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Should I Put My GPA On My Resume?

College and high-school students often ask if they should have their grade point average (GPA) on their resume when applying for an internship.  Generally, a student’s grade point average is not indicative of their future success and ability to perform the functions of a job role.  However, including your grade point average on your resume may be helpful in securing an interview and the position, so-long-as your GPA is a 3.5 or higher.

As a college or high-school student, you may not have too much work history or experience to include on your resume.  We’ve previously discussed ways you can alleviate that concern and additional experiences you can place on your resume.  In addition to volunteering experience and classes you’ve taken, you can and should include leadership positions you’ve held.  This can include, but is not limited to, being the president for a fraternity or sorority, leading the mock trial team, and being a captain on a varsity team.

When looking to add your GPA to your resume, you should consider its effects.  Will it help you land the interview or position?  Generally, a GPA less than 3.5 may hurt your chances.  However, if you are certain that your GPA is strong and will help make the case for your candidacy, you can and should include it.

Your determination will also be dependent on your major or concentration of study.  With some STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs, lower GPA’s are more common and expected.  If you are able to hold a decent GPA relative to your peers and fellow students, then it would also be worthwhile to include.

While some internships require a GPA be listed and verified, others do not.  If you have a poor general GPA, but a stellar major GPA, you should consider listing only your major GPA.  Many employers will look at your major GPA, especially if the internship is industry specific.  These employers care more about your grades for a specific concentration and will pay less attention to the overall GPA, which includes classes and courses not specific to their industry.

However, if an employer mandates your general GPA, you should not lie on your resume.  It is extremely easy for an employer to request your official transcript and lying about your GPA is grounds for dismissal.  Such a dismissal may blacklist you from being hired at the company in the future.  If your GPA does not meet the minimum requirements, I would encourage you to focus and work on your classes to raise your GPA.  Hold-off on applying to internships and positions which require a higher GPA during that time.  You should feel free to continue applying to employers who do not have a GPA requirement.

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