Your resume should highlight your accomplishments that best qualify you for a position. Whether that includes your GPA depends on your work experience and other credentials, the position you are applying for, and the GPA itself.
Putting your GPA on your resume
The biggest question is, should you put your GPA on your resume (ARTICLE: How to format and structure your resume)? The short answer is you should include your GPA if it is a 3.5+ and you are a student or recent graduate. However, many situations aren’t so cut and dry and you’ll have to make a judgment call after considering the following factors.
Your work experience and other credentials
For current students and recent grads with limited work experience, your GPA is one of your only performance measures that you can show an employer. Your GPA becomes less important as you gain work experience or other qualifications to include on your resume. Once you have been in the workforce for a couple years, leave your GPA off your resume and focus on your experience. However, if you graduated with honors (cum laude or summa cum laude), definitely include that on your resume.
Some employers care little about GPAs while others care enough to require a minimum GPA or request a copy of your transcripts. Larger companies and industries such as investment banking and consulting usually place a lot of emphasis on GPAs. Make sure you include your GPA if the position has a minimum GPA requirement – otherwise your resume could be automatically discarded.
Even if you are a student or recent graduate, you should only include your GPA if it will reflect well on you. A low GPA will set you apart in a negative way and should be left off. Whether your GPA is considered “strong” depends on the rigor of your program, your institution, and the position you are applying for. For example, a 3.2 GPA in physics at MIT might put you in cum laude territory. So while a general rule is to include your GPA if it is a 3.5+, your circumstances may justify a little flexibility from that rule.
In addition to including your GPA on your resume…
- Consider adding your major GPA: You could benefit from adding your major GPA to your resume when it is strong. If your overall GPA is too low to include but your major GPA is a 3.5+, only put your major GPA on your resume. If both your overall and major GPAs are high, consider including them both. Be sure to label your GPA(s) appropriately so that you provide full transparency.
- Include other academic awards or distinctions: Your GPA isn’t the only measure of your academic success. You should indicate if you received awards, earned honors, completed a thesis, published articles, or took courses relevant to the position. This is particularly important if your GPA is too low to include on your resume.