Whether you've spent countless nights studying, sacrificing social time, and meeting deadlines to earn a high GPA, or you've faced challenges that may have impacted your academic performance, you're now faced with a common question: should you include your GPA on your resume?
We completely understand the pressure and uncertainty that comes with this decision, no matter what your GPA is.
So, let's explore the pros and cons of including your GPA on your resume, and help you make the best decision for your career goals and aspirations.
If you don’t have a ton of time, here’s a TLDR that answers 50% of your questions. We’ll go into more detail about specific situations in the rest of the article.
Include your GPA only if you’re a student or recent graduate and your GPA is 3.5 or higher. If you have a low GPA or have been out of school for a while, your GPA does not belong on your resume. If this is the case, no problem — we’ll cover alternative ways to highlight your incredible skill set.
When to put your GPA on your resume
You’ve worked hard, and you want potential employers to know it. An impressive GPA can draw attention to your credentials and academic achievements.
If you are a recent grad, you probably don’t have a ton of work experience. Your high GPA will show how qualified you are for the position anyway, especially if you’re applying for a job within your field of study. If you were a marketing major and you’re now applying for a role at an advertising agency, for instance, your high GPA will be an asset.
We’ve identified some general rules to help you decide whether or not to include your GPA in your resume.
Add your GPA to your resume if:
- Your potential employer specifically requests it.
- You have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
- You are still in school.
- You are applying for your first job after graduating.
- You have graduated within the last 2 or 3 years.
- You are applying for an entry-level job.
- You did not graduate with the Latin honors title (which already implies a high GPA).
Where to put your GPA on your resume
If you’ve decided that putting your GPA on your resume is the right move, do it strategically:
Here’s an example of a GPA on a resume:
Add it in the education section, right under your degree. As universities sometimes use different grading systems, use a backslash (/) to specify what your GPA score is ‘out of.’ The denominator can make a difference because in some schools, for instance, an A+ is a GPA score of 4.5.
Under your GPA, list your awards,relevant coursework, major projects, extracurriculars and practicums.
Overall, deciding how to format your GPA on your resume can be tricky. To elevate your education section and tackle any unanswered questions, check out our recent post The Must-Haves When Writing Your Education on Your Resume.
When not to put your GPA on your resume
So, while a GPA on your resume could work to your advantage, sometimes it’s better to leave it out completely.
If your GPA is below 3.5, you may feel disheartened now that you are unable to include. We promise — years from now your GPA will never come up.
Plus, if you don’t have an impressive GPA, you can still stand out as the talented and hardworking candidate that you are.
How to highlight your education without a high GPA
You passed the courses and gained all the skills that come along with them, which you can highlight without mentioning your grade.
Let’s say, for instance, you just finished a degree in computer science and are looking for a job in the field. List coursework that showcases your relevant skills — UX design? Data analysis? Technical writing?
Insert keywords that will really make your resume stand out from the crowd. Take advantage of our Application Tracking Systems keyword search tool to make sure you're using the right language for your industry.
Use the tool below to get a list of skills and keywords relevant to the industry or role you're interested in.
Again, if you are a current student or recent graduate with a high GPA, do it!
If you’ve been out of school for a while, and/or have a GPA under 3.5, don’t do it!
We hope that this post has been helpful. Once you’ve put our advice into action, we’re happy to review it for you. In fact, you can even put it to the test using our free Score My Resume tool below:
Frequently Asked Questions:
We’ll leave you with some FAQs about GPAs on resumes.
Will employers hire candidates with low GPAs?
Yes and no.
Some companies will actually ask candidates for their GPAs. This could be due to GPA cutoffs, which means that they will only consider candidates with a certain GPA or higher.
Also, certain industries place a higher emphasis on academic achievements than others, such as engineering and finance.
On the other hand, if the role you are applying for involves creative or hands-on work, your GPA may not be as relevant as your performance and portfolio.
How do you format your GPA on your resume?
Write your GPA as shown in the above example, with two decimal places.
If you earned a spot on the Dean’s list, put it on the same line as your GPA. Indicate which academic year(s) you received the title.
If you achieved honors, write summa cum laude in place of a GPA score.
Should you list your major or cumulative GPA?
Your major GPA is your average grade earned in the courses related to your major. Your cumulative GPA is the average of all your courses combined.
If they are both higher than 3.5, list them both. If your major GPA is much higher than your cumulative GPA, or vice versa, only list one.
Can you round up your GPA on your resume?
Instead of rounding up, use the first two decimal places..
Rounding up your GPA would be lying. Instead, focus on your other projects and experiences that got you where you are today.