When you’re in school, your grade point average (GPA) matters. It’s how teachers assess you. But does GPA matter when it comes to applying for a job? What do prospective employers think about your GPA? And, more importantly – what should you do if you’re coming out of school and don’t have the highest GPA?
These are all great questions! Here are the answers.
1. Does GPA matter when you apply for a job?
In general, your GPA doesn’t matter in job applications in the same way it does in school. In school, after all, your courses and how you’re doing in them is front and center. In job applications, your ability to do the job is front and center. Never confuse the two!
2. What do employers think about your GPA?
Most employers are far more concerned with work experience than they are with GPA. Work experience (including internships you participate in during school) is considered far more likely to let them know how you’ll do in a job. (The only exceptions are highly professionalized positions, such as becoming a lawyer after law school.) They look at your past experience to predict how you’ll do.
So your job (so to speak) in applying for open positions is to highlight job experience, internships, and your accomplishments in both – not your GPA.
3. What should you do if your GPA isn’t the greatest?
Again, most employers don’t focus on GPAs: they focus on achievements in jobs and internships. Your application materials should highlight those achievements. If you worked part-time (or full time) in school, develop resumes, cover letters, and talking points focused on your accomplishments there.
It doesn’t matter if past jobs aren’t particularly relevant. Jobs scoping ice cream or delivering pizza require taking responsibility, punctuality, and working well with others – all qualities employers look for far more than a GPA.
Human resources experts say that it is entirely acceptable to leave GPAs off resumes.
4. How to cope with any concerns about your GPA
What if you’re still concerned about your GPA? Work to reduce any stress. Remember, GPAs seem very important to you because you’re in college, where GPAs play a big role. Once you’re in the work world, they will fade in importance.
Finding a job after you graduate
No matter what type of work experience you have, there are exciting opportunities waiting for you in a wide range of fields. If you’re graduating this year, contact us today to find a job.