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Making the grade with GPAs

Submitted Thursday, July 24th 2014 4:53 am

Recently at a seminar that I presented, an attendee asked if she should put her GPA on her resume. The answer is one that I often give when it comes to resume preparation: It depends. If you are a new or recent graduate—in the last two or three years—then it certainly makes sense to include your GPA as this is an important piece of information that can strengthen your competitive position. The related point here is that you want to be sure your GPA is high enough to warrant including. How high is high enough? While there are no absolute rules, it’s been my experience that a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is what is typically recommended by hiring managers and recruiters.

If you have earned honors recognition—cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude—you will want to include this with your GPA as this is an additional distinction that can create a strong impression with employers. After two or three years since earning your degree, you can remove your GPA from your resume as at this point it is your work experience that will be of primary importance for most hiring managers and recruiters. While keeping your GPA on your resume beyond this time frame is not an egregious error in my opinion, it is something that some readers may question. They may feel that the significance or relative value of your GPA at this point in your career pales in comparison to the value of your most recent work experience, which will be of considerably greater importance to most individuals reviewing your resume.