It may be the most controversial addition to a resume if you are a recent graduate: should you include your GPA, or your grade point average? Do employers really want to know? Will it increase your chances of getting a job or will it hurt them? After years working with AgCareers.com, I’ve heard a lot from both sides of the argument. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Reasons TO Include your GPA
Including grade point average on your resume is often more widely accepted if you have little or no experience aside from your education. This is often the case for current college students who have not yet completed an internship or have had little work experience outside the classroom.
And if you have great grades, why not? Cristine Buggeln of JBS USA told us in our 2014 Ag & Food Career Guide to only add your GPA to your resume if it is above 3.0. We at AgCareers.com would go so far to even say that it is more impressive to only include if it is 3.5 or above. If your major or field of study is intensive and widely considered “difficult,” such as a scientific field or in the pursuit of an advanced degree (Master’s or Doctorate), and you have maintained a strong GPA, it will show that you are a dedicated student committed to success.
Reasons TO NOT Include your GPA
Overall, the general consensus we often hear is that including your GPA is outdated and unnecessary, especially when you are three years or more removed from your academic studies. Your experience should speak more to a potential employer than a decimal number from years prior.
It will also hurt you more than help you if you don’t have a very high grade point average. A low score will only get you labeled as “lazy” or “unintelligent.”
Regardless of these arguments, however, if an employer asks specifically for your GPA in the job description, be sure to include it, even if it is lower than we have recommended.
Tips for Including Education on Your Resume
While we don’t necessarily recommend including your GPA on your resume at all, we understand that in certain circumstances where little experience is had, it may be beneficial. To effectively include your GPA on your resume, list it in your education section. Here is an example:
Bachelor of Science in Agronomy
Expected Graduation: May 2020
Do you feel like you need to include your grades but don’t have great ones? Try listing just your GPA applied to your major courses, as these are often higher.
Don’t want to include your grade point average? Or are you too far out of your collegiate studies? Try instead listing academic honors such as making the Dean’s list, awards from your major, or clubs/organizations you belonged to and participated in.
On a final note, and this should go without saying, but DO NOT include your high school GPA on your resume.
Want to know more about writing a resume? Check out this video that AgCareers.com put together for last year’s Career Success Kit.
Upload or update your resume in the AgCareers.com Resume Database.