you have minimal work experience.
Once you gain more work experience, employers will shift their focus to your work experience rather than your education. In this case, put your education section at the bottom of your resume.