Deciding When to Include GPA on Your Resume

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Ken Chase, Freelance Writer

6 min read

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When you’re trying to land a new role, you need to use everything in your arsenal to do so. Your grade point average (GPA) is the average score you got across all of your tests and courses. So, should you include this number when you are writing your resume?

In the following guide, we will take a look at the instances when you need to include your GPA on your resume, when you shouldn’t, and how you can get it right with examples. 

Should I put my GPA on my resume?

First up, let’s deal with the most burning question here: Should you put your GPA On your resume? There is not one clear-cut answer. Deciding whether to list your score depends on a range of factors. So, let’s outline the times you should and shouldn’t list your GPA. 

When you should include your GPA

Expert Tip

  • You’ve just graduated. If you are a recent graduate and you lack real-world work experience, it may be worth including your GPA on your resume. 

  • You have a high GPA. Let’s say your GPA is more than 3.5. Congrats! This score shows that you are a cut above the rest, and so you might want to include it on your resume.

  • The employer requests it. In some cases, employers will request that candidates include their GPA in their application. If the job advert specifies that you should include this information, you need to do so. There is a reason they want to see it.

When to leave your GPA out 

  • You have an honors title. If you graduated with an honors title, the hiring manager will immediately be able to see your educational prowess. You don’t need to include your GPA on your resume as it will add little to it and take up space. 

  • You have a low GPA. Are you worried about your GPA dragging you down? If your score is low, you might want to leave it off your resume completely. As we will discuss later, there are plenty of ways to prove your worth without it. 

  • You graduated some years ago. If you graduated five years ago, there’s no need to include your GPA on your resume. In fact, doing so may look like a bizarre move. At this point, you should be focusing on your work experience instead. 

Do employers care about your GPA?

For larger and well-known companies like Ford and General Motors, GPA can be a very important factor for establishing baseline criteria for employment. Other large firms use similar hiring criteria, and for similar reasons. 

Many of these firms actively recruit on college campuses across the United States, and need a way to quickly differentiate between different groups of applicants. For that reason, your grade point average offers a useful metric to accomplish that goal.

So, some employers do care about your GPA and may reject candidates below a certain threshold. These tend to be large companies with steep competition for entry-level jobs.

Do employers do a background check to verify your GPA?

An employment background check doesn't typically involve your academic transcripts, but a hiring manager may ask you to provide that information. This happens in some exceptionally competitive entry-level positions.

If a company has hundreds of graduates applying for the same position, then a GPA on your resume may be important to the employer or hiring manager. 

In this case, there is a good chance they could ask you for a copy of your transcript to verify your GPA. You should keep this in mind when deciding whether to include your GPA on your resume. If you choose to do so, you need to make sure that it’s 100% accurate.

How to format your GPA on your resume

By this point, you should have decided whether to list your GPA on your resume. But do you know how to do itt? It should come as no surprise that this score belongs in your education section. However, if you have never included it before, you need to get the format right.

As a general rule, you should list this score next to your degree — make sure that it is as close as possible on the page. The hiring manager should immediately be able to see what the GPA correlates with when they glance at your resume. 

The format you use will depend on the style of your resume. If you don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some ways to put your GPA on your resume: 

GPA on resume example 1

Bachelor of Science, Engineering (GPA 3.68)

Boston College, 2022

GPA on resume example 2

Bachelor of Science, Boston College, 2022

Major: Engineering | GPA 3.68

GPA on resume example 3

Bachelor of Science, Engineering | GPA 3.68

Boston College, 2022

Should you lie about your GPA?

No. Lying is bad. We know this. Moving on.

Lying about your GPA on your resume can have some serious consequences. You may think that the worst-case scenario is that you don't get the job offer or called in for an interview. In fact, the worst-case scenarios are if you do get the job.

Let’s take a quick look at the facts. Here is what can happen if you do get the job after lying about your GPA.

Scenario 1: You get hired and the company later decides to verify your GPA. Not only will you get fired, but you may also have ruined future opportunities. What happens if your next employer asks why you left your last job? Or if they can contact a reference at your previous job? Put simply, it’s not worth taking the chance on this one. 

Scenario 2: You get hired and after some time, the company decides to promote you to a higher-level position. They may look to verify your education and GPA. When they catch you in the lie, you're now jobless with a longer work history. It will look even worse for you if your next employer can't contact anyone from your last company.

What are the chances of getting caught lying about a GPA?

This is impossible to measure. But that doesn’t mean that you should lie about your GPA on your resume. Do people get caught? Yes. Is it likely? No.Is it worth it? Also no.

Not only do you risk losing your job if you do get caught lying, but you also risk some serious damage to your future. There have been numerous cases of well-known executives getting fired because they lied about their GPA or degree.

One famous case involved the CEO of Yahoo who got caught years later lying on his resume about a degree which he never had. The results were not good. While you're probably not applying for a CEO role out of school, you never know where you'll end up. Getting caught in a lie years later can have lasting repercussions for the rest of your career.

What to do if you have a low GPA: tips and advice

Keep in mind that you don't actually have to include your GPA on your resume. This is really surprising for some recent graduates. Unless the job application specifically asks for your GPA, you can leave it off. That way, you don’t have to account for why you have a low one.

Got loads of industry experience? You don't need to include your GPA if you have an adequate work history and aren't fresh out of school. That’s because your GPA doesn't say much about you as an applicant. Try to quantify your value for a job in other ways. Here are some other things you may choose to focus on: 

  • Education. While you may not want to specifically go into detail about your GPA, you can highlight other elements of your education. For example, you may want to delve into any special projects you completed, internships, or coursework. 

  • Work experience. Have you worked in the industry for a matter of years? Did you complete a relevant placement before applying for this specific role? Use the experience that you have to bolster your existing application now. 

  • Skills. Your skill set is the beating heart of your application. Sure, you might ot have gained a super high GPA when you were in college. But what have you done since then? Focus on the skills that you have picked up since graduating instead. 

  • Achievements. Are there any achievements that will make you stand out from the crowd? Have you done something out of the ordinary? If the answer is yes, this may be your USP. You can draw attention to these achievements on your next resume.


As we have covered, there are times when you should include your GPA on your resume and times when you don’t need to. The first step is deciding which category you fall into. Once you’ve done that, use our advice to help you create an interview-winning resume now. 

Looking to get ahead? At ZipJob, we have the resume writing resources that you need to get started. Choose one of our expert packages and get started now.

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Written by

Ken Chase, Freelance Writer

During Ken's two decades as a freelance writer, he has covered everything from banking and fintech to business management and the entertainment industry. His true passion, however, has always been focused on helping others achieve their career goals with timely job search and interview advice or the occasional resume consultation. When he's not working, Ken can usually be found adventuring with family and friends or playing fetch with his demanding German Shepherd. Read more resume advice from Ken on ZipJob’s blog.

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