,   |  November 7, 2012

Q&A: Should I put my GPA on my resume?

Yesterday a reader submitted a great question that many students probably wonder about: “Should I put my GPA on my resume?”  In the world of internships and entry level jobs, some companies will require this information and some won’t put too much weight on it.  It really depends.

Here’s my guidance on when you should put your GPA on your resume:

1. If you have a strong GPA – Strong is a relative term can mean different things across majors, universities, etc. A 3.5 and above could actually give you a leg up in the interview process because it is really high.  The general rule of thumb is not to include anything lower than a 3.0 but use your best judgement and know you do not have to put it on there if you’re unsure.

If your major GPA is higher than your overall GPA, feel free to list that one instead – but specify so you are not misleading.  If both GPAs (your major and your overall) are strong, list them both.

2. If you are a student or recent grad – If you don’t have a lot of professional experience, GPA, coursework, large projects (i.e. a thesis), academic honors (i.e. Deans list), and clubs/affiliations all will be looked at and should be included when possible in the education section of your resume.

After you’ve started working and developing professional experience, GPA and other academic accomplishments will take a back seat.  As you get more senior in your career (especially if you have 5 or more years of solid experience) feel free to cut out GPA and other academic related information to make way for your work experience and accomplishments.

3. If it’s asked for – If there is a minimum GPA requirement listed in the job description or if it is explicitly asked for elsewhere, you should include it on your resume.  Not including it will look like you are omitting and might even disqualify you during the resume screening process.  If you see a minimum GPA requirement listed and you are very close, you might want to consider emailing a contact at the company explaining why your GPA misses the mark and asking if you can still apply.

The bucket that has the most ambiguity here is if you fall into group 2 but don’t fall into group 1.  In this case (unless it is specifically asked for) I say leave it off. Employers will ask if they need it!

Have a question you want to see answered? Email me at [email protected] and I’ll cover it in a future post.

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