Looking at high school and college job hunters, this question constantly comes up, “Should I add my GPA to my resume?” In this short article and video, you are going to learn when you should add your GPA and when you shouldn’t, how to add it, along with a few practical examples so you feel confident when adding it.
Alright, let’s dive in.
What is a GPA?
GPA stands for Grade Point Average and is commonly used in both high school and college. Many US schools base it on a 4.0-point scale, 4.0 being the highest. In short, a GPA helps convey how well you did or are doing in high school or university. Additionally, it is also a common request from employers to add on your resume or other applications. Now that you know what a GPA is, here comes the question, “should I add my GPA to my resume? Let’s start with When to include it.
When to include your GPA on a resume
Let’s check out some of the main reasons you should include your GPA on your resume.
When to include your GPA on your resume
- During school (high school, college, or university)
- When you have a high GPA (normally above 3.5)
- A high GPA demonstrates a positive work ethic
- Add it when an employer or a form requests it
Let’s take a look at each one.
During school: If you are in high school, college, or university, you should consider adding your GPA to your resume. Normally, as you start to move forward in your career, you can leave out the previous GPA. For instance, if you are in college, you no longer need to add your high school GPA to your resume. It is totally up to you whether you add it or not. One argument for leaving it would be if it were extremely high. Then it’s definitely a good idea to leave it as it would highlight your accomplishment and dedication.
When you have a high GPA: One of the biggest discussions is, what is considered a high GPA? Every article will give you a different number of when you should add it. In this article, we’re going with anything above 3.0. Ideally, if it is above 3.5, even better. Remember though, there is no specific rule about this, and every institution and company will have their own opinion about this.
A high GPA demonstrates a positive work ethic: For any student to get a high GPA, it is going to take hard work and dedication. Companies know this, so when they see a high GPA, it catches their eye. It also tells a little bit about you and what you might be like if you went to work at the company, at least from a work ethic perspective.
When an employer or a form requests it: Sometimes companies request that you include your GPA on your resume or application form as part of their hiring process. This is quite common, and even more common depending on the industry that you aspire to enter. Sometimes there can be other forms that request your GPA as well, so in these two instances, you should submit your GPA.
When not to add your GPA on your resume
As opposed to the section above, there are times when you should not include your GPA. The following are:
When not to add a GPA on your resume
- After you have gained a few years of work experience, drop it
- If you are a few years into college, leave out your high school GPA
- Leave it out if it is 3.0 or lower
- Include other accomplishments: Dean’s list, Honor Roll, Latin Honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude) but leave out GPA if it was low
- The employer didn’t request it
Let’s dive into each one.
After you have gained a few years of experience: If you have already graduated from college and have a few years of work experience under your belt, including your GPA on your resume is not needed. Remember, one of the main things recruiters and companies look for when reviewing your resume is to get to know more about your work ethic. Reviewing your work ethic from a GPA standpoint becomes less needed once you have real-world work experience.
However, even after you have gained a few years of work experience, there might be a plausible reason for keeping it – your GPA was extremely high. Honestly, if your GPA was 3.8, 3.9, or 4.0, you should show that off as a trophy and consider keeping it on your resume.
Leave out your high school GPA if you are a few years into college: If you are already e.g. a Junior in college and are applying for internships or other summer work, your high school GPA loses its relevance. You should consider only adding your college GPA in this case.
Leave it out if it is 3.0 or lower: remember, there is no official rule on this, and it is ultimately up to you on this. It is suggested (reviewing multiple sources and articles) that you should leave it out if it is 3.0 or lower. Some sources would even say to leave it out if it is below 3.5. Once again, your call.
Include other accomplishments: If you have other outstanding accomplishments at your school such as Dean’s list, Honor Roll, Latin Honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude), but your GPA was not super high, consider including these accomplishments, but leaving out your GPA.
The employer didn’t request it: Simply put, if it wasn’t requested, you don’t have to submit it.
How to add it on your resume
No big secret here. Adding your GPA to your resume is quite straightforward.
How to add your GPA on your resume
- Add it in the education section
- Or add it in the awards and achievements section
- Be honest about it – Write it the way it is. No rounding
Let’s break down each one.
Add it in the education section: in most cases, you will add your GPA in the education section right below the name of your college and major. This is the most common practice.
Add it in the awards and achievements section: Many people add awards or achievements section on their resumes. This can also be a great section to add your GPA. If you add your GPA in this section, then you do not need to add it in your education section.
Format: Typically, below the education section, you would add bachelors of (arts, science), then the college’s name. On the next line, you can add your major along with your GPA next to it. If you had any additional awards, you could add them on the next line. Check out the format section below for visuals.
Be honest about your GPA: In other words, don’t increase your GPA to make your profile more attractive. Suppose that on a company application they only want candidates with 3.5 GPA and above and your GPA is 3.0, you should not inflate your GPA to apply.
Also, on the same note, no rounding your GPA. However your GPA is shown, add it in that manner. For instance, if your GPA is 3.8, no rounding up to 4.0.
Examples of how to write it on a resume
Bachelor’s in International Relations
University of Albany
2015 – 2019
Bachelor of Arts, University of Albany
Minor: Business Administration
Magna Cum laude
Schenectady High School
Example 4 – No GPA
Bachelor of Arts, University of Albany
Minor: Business Administration
Complete resume with GPA
Wrap up – Should I add my GPA to my resume
The question that always comes up with high school and college students, and even recent grads, but always boils down to the same thing is, “Should I add my GPA to my resume?” Is it worth it? Is it necessary? Should I add it?
I’m hoping to have clarified the different cases of when you should and shouldn’t add it, and how to add it on your resume.
If you have any other questions on adding GPA to a resume or other comments, please leave them in the comments section below.
As always, Learn. Practice. Succeed!