To include your GPA in the resume or not to include it, that is the question.
When you are in school, your GPA seems to be the most important estimate of your success. But is it really that important to your prospective employer?
To create a great resume, you need to carefully choose which components are relevant and important enough to include on your resume.
To help you make the right choice, we have created a short guide to everything you need to know about the GPA on the resume.
This guide includes:
- What is a GPA?
- When to include GPA on a resume;
- When you shouldn’t include it;
- If employers really care about it;
- How and where to include it on your resume;
- If you must include it on your LinkedIn.
What is a GPA?
Your GPA, which is short for Grade Point Average, is a number that assesses how well you did during the entirety of your study program. It is intended to place you on a GPA scale between 1.0 and 4.0, with 4.0 being the perfect score.
The average GPA is 2.8, yet just a value above 3.5 on a 4.0 scale is impressive enough to include on your resume.
There are a few different types of GPA, however, only two of them are relevant to your resume: General GPA and Core GPA.
- General GPA refers to the overall grade for all the courses you took in college.
- Higher GPA consider only the qualifications you earned in your stated specialty.
Simply choose the one that is highest. Also, you should look up your main GPA when it is most relevant to the job you are applying for.
Should you put a GPA on your resume?
The truth is, adding this component to your resume is optional. So it can be a bit tricky to decide whether to include your GPA on the resume or not.
In some cases, yes, it can be a good way to highlight your good performance, however, in other cases, it can hurt your chances of landing a job.
When to include a GPA on your resume
Generally, you should Include your GPA on the resume if:
- Your potential employer requests GPA on the resume
- You are applying for your first job
- Has been out of school for less than 3 years
- Your GPA is 3.5 and above
It goes without saying, but if an employer requests that you include a GPA on your resume, then they must adhere to it regardless of how well your GPA scores.
If you are still in college or this is one of the first jobs you apply forYou naturally have little or no relevant work experience. This is when your GPA can be seen as an indicator of your performance. But remember, only if your GPA is above 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
A score lower than 3.5 is not particularly noteworthy and may actually lower your chances of being hired.
When not to include the GPA on a resume
In some cases, including a GPA score on your resume can also be a pretty bad decision.
Avoid including your GPA on the resume if:
- Your GPA is less than 3.5
- Has been out of school for more than 3 years
- This is not your first job application.
A score below 3.5 is not bad, however it is not worth mentioning either. Many people have a grade point average, which means they won’t stand out. Instead, you will blend in with everyone else.
Also, your potential employer may consider a lower GPA as an indicator of weak work ethics.
There comes a time when your GPA just becomes less important. Trust us, you don’t want to be the 36-year-old who still flaunts his GPA every chance he gets.
So when you are out of school for more than 3 years or have had a job before, relevant work experience and career achievements matter much more.
Do employers check your GPA? And how important is it really?
The truth is, many small businesses don’t care about your GPA and therefore likely won’t verify the validity of the score.
However, large companies often expect to see your GPA. In fact, 67% of companies said they selected candidates based on their GPA, According to a survey.
Similarly, in 2018, when the National Association of Colleges and Employers asked employers about the influence of attributes employers look for on a candidate’s resume, a high GPA of 3.4 was scored on a 5-point scale, which represents a moderately high influence:
As you can see from the chart above, your GPA influences employer views even more than your extracurricular activities, study abroad, or volunteer work.
Also, in a Forbes interview with Dan Black, the director of recruiting for the Americas at Ernst & Young, says about GPA: “It’s really one of the only indications we have of a student’s technical ability or competence to do the job.”
So do employers check your GPA? As you can see, very often they do.
It’s important to be honest, as employers typically request a copy of a student’s transcript in one-third of the cases. After all, you don’t want to be remembered for lying on your resume, do you?
How do you put a GPA on your resume?
If you decide to include GPA on your resume, there are a few things to consider.
Where do I include it? Should I round it? If so, do I round up or down? What is the difference between cumulative and overall GPA? Or should I use my main GPA instead?
Don’t worry, read on to get all the answers.
Where do I put my GPA on my resume?
First of all, it is important to know where to put your GPA on your resume. You have two options:
1. Education section
Put your GPA directly in the education section of your resume. It should look something like this:
2. Achievements section
Alternatively, you can include your GPA in the achievement section of your resume. However, when you decide to go this option, your GPA score should be very high.
What about rounding up your GPA?
Yes, you can round your GPA on the resume. However, you should just round to one decimal. In some cases, it shouldn’t round at all. And finally, you may even have to round down.
How many decimal places should a GPA score have? The standard is a decimal.
Here are some examples:
- 3.49 GPA would be Rounding up to 3.5
- 3.43 GPA would be round down to 3.4
- 3.98 GPA would be round down to 3.9 – this is because 4.0 GPA is reserved for perfect score, which is not rounded and is truly 4.0 (consider leaving it at 3.98 in such a case)
A correct rounding of a GPA on your resume is particularly important in areas such as banking, investing, and finance. Learn how to make your banking resume stand out.
Cumulative average grade? Higher GPA? Overall GPA?
It may seem a bit confusing. But here is a simple table of differences:
- Cumulative average grade: An average grade for a particular semester or term from a particular institute.
- General GPA: An average of all cumulative GPAs.
- Higher GPA: An average based on all upper division courses attempted in the core department or required by the specialty.
Basically, your potential employer doesn’t care what GPA you earned during a particular semester or period. They care about your absolute performance, which is judged on the basis of your overall GPA.
Therefore, use general GPA on your resume.
A higher GPA can also be used on your resume. Sometimes it’s even better to use a grade point average. instead of the general GPA. This is when your main GPA is higher than the overall GPA or when your major is highly relevant to the job you are applying for.
Should I mention a GPA on my LinkedIn profile?
Well, basically everything we’ve mentioned regarding GPA on resumes applies to LinkedIn as well. Put your GPA on LinkedIn if you are still a student or recently graduated and your GPA is impressive – 3.5 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale.
Do not put GPA on your resume if it is less than 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and if you have had any work experience after graduating from college. As you gain work experience, the GPA becomes less important to your potential employer.
Here’s everything you need to know about a GPA on a resume:
- Include your GPA on the resume if:
- Do not include your GPA on the resume if:
- Your GPA is less than 3.5
- Has been out of school for more than 3 years
- It is not your first job application.
- Large companies often expect to see your GPA because it is one of the only indications of a student’s ability and performance. And yes, they do.
- When you decide to include your GPA on your resume, put it in the education section or in the achievement section.
- You should round up or down your GPA score so that you only have one decimal place. Please do so with caution.
- Use overall GPA or core GPA depending on which is higher.
- You can also put GPA on your LinkedIn profile; it is optional and the same rules apply.
You must carefully select which components are relevant and important enough to include on your resume in order to create a great resume. We’ve got you covered with these resume guides and cover letters: