When to include your GPA on your resume
Every piece of information that you provide about your qualifications can impact an employer’s hiring decision. That’s why it’s crucial you know what to put on a resume to effectively communicate your qualifications.
Many job-seekers (especially recent graduates) end up asking themselves: should I put my GPA on my resume?
To make sure you get it right, here are three situations when you would include your GPA on your resume:
1. If you’re still in high school or college
If you’re still in school, chances are you have little or no formal work experience. In this case your GPA is relevant because it helps an employer assess your work ethic and competency.
Employers know that graduating with a strong GPA is no easy task. By including it, you immediately communicate to employers that you have the ambition and expertise needed to excel.
2. You’re a recent graduate
If you’re writing a recent college graduate resume, your GPA is relevant unless you already have substantial work experience to highlight. Your GPA gives employers a better sense of your abilities when it comes to your:
- Work ethic
- Time management skills
- Ability to juggle competing priorities
But once you gain more experience, it’s best to focus more on your work experience.
3. A company asks for it
You should always put your GPA on your resume if an employer asks for it or it’s required in the job listing. If you neglect to include your GPA in this situation, it could come off as though you have a difficulty following instructions. Either way, the result can damage your job prospects.
Where to put your GPA on your resume
Put your GPA in the education section of your resume, alongside any other academic achievements or honors. Make sure that you follow proper format by listing your GPA either on its own line, or following the name of your degree.
Additionally, place your education section at the top of your resume if you have minimal work experience.
Once you acquire more work experience, employers will shift their focus to your work experience rather than your education. In this case, place your education section lower on your resume.
How to put your GPA on your resume
Adding your resume GPA will only impress employers if you do it the right way. Here’s how to include your GPA on your resume:
Don’t lie about your GPA
Lying about your GPA on a resume is a huge mistake. Employers can check your transcript, and if they find out you’ve been dishonest about your education history, your application will be disqualified.
In the case that your GPA is low and an employer hasn’t requested it, simply leave it out. Even if you lie and still get the job, an employer might terminate you for being dishonest during the hiring process once they find out. Ultimately, it’s never worth the risk of lying on your resume.
Use your major GPA (if your overall GPA is lower)
If the GPA for your major is higher than your overall GPA, put that on your resume instead. Just be sure to make the distinction clear by listing it as your “major GPA.” If both numbers are impressive, you can include two GPAs on your resume.
Put it alongside other academic accomplishments
It’s worth listing any awards, accomplishments, or academic honors like cum laude on your resume that you achieved alongside your GPA. Place these under your education section below your GPA, college name, and degree.
Examples of how to include GPA on your resume
Now you know when to include GPA on your resume, but what’s the correct format? Here are a few tips:
- You can list both your overall and major GPA
- If you’re using your major GPA, label it clearly
- You can list your overall GPA on its own line
- Place your GPA in parenthesis next to your honors
GPA on Resume Example #1
Bachelor of Science, University of Connecticut
Major: Environmental Science (Major GPA 3.8)
Magna Cum Laude (Overall GPA 3.6)
GPA on Resume Example #2
Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College
Major: English Literature
GPA on Resume Example #3
Bachelor of Arts in Peace Studies
Summa Cum Laude (GPA 3.7)