GPA on a Resume – When Should you Include it? – ZipJob

Sep 26, 2017

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

Job seekers often want to know if they should include their GPA on their resume. Should you only include it if it’s higher than 3.0? When should you not include it on your resume? We’ve put together a short guide on everything you need to know regarding a GPA on a resume.

Should I put my GPA on my resume?

This depends on what your GPA is and how long you’re been out of school. Generally, you should only include it if it’s above a 3.5 and NOT a 3.o like many suggest.

Here are some basic rules on including your GPA on a resume:

  • Include your GPA if it’s higher than 3.5
  • If the job description states they need it, you should include it.
  • If you have a higher GPA in your core classes, you should list that instead. That applies to both number 1 and 2 above as well.

When not to include GPA on a resume:

  • If you’ve been out of school for more than four years.
  • If you have a couple of years of experience in your field.

Many people will tell you to include your GPA if it’s 3.0 or higher. This really isn’t good advice, and I’ll tell you why.

Sometimes there are hundreds of resumes sent for a single opening. That’s a lot of competition! With that much competition, you want to come off as excellent, not just “good”.

No offense, you should definitely be proud of a GPA higher than 3.0 but it doesn’t scream excellence! In this case, instead of drawing attention to a good GPA, you’re better off just leaving it off.

You should also avoid listing it if you’ve been out of school for more than four years. You should lead with whatever experience you have in this case. If you already have experience in the field, you should also avoid listing your GPA and focus on your experience instead.

Here is what career expert, Alison Green had to say:

” Its value is as a rough stand-in when they don’t yet have real work experience to point to, in order to demonstrate what they might be capable of. And even then, most employers know that it’s an imperfect gauge; lots of people with high GPAs end up doing mediocre work, and lots of people with unimpressive GPAs end up excelling in their careers.” Allison Green,

This leads us to our next question.

Do employers care about your GPA anyway?

  • A 2016 study showed that on a scale of 1-5, employers had a score of 3.5 when it comes to a high GPA importance (over 3.0).
    Importance of GPA
                                            Source: Job Outlook 2016, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    What if you have a low GPA?

    Not all employers care about your grades. You can expect larger companies to care, but startups and small companies don’t usually care about your GPA.

    Here is a good post on about whether employers really care about your grades.

    If you have a low GPA, don’t put it on your resume and focus instead on an internship or past work experience.

    If you have none of those, create a good resume summary that shows your soft skills as well as relevant coursework that relates to the position you’re applying for. Check out this post on including the right hard and soft skills.

    Where should you include your GPA on a resume?

    You should include it wherever you include your education. Here is an example of a GPA on a resume:

    GPA on resume example

    Here is another example:

    GPA on resume example


    You can also check out our post on including magna, summa and cum laude on a resume. 

    Can I put my major GPA instead of my cumulative?

    Yes, as we stated before, if your GPA in your major is higher – put that instead.

    Closing thoughts: If you don’t have a 3.5 or higher, leave it off and don’t sweat it. A few years down the line, it won’t even matter at all.

    If you want a professional to write your resume, please check out our services page to get started. ZipJob uses professional writers and technology to ensure your resume gets to the top of the pile. You can even get a Free resume review here.

    Good Luck with your Job Search!

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.