Acronym for Cumulative Grade Point Average, CGPA also sometimes referred to as just GPA is the grade that measures a student’s performance throughout an academic program. It reflects the student’s scorecard on every single course taken in a formal degree awarding institution of learning from the very first year till graduation.
There are different approaches to calculating a student’s GPA, but I shall use the 4-point scale as an example. Taking 1.0 – 1.4 as D, 1.5 – 2.4 as C, 2.5 – 3.4 as B, and 3.5 – 4.0 as A. From this example, it is obvious that 1.0 is the lowest and 4.0, the highest on the scale.
Jobseekers, however, have found themselves in a dilemma when it comes to deciding if they should include GPA on their resume. Will including GPA on resume make or mar their chances of landing that Job or Internship? Considering how important this is, it then became necessary to take a look at it.
There is no general rule to this. Depending on how it’s done, including GPA on a resume may be the ice breaker for a jobseeker getting an invite to the interview stage. It may be the confidence builder for the candidate. In the same vein, it may be the reason another resume is trashed- depending on the scenarios surrounding the application.
Is GPA on resume necessary?
As stated earlier, there is no clear-cut rule for this. But professionals agree that it is fine to include your GPA in your resume if it is above the 3.0 grade as anything less may negatively affect your chance of getting to the next stage of the process. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to bag high grades. Therefore, when you include it in your resume, it convinces the recruiter that with you, excellence on the job is possible. Where it is lower, do yourself a favor and put it away.
Does a High GPA negate experience?
To recruiters, your experience is more important. This is because having a good grade does not automatically translate to the ability to do the job effectively. A candidate with the necessary professional experience (even with a low GPA) ranks higher than another with little or no experience. This tells you that a recruiter will most likely hire a candidate with experience over that with a good grade.
GPA on resume for Internships Vs Full-time roles.
Including GPA to your resume for Internships (especially when it’s high) may be understandable. This is because most of the candidates for Internship roles are either students or fresh graduates. So, there is no harm in including your GPA when applying for Internships or Summer jobs as a student. But for full-time roles, it is irrelevant. This is so because you are expected to have gained some work experience. That is what the recruiter needs to know, and that is what you should be telling him/her. That you are capable of doing XYZ because you have done something similar before, and excelled in it. Not because you studied in school about it and passed. Experience in the field is quite different from that of the classroom. So, for experienced-based/senior-level roles, nobody is interested in what grade you graduated with.
Can I round my GPA up to the nearest whole number?
No! Do not do this. It may be taken as a lie. If you are including your GPA on your resume, you are to put the exact figure, and not approximate it to the nearest whole number or the grade you feel it is closer to. Take, for example, 3.99 is NOT 4.0, and should not be assumed to be the same. You need to understand that recruiters do their background checks. And when any information provided is confirmed to be false, it has serious negative implications on the candidate. Even when it was done ignorantly. So, do away with any information that will indicate that you are lying to the recruiters. They want to hire someone they can trust. So, finding any misleading information on your application affects your personality before them and sure takes away their trust in you.
Where on the resume do I put my CGPA?
Your CGPA/GPA comes in the ‘Education’ section of your resume. It should be detailed. Bearing the name of the Institution, Graduation year, Course of study, and the GPA. It should not appear in the ‘Accomplishments and Awards’ section. It is an education business and should be so.
With my great GPA, will I be subjected to the same process as others with lower grades?
Graduating with a high grade does not make you the special one- at least, not in the recruiter’s book. Even with your good grade, you will still have to go through the recruitment exercise like every other candidate- including those with lower grades. Your grade only gives you an edge in moving to the next stage, and not helping you skip the stages to getting hired. To eventually end up being the candidate that signs the contract, you must convince the recruiter beyond reasonable doubt that you are bringing more than just a result statement on paper to the table.
How long should I keep my GPA on my resume?
Having your GPA on your resume should be for student’s jobs, Internship roles, Entry-level roles, and your first few professional years. It is fine to see a GPA on a resume with 2-3 years of experience. 5 years and below are okay too. But including a GPA on a resume of over 5 years of professional experience is cringy and unprofessional. Except when the recruiter asks for it (which is rare), you don’t need it.
GPA on a resume is nice, but not necessary. If the recruiter did not ask for it, it is advisable to put it away- either high or low. Recruiters are more comfortable hiring a candidate with the required experience over another with a high GPA. With this decision, they are at peace that the possibility of having costly errors on the job is low. Another reason experience ranks high over GPA. It will also cost the company lesser time, resources, and effort to train a new experienced staff compared to that with no experience.