When Your Professional Resume Should List Your GPA

Including your GPA on your professional resume is different than putting it on your college applications.

Although colleges use your high school GPA as a barometer of your academic success, employers know that your GPA represents only a small portion of your accomplishments and may not mean much in a work environment. Employers understand that you’re more than just a calculated number.

That means you can choose whether or not you want to include it on your resume.
When deciding whether to include your GPA on a resume, here are a few questions to consider:

Is your GPA higher than a 3.0?

You should certainly include your GPA on your resume if it’s above a 3.0. Although many companies have no GPA requirement for their applications, some recruiters say they will consider resumes with a 3.0 or higher. Including your GPA on a resume in this case assures them that you excelled academically, and will continue to do so in their workplace.

Are your grades higher in courses within your major?

If you’re concerned about including your GPA on your resume, there are many other ways to prove your abilities to a potential employer. Consider including your GPA within your major if it is significantly higher than your overall GPA.

Your major GPA is derived exclusively from your grades in classes within your major. If you’re a math whiz who got tripped up by a tricky essay question, for example, you still can show off your strengths on your resume.

This can be especially useful for jobs that relate to your field of study. Ask your academic department to report your major GPA, and clearly label it as such on your resume.

Do you have job experience?

Job applications include many different factors that matter more than a GPA. If your GPA is lower than a 3.0, leave it off your resume, and instead bring focus to your other accomplishments.

Work or internship experience in your field and solid resume references carry a lot of weight and can ensure employers that you can handle the job.

Be aware that employers might ask why your GPA is not on your resume, and be prepared to answer. At the same time, direct their attention to your other successes on your resume that might be more valuable than the GPA.