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When and How To Include Your GPA on Your Resume

Your GPA can be included on your resume, but, is it a good idea to list it? When and how should a GPA be listed on a resume to make it easier to get a job?

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 3 minute read

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When To Include Your GPA on Your Resume (and When Not To)

Creating a resume for the first time can be a daunting experience. After all, what should you include in your resume if you have no work experience? If you’re new to the workforce (for instance, you’re a high school or college student), you might be tempted to include your GPA (or grade point average) on your resume.

So should you include GPA? There are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to adding your GPA.

Include your GPA to your resume if:

  • You have a high GPA (3.5 or above).
  • You have limited work experience. Recent graduates will typically not have much experience under their belts, so including your GPA will demonstrate a sense of your work ethic going forward.
  • When it is requested in the job description. Just remember that a GPA on the middling or lower end is not a death knell to your job application. Your skills, training and any previous work experiences will say more about your current skills than a low GPA.

Do not add your GPA to your resume if:

  • You have more than two or three years of work experience. Typically, you will pick up various skills on the job and potential employers will be far more interested in that experience compared to a degree you obtained a few years prior.
  • You have advanced education credentials. For instance, a master’s degree carries more weight than listing a GPA from your undergraduate career.
  • You have a low GPA (i.e., under 3.0). Unless the job description requires it, listing a low GPA on your resume will only hurt your chances of obtaining the job.

Whether or not you decide to include your GPA on your resume typically depends on the above factors. You will also want to consider if your current work experience and skills are a better qualification for the job than just your GPA. Also keep your current education level in mind. No employer will want to know about your high school GPA if you are currently an undergraduate in college. Your most recent accomplishments will always be the most crucial element for any good resume.

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Where To List Your GPA on Your Resume

If you do decide to include your GPA, you should list it in the education section of your resume. Again, this decision will all depend on your current work experience. For instance, a managerial position will rely less on how high an applicant’s GPA is and more on the years of experience you’ve had in manager roles. If you are applying for an internship for the first time, your GPA might be more relevant to the application. Internships that are exclusively offered to undergraduates or recent graduates are more likely to ask for your GPA.

Listing your GPA might also be more relevant to specific jobs than others. For instance, if you are applying to be a teacher or teacher’s assistant, many schools will want to know if you have taken the right coursework and earned the right certifications during your college attendance to qualify for the role.

How To Present Your GPA on Your Resume

When you present your GPA on your resume, follow this format:

  • If you recently graduated from high school, you will want to format it like so: Institution name followed by GPA in parentheses.
  • If you recently graduated from college, you can also list your major GPA separately from the overall GPA (especially if it is higher).
  • The number after the decimal does matter, especially if you have a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Even if your school uses a different GPA scale, 3.5 or above is still noteworthy for employers.

While it might not be as critical to the job application as your work experience and other qualifications, your education still says something about your interests and desired career path. Indeed, many job applications for entry-level positions nowadays require candidates to at least have a bachelor’s degree in a specific field pertaining to the position. Therefore, the Education section should never be treated as an afterthought, even if you are applying for a senior or managerial position at a company.

If you are still having trouble knowing how to format your resume, ResumeHelp has tons of great tools for you to use. Our resume builder is an easy-to-use tool with plenty of resume templates, examples and key sample phrases to use that will help you stand out from other candidates. With this tool, you can be more confident in your chosen skill sets, experiences and target the aspects of the job description accurately to set you apart from the rest.

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FAQ: GPA on Resume

Have questions? We’re here to help.

A 3.0 GPA is not necessarily low. It might be better to say that it will neither help nor hinder your job application. In this instance, if you want to stand out in your job search and have other skills or experiences to feature, it might be best to leave your GPA off your resume for now. Instead, focus on:

  • Relevant coursework to the job
  • Internships or volunteer experience
  • Specific programs, technology or other equipment related to the position you have used

However, it is a good rule of thumb to note that any GPA under 3.5 won’t be all that noteworthy to recruiters. GPAs over 3.5 tend to signify that you are able to obtain high achievements, which can then translate into how hard you will work at this new job. Recruiters will feel more confident in hiring someone with a high GPA mainly due to the perceived effort it takes to reach the GPA.
There is one exception to the rule: if you have a difficult major. If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in something as complicated as chemical engineering or neuroscience, an average GPA of 3.0 or higher can indeed be impressive to recruiters who are hiring for entry-level positions.

Your GPA should only stay on your resume about one to two years after you graduate college. Many recent graduates tend to not have much, if any work experience, so listing your cumulative GPA can be a good testament to your future work ethic. Many hiring managers know that fresh graduates will be looking for jobs or internship opportunities, so they will not overlook your GPA as a factor in considering you as a potential candidate.

After a year or so has passed, you can list other education-related items other than your GPA on your resume. This includes:

  • Relevant coursework or programs you had taken during college
  • Honors such as appearing on the Dean’s List, gaining a magna cum laude, or other high achievements.
  • Your participation in any relevant extracurricular activities (i.e., you volunteered at your local library if you are applying to be a library assistant).

If the job application itself does not require you to include your GPA, it is best to leave it off for now. The hiring manager is more likely to look at your prior work experience, volunteer work, and other relevant information pertaining to the application instead.

If you feel that your GPA is relevant to the position at hand, you might want to include your cumulative GPA in your cover letter. For instance, if you are applying to a job on campus, hiring managers might want to know if you are able to maintain a steady load of coursework on top of any other extracurricular activities you might be involved in. Your GPA will then be a good indicator of your ability to balance your workload while maintaining high academic standards.

If you mention your GPA and coursework in your resume, then elaborating on the skills you have earned from your schoolwork can be a great addition to your cover letter if you have no prior work experience.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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