GPA, or Grade Point Average, is essentially the number that represents your academic performance in an educational institution, be it in school or college. This number holds great importance in the initial years of you stepping into the job market when you have little or no experience. However, this usually depends from company to company and their selection procedures and criteria. Today’s topic- Do Jobs Look At GPA?
A high GPA is usually considered to be of 4 and above, and this number is directly proportional to the grades achieved throughout the last three years of high school/years in college; it is the average of the grades or scores attained during these years. Employers use this to assess how hard you have worked and how much effort you are willing to put into the job you have applied for.
Which Jobs Require GPA?
Entry-level jobs which require minimum to no experience tend to give more importance to this average score point since this is the only way of evaluating the competence of a candidate. Lack of experience or lack of scope to gather experience is, in a way, compensated with this score. Employers need something to check the capabilities of a potential employee, and most of the time, GPA serves this purpose. If you have no prior job experience and are just out of school or a recent graduate, look for entry-level jobs which do not require experience and consider GPA. If you are looking to apply for jobs which clearly state that they need the candidate to have work experience in a particular field, it implies that GPAs are secondary in priority, and that you should ideally have prior work experience in order to increase your chances of getting shortlisted.
Where Should You Include Your GPA?
There are different parts of a job application; it includes the resume, your CV (Curriculum Vitae), Application Letter, Cover Letter and your Personal Profile. Amongst these, you should ideally include your GPA under the educational qualifications section which can be included in any of these parts other than your Personal Profile. When mentioning your GPA in the Cover Letter, it should be mentioned in the paragraph where you briefly mention your academic performance. If you want to include it in your resume, you need to mention the name of the educational institution (name of school or college and university along with the name of the city it is in). unlike in the Cover Letter, you have to make sure the GPA is prominently visible in the resume by putting it in a separate line. If you want to put your GPA in the application itself, it is suggested that you mention both the overall and major GPA under the educational qualifications section, again, in separate lines.
What Is The Difference Between Your Overall and Major GPA, And Which One Should You Include?
The Overall or Cumulative GPA is the total average of the scores attained in all of the subjects you took in the last three years of high school. In college, it is the total average of all the courses you appeared for throughout college. Major GPA comes in only at the college level; it is the sum total average of the courses included in your major, the subject you opted to get a degree on. If the company has not mentioned specifically which one to include in your application, it is up to your discretion which one you would rather include.
Since the Major GPA is calculated on the scores attained in only the courses that are apart of the subject you are majoring/majored in, chances are that this might be higher than the Overall/Cumulative GPA. If that is the case, then it is better to add your Major GPA in your application as it will increase your chances of getting shortlisted. Please keep in mind that you can choose to add one or the either only if it is not specifically mentioned which one to add to the company requirements. If you end up adding one or both, make sure to mention “Major GPA” and “Cumulative GPA” before the scores, where and as required.
What Is Considered To Be A Decent GPA And When Do Employers Ask For It Specifically?
A score above 4 is considered to be very good, and anything above 3.5 is considered to be ‘decent.’ Most companies that prioritize this number, prefer to shortlist candidates with a GPA above 3.5. If your GPA is less than 3.5, it does not imply that you are automatically unqualified for any job; there are plenty of other areas where you can put more focus on. For example, you can elaborate and put more stress on your previous experiences in working in that particular field, talk about internships you have done, how you have handled difficult situations, instances where you have assumed leadership and succeeded, and so on. GPA scores are not usually a topic of conversation during the interview round.
A low GPA does not necessarily make you a weaker candidate; if you have the other qualifications that the job requires, excellence in co-curricular and other relevant skills, you stand as good a chance as anyone with a higher GPA. Employers ask for this score especially in entry-level jobs which either do not require prior experience in the field or, they are looking for recent graduates who are not expected to have much experience. As you gain more and more experience in the work field, GPAs become less and less relevant, as your future employers will prefer to evaluate you based on your experience and previous work performances, than on your GPA.
In the end, GPA is just another number that summarizes your academic performance in school or college. It does not show what kind of a person you are, what you can contribute to the company to help it reach its goals, what your other capabilities are, how efficient you are with real-life problems and how to handle crisis situations. These are the things employers want to know about you, and such kinds of questions are asked during the interview round. A high GPA might increase your chances of getting your dream job, but how you portray and present yourself during the interview is far more important than any number.