Do you need to include your high school or college grade point average (GPA) on your resume? When can you leave it off, and when should you leave it off?
In high school and college, job seekers tend to include their GPAs on their resumes, particularly if those GPAs are strong (generally above a 3.5). However, after graduating from college, it can be difficult to know when to remove that decimal number from your resume. If you have a good GPA, it's an asset on your resume.
If not, it could hurt your candidacy. That's especially the case when employers are seeking competitive candidates who have excelled in school.
A GPA listed in the education section of your resume can either help or hurt your chance of getting an interview. Make sure you know when to include this information, and when to leave it out.
When to Include a GPA on Your Resume
There is no specific rule about whether to keep or remove your GPA from your resume after college. However, the general guideline is that, during the first year or two after university, it's fine to keep your GPA on your resume.
This is particularly true if you have a very high GPA—about a 3.5 or above.
As a recent college graduate with limited work experience, your GPA can be a key reflection of your skills, your work ethic, and your personal drive to succeed.
In some cases, an employer might specifically ask for your GPA in the job posting or application. Be sure to list it when it's required, so that your application gets full consideration.
When Not to Include a GPA on Your Resume
Once you have 2-3 years of work experience, it is time to remove your GPA from your resume. At this point in life, your work experience speaks more to your skills than your old GPA.
Let go of your past academic success, and use that extra space on your resume to provide an example of a more recent work accomplishment. This will demonstrate to employers that you are not “resting on your laurels” after school, but that you have matured into a forward-looking professional who is now fully engaged in your career.
Also be sure to leave out your high school GPA once you have been in college for a year or two. At this point, you have a college GPA you can include instead (unless that is very low). Another time you don’t want to include your GPA is when it is not very high. In particular, leave out your GPA if it is 3.0 or below. You can leave it off your resume even while you are still a student.
Remember to follow the instructions on the job listing. If the employer asks for your GPA, include it regardless of how high or low it is.
Tips for Including (or Not Including) Your GPA on Your Resume
Put it in the education section of your resume. Your GPA should go in the education section of your resume. This section will also include where you went to school and what degrees you received. You can also mention any academic honors and awards in this section.
Consider including your GPA for your major. If your GPA for your major is higher than your overall GPA (which is common), you can include that instead of your overall GPA. If both are high, you can include both. Just be sure to clarify which is which.
Emphasize other academic accomplishments. Include other academic accomplishments along with your GPA to show that you are a hardworking, well rounded person. For example, mention if you were on the Dean’s List, received any Latin honors (such as cum laude or magna cum laude), or if you won any academic awards.
If your GPA was not high but you won some other awards, include those awards, but leave out your GPA.
You can put this information in a subsection of your education section, titled “Awards and Honors” or something similar.
Don’t lie. While it is okay to leave your GPA out (unless the employer asks for it), it is not okay to lie about your GPA on your resume. It is very easy for an employer to verify your GPA by looking at your transcript. If you lie, you might lose a chance of getting the job, or (if you are already hired), you risk being fired.
Examples of Ways to Include Your GPA on Your Resume
Check out these four examples of ways to include your GPA in the education section of your resume. Download the resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Example of a Resume with GPA Included
Bachelor of Arts, XYZ College
Major: Journalism GPA: 3.8
Magna Cum Laude
Example of a Resume with Overall GPA and Major GPA Included
Bachelor of Science, XYZ College
Major: Biology (3.89 Major GPA)
Minor: Environmental Science
3.67 Overall GPA
Magna Cum Laude
Example of Resume with Major GPA Only
Bachelor of Arts, XYZ University
Major: Journalism (Major GPA 3.8)
Awards: Outstanding Major in Journalism, Senior Capstone Project Finalist
Example of Resume with No GPA
B.S., XYZ University
Major: Exercise Science
Resume Sample (Text Version)
3453 Overlook Avenue • Seattle, WA 98109 • (123) 456-7890 • email@example.com
Highly creative visual storyteller and photojournalist, demonstrating a powerful “nose for news” in following leads for rising stories. Well-versed in operation of video and microwave equipment, news vans, and cellular and fiber optic remotes; adept in editing and posting digital videos to websites and social media properties including Facebook and Twitter.
Technical Proficiencies: Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), Adobe Creative Cloud (Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, Photoshop, After Effects), Sony XpriNS
EMERALD CITY NEWS, Seattle, WA
News Photographer (06/2017-Present)
Shoot and edit news video for major metropolitan media company. Operate videotape / solid state media cameras and portable microwave equipment; edit news stories with Sony XpriNS. Create digital content and post to social media sites. Key Achievements:
- Created compelling news videos that increased digital website traffic by 35%.
- Meticulously maintained news van and state-of-the-art photographic equipment valued at $425,000.
- Partnered with local police force, city court officials, and Chamber of Commerce to track and follow rising story leads.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism; 3.89 Major GPA / 3.62 Overall GPA
Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA
Staff Writer / Photographer, The Gonzaga Bulletin; Senior Capstone Project Finalist
Member, National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)