Are you a recent graduate nearing the big day, busily getting resumes out to potential employers? Or, have you been in the job scene for a while, contemplating a move in another direction? Regardless of your situation, you’re wondering whether to add your GPA.
The general rule of thumb is for recent graduates to list the GPA if it is 3.0 or higher. An appropriate way to indicate that would be 3.3/4.0, telling those who look at your resume that you have a 3.3 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale. If your school uses a different scale, you should note that on your resume, i.e. 4.2/4.5. If you haven’t completed your degree yet, you can still list your current GPA, but note how many credits have been taken to reach that average.
Experienced workers: Usually you won’t need to add your GPA to your resume as you move along in your professional life . “As your career progresses,” says Kim Isaacs, Director of Resumepower.com and co-author of Career Change Resume, “the college GPA becomes less important and can be removed.”
These are generalities, but other factors may apply:
Career field–The GPA may be more of a necessity depending on your vocation. Academic or technical fields usually require the GPA. If you don’t place it on the resume, it may be assumed that you performed lower than a 3.0. Again, depending on the amount of time you’ve been out of school may vary on the situation. It might be appropriate to ask someone if it applies.
Cumulative v. Major GPA–This is really a personal decision. Most of the time, the cumulative GPA is used. However, if you feel using your major GPA would demonstrate you being more of an expert in a certain field, then by all means use that one. Just remember to include the number of credits obtained in that field if you use your major GPA.
- Resumes For Dummies by Joyce Lain Kennedy, 4th ed. (New York: Wiley Publishing, 2003) 105.
- Put Your Education to Work by Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert, at resumepower.com
- GPA and other FAQs at www.career.vt.edu – Career Services @ Virginia Tech