Why Your GPA Doesn’t Belong on Your Resume
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now: your GPA doesn’t belong on your resume. Recent graduates mention their GPAs, which I understand. They’re just exiting an environment where their grades mattered, and if they’re applying to graduate school, they still matter. That doesn’t mean that GPAs add value to resumes, and I’ll explain why shortly. But when anyone else proudly displays his or her GPA, I cringe.
I’ll get into why I think it’s cringe-worthy in a moment, but first let’s talk about recent graduates. Studies have shown – as does my own anecdotal evidence as a HR executive – that a high GPA is a poor predictor of future performance. It only reliably speaks to how well the individual does in school, and school, my friends, is not the workforce. I’ve hired new graduates with impressive GPAs who were duds, and I’ve hired new graduates whose GPAs were meh, but they were great hires. A college career counselor whom I respect pointed out that some employers actually care about candidates’ GPAs and use them to identify who they think are “better” candidates. That’s snobby and wrong, but I would only reveal your GPA if asked.
So here’s why I believe that your GPA doesn’t belong on your resume especially when you’re not a recent graduate. After working at one or more companies, if your GPA is still an accolade that you think enhances your candidacy, I think you need to come up with something more compelling. Include evidence of what you’ve accomplished in the real world, and make that the focus of your value proposition. Recently, I saw the resume of a very successful senior executive who felt compelled to list his GPA. That’s like posting a photo of yourself taken when you were 21 on a dating site despite being 45.