You’ve just graduated and are pursuing your first job out of school. With little to no jobs in your work experience section, you start wondering: “Should I put my GPA on my resume?” You might have noticed conflicting recommendations about putting grade point averages on resumes. And, often questions as to whether your cumulative GPA or weighted GPA should be included when you create a resume. This guide will help you decide whether to cite your GPA, when to do it, and how to do it. To get the best career possible, you need to have a top-notch resume. With limited relevant experience, you’ll have to prove your fit for the job. This means penning the perfect cover letter and figuring out how to write the perfect resume. For some, sharing your GPA might just give your resume the boost it needs.

When to Include Grade Point Averages

Here’s the tricky thing: There’s no golden rule when it comes to disclosing certain information on resumes. This is true for high school GPA calculator devices as well as college grade point averages, too.

Aren’t I Required to Disclose My GPA?

There are some companies that do, in fact, require applicants to share their GPAs. Likewise, there are some industries, like governmental institutions, that consider this common practice. It’s pretty clear what to do in those cases: If it’s required, you include it.

But Should I Volunteer My GPA?

Recruiters pay attention to GPAs, though not as much as to job experience and cultural fit. Cover letters seem to matter more as well, so don’t worry too much and focus on what matters the most. If your grades are stellar, disclosing your grade point average is indicative of how smart and hardworking you are. A proven educational track record is definitely something to leverage, particularly with limited work experience. However, if your grades are subpar, you send the wrong signal when writing resume-building information. It doesn’t matter how difficult the courses were or how many projects you were running on the side. No matter the extenuating circumstances, below-average grades can make you look like a slacker.

Key Takeaway: As you calculate your GPA, listing your impressive grades and skill set might signal you’re smart and hardworking. A below-average GPA is not something you want to volunteer.


So What GPAs Are Worth Mentioning?

Top of mind when writing your resume is figuring out whether or not your GPA is good enough to mention. To that end, let’s examine what grade point averages would in fact be deemed average.

The average GPA has been rising for decades. This phenomenon is often referred to as grade inflation. As the name suggests, there seems to be a surplus of increasingly high grades. In fact, the most commonly given grade in college is “A” (43% of all grades). Consider these letter grade bullet points:

  • During the Vietnam War era, the average grade was “C.” Now, the average grade would be the equivalent of a “B,” though “A” is most common.
  • GPAs vary between colleges and across majors. In general, students from private colleges seem to have higher GPAs. Likewise, students in the humanities get higher grades than students in engineering and social sciences.
  • GPAs depend on the method employed to calculate them. They may depend on the number of class graduates or specific colleges’ admission processes.

If there are no specific guidelines or requirements in the job description, think about whether or not it makes sense. For example, you should probably refrain from volunteering your GPA to hiring managers unless it’s a solid above-average score. Typical GPAs vary between colleges and majors. But as a general rule, you should refrain from including information on scores below a 3.0. In many (if not most) cases, anything below a 3.5 would be unimpressive. If you achieved a score between 3.7 and 4.0, you might want to consider mentioning it!


Which Grade Point Average Should I Provide?

You’ve probably created a spreadsheet of your grades to help you map your academic achievements and accomplishments. Using these grades, you’ve most likely determined if particular method of calculation makes your GPA work in your favor. Some transcripts explicitly provide you with various GPAs such as Major Option, General Major, and Overall GPA. It might turn out that the GPA calculated from core, in-major grades might be higher than your overall GPA. If you chose to share it, don’t do it without appropriate caveats. After all, you don’t want to try and push it through as a typical, all-inclusive GPA. Remember, some employers may require you to submit proof of your academic achievement, including calculating your high school GPA. This may be in the form of a transcript of your permanent academic record. While it may sound like a fairly obvious tip when penning your resume, don’t lie or be coy about your grades. Similarly, don’t lie about your limited experience or work history, as references are always checked.

How to Cite Your GPA

Before you start typing up your grade point average, make sure you know how to put your education on your resume. Assuming you have to list your GPA, be mindful of the scale. The standard American GPA score is calculated on a scale from 0 to 4.0. However, some colleges make it possible to score beyond a 4.0. If that’s the case with regard to your college GPA, you might have to round it down to a 4.0. Yes, a 4.3 is greater than a 4.0, but recruiters will assume a 4.0 score is perfect anyway. Being proud of your hard work is fine but make an effort to be humble. Coming off as though you’re boasting about your grade point average might put you at a disadvantage.

Note: Were you a double major who earned dual degrees at your university? If you disclose your GPA for one major, you should include your GPA for your second major. If you graduated from college, forget about sharing your high school GPA. Always go with the most recent institution.

Bonus tip: In some cases, you might be able to include your impressive one-off GPA success in the achievements section.

Bottom Line on Disclosing GPAs

In the vast majority of cases, assuming your GPA isn’t above average, providing it may be neutral at best. And, at the very worst, it could be harmful to your chances. Most job seekers or internship applicants are unlikely to benefit from sharing their grade point average on their resume. So, if you want to leverage your grades to your advantage, make sure they are approaching perfection. That way, you’ll have the opportunity to secure the job title of your dreams.

Natalie-SevertNatalie Severt is a writer at Uptowork. She writes about how to create successful resumes so that you can land your dream job.

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