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How to Put GPA on Your Resume

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How to Put GPA on Your Resume
Learn the best practices on listing your GPA – understand whether a major or overall GPA is a better fit for your resume, how to round up your GPA, and what to include instead of a GPA.
Sep 8, 2022 6 min read

If you’re feeling unsure if you should put your GPA on your resume, don’t worry! You aren’t alone. So, the first thing you need to do is to make sure that it’s even necessary in relation to the job you’re applying for.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the more common issues surrounding the inclusion of your GPA on a resume. We’ll cover:

  • Why you should or shouldn’t include your GPA on a resume.
  • If rounding up your GPA is advisable.
  • How to put it in your resume effectively and show you a couple of examples.
  • Which is better - Cumulative GPA vs. major GPA.
  • What to put on your resume instead of your GPA.
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Should you put your GPA on your resume?

This is the million-dollar question. But first, you need to answer a few other questions:

  • Have you recently graduated?
  • Are you lacking in professional work experience?
  • Is your GPA over 3.5?
  • Is a GPA relevant to the position you’re applying for?

If you answered yes to all of these, then it’s likely you should include your GPA on your resume. However, if you answered no to any of them, it might be better to go ahead and leave it out.

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When not to include your GPA

  • Leave out your GPA if you've worked over five years, focusing instead on professional experience.
  • Exclude any lower GPAs (below 3.5 or the employer's specified threshold). Instead, highlight skills and achievements.
  • For mid to senior-level roles, GPA relevance decreases in favor of showcasing work accomplishments and capabilities.

Is rounding up your GPA on your resume acceptable?

Rounding your GPA up can be a delicate issue, and opinions can vary among employers and career advisors. Keep these points in mind:

Honesty and integrity: Your resume should accurately reflect your qualifications and achievements. Misrepresenting your GPA, even by rounding up, can be seen by many as dishonest. Employers value integrity, and any indication that you’re not being completely honest can be a red flag.

Rounding norms: If you do choose to round your GPA, it's generally acceptable to round to the nearest tenth (e.g., 3.56 to 3.6). However, rounding up a 3.45 to 3.5, for example, might be seen as misleading. It's important to note that there's a difference between rounding* and inflating your GPA.

Transcripts and verification: Remember that many employers may request a copy of your transcripts for verification purposes, especially if your academic background is a key factor in the hiring process. Any discrepancies between your resume and your official transcripts can lead to questions about your honesty.

So, rounding your GPA may be a bad idea if it’s going to mislead your potential employer. Take caution and only do so to the nearest tenth.

Rounding is a legitimate mathematical practice that makes your GPA easier to read and understand, without significantly altering the information it conveys - GPA 3.58 > 3.60

Inflating is a deceptive practice aimed at creating a false impression of your academic performance. GPA 3.20 > 3.60

Overall GPA versus Major GPA

As a student you have two different Grade Point Averages - your overall GPA and your major GPA.

  • Overall GPA: Takes into consideration all the grades you have received throughout your college or university studies, across all courses. Overall GPA provides a comprehensive view of your academic abilities and work ethic.
  • Major GPA: This refers to the grades you received in courses specifically related to your major area of study. Major GPA can be particularly relevant if the courses are closely related to the job or industry you're targeting.

Which One to Include on Your Resume?

  • If your overall GPA is strong: Include your overall GPA if it's strong (3.5 or above) and reflects well on your overall academic performance. It's a good indicator of your work ethic and ability to perform across a range of subjects.
  • If your major GPA is higher: If your major GPA is significantly higher than your overall GPA and relevant to the job you're applying for, consider including it either instead of or alongside your overall GPA.

You have a couple of options when listing them, you can:

  • Include both: Include both to showcase your academic achievements fully. For example, "Overall GPA: 3.6, Major GPA: 3.8".
  • Choose the best one: Choose the one that is most relevant and favorable to your job application. For instance, if applying for a technical job related to your major, your major GPA (if higher) would be more relevant.

How to correctly put your GPA on your resume

If you have decided to include your GPA, let’s make sure to do it the right way! It’s going to go in the education section on your resume, but here are a few more things you should NOT overlook:

Where to Place Your GPA:

  • Place it near your degree and the name of your institution.

How to Format Your GPA:

  • Keep your resume GPA to two decimal places (e.g., 3.67). This is precise without being overly detailed.
  • You may round your GPA to the nearest tenth (e.g., 3.7) for simplicity, but make sure this does not significantly misrepresent your actual performance.
  • Label it clearly by writing "GPA" followed by the score, such as "GPA: 3.67."

Additional Tips:

  • If your major GPA is significantly higher than your overall GPA, and it's relevant to the job, you might choose to include it as well. Clearly label it as "Major GPA" to avoid confusion.

Here’s a basic example with GPA:

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
University of Arizona
Phoenix, AZ

*Note: For the above GPA of 3.68, it would be acceptable to round it up to 3.7.

Here’s another example. However, this time we include both the overall GPA and the major GPA:

Bachelor of Arts in Economics
University of Florida
Miami, FL
Overall GPA
  • Major GPA: 3.68

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What to put on your resume instead of your GPA?

If you happen to not have an extremely strong GPA , there are still many things you can add to your resume to make yourself stand out to employers! Focusing on these aspects can illustrate your skills, experiences, and achievements that happen to be more relevant to the job you’re applying for:

By emphasizing these elements, you can create a compelling resume that highlights your strengths and abilities beyond your GPA. Tailor your resume to each job application, focusing on the experiences and skills most relevant to the job description to make the strongest impact.

Key takeaways

Including your GPA is a nuanced topic that depends on several things. However, it can be pretty cut and dry if you make your decision based on just a few points. Here are the main points to take away from this article::

  • If your GPA is lower than 3.5, don’t even bother including it.
  • Before listing it, make sure it’s even relevant to the position you’re applying for.
  • In general, rounding up your GPA by more than a tenth is looked down upon as it can be construed as dishonest.
  • Your overall GPA (the average grade throughout all university over all subjects) and your major GPA (the average grade of courses specifically related to your major area of study) can either be listed together or alone.
  • Your GPA needs to go into your education section and be written using only two decimal places max (e.g. 3.72)
  • There are tons of other things you can include on your resume that more than compensate for not listing your GPA.

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Kal Dimitrov
Kaloyan Dimitrov is a resume expert and content manager at Enhancv. He frequently publishes blog posts around resume writing, cover letters & job applications, and authors more than 500 publications on the site. Kaloyan also runs a Career Accelerator Bootcamp for young graduates where he applies his practical knowledge of job applications and writing resumes and educates people on how to present their best selves in front of business representatives. His opinions on resume writing and career development have been featured in Chron., as well as cited by top universities such as Simon Fraser University and UCL.
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