If you’re plagued with a GPA below 3.0, you’ve undoubtedly considered the questions: “Should I put my GPA on my resume? Should I cover it up? Is the bold truth more effective than hiding? Will they look past my GPA?” Despite how common the questions, for some reason, they never get a straight answer. Is there a straight answer?
Yes, and it’s a loud and resounding, “No!” Although it’s counter-intuitive, disclosing your GPA before you’ve been asked for it is a sure way to scare off recruiters. Always. Here’s why:
1. Embarrassing Things Don’t Go First
Do you tell people you wet your pants until you were 9? Or slept in mommy’s room until 12? I don’t think so. Those are embarrassing traits that are meant to be kept secret. If you don’t lead with such flaws when you’re courting a date, why would you do such a thing trying to woo a company? Defamatory information is to be disseminated with careful timing. Disclosing your GPA early only gives them a really good reason to look elsewhere.
Just like discovering your spouse’s flaws down the line, it’s okay for companies to find out you had a hard time in school down the line. You don’t owe them any particular insights up front. They only want to know if you can do the job they have waiting for you.
2. Shame is Naming Your Game
It can seem like the honorable thing to do–giving up the bad news early in hopes of not wasting anyone’s time. However, the mentality of falling on your own sword before it’s necessary is that of the weak. You’re hoping for someone to acknowledge your purity and honesty, but in reality you were just too scared to face your oppressor. Fight for your right to hold the job, and do it boldly.
3. Corporate 101: Highlight Your Strengths, Hide Your Weaknesses
It’s not trickery, it’s standard protocol. If my pleas to your ethos didn’t stir you, then let the old maxim guide you: hide your weaknesses, and accentuate your strengths.
Take it as fact, that no recruiter will hold it against you for withholding your GPA for as long as possible. If it matters to them, they will ask. If it does not, they won’t.
Companies are more willing than you think overlook GPA. If you can demonstrate an aptitude to get the job done, then you’ll have a shot at being hired. Provide them with enough material to believe they should hire you, and they will. It’s your job to craft a compelling argument. Freely providing them with reasons against that is nonsensical. Don’t be naïve or bashful. You’re in competition with the next guy.
If your GPA is below 3.0, do not provideit unless it’s asked for explicitely. It may sometimes seem like it’s your best interest to let them know, but if the news comes too early, then your out of an opportunity. Honesty points are not real in the game you’re playing. Don’t let your own insecurities get in the way of you holding the job. The question to pose is no longer “Is my GPA okay?” but, “Have I convinced you my GPA is not an issue?”
“The world has a habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.” — Napoleon Hill
- If you’re asked for your GPA in an online application, regardless of whether it’s required or not, provide your GPA. This is the equivalent of being asked in an interview and you should comply. Withholding your GPA will be noticed and will look shady.
- Any GPA below 3.0 should be left off your resume. While a 2.7 might be “okay” in a certain field, it isn’t “strong” and thus shouldn’t be there to draw attention.
- Remember your GPA alone will never get you hired. If you lack the profile for them to inquire, then they weren’t going to reach out anyways.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again. This process won’t be easy, but be patient. Your time will come. It might take a year or two, but giving up is never an option.
Please, comment and lend your opinion or advice. We’re all in this together!