GPA is probably one of the biggest worries for college students applying for job interviews , especially freshers. You may wonder, do recruiters actually care for your GPA? Would they ask you about your GPA? What if my GPA is not up to their standards?
The short answer is, it depends. But don’t you worry, more companies are changing their standards when hiring and starting not to pay as much attention to GPA in job interviews! Prestigious companies like Google have stopped asking for test scores and even stopped caring if applicants have a degree when hiring since 2013. It doesn’t mean you can then neglect your GPA, though.
Why GPAs can be important
Other than work experiences, recruiters use GPA scores when screening applicants. There are only two reasons why some companies still ask for or take importance into your GPAs: determining your competencies and backing up minimal work experience.
GPAs can be considered as the quantitative measure of your competencies. GPA is not everything, but it matters for recruiters who most likely have to screen tons of applicants. A good GPA indicates that you are highly knowledgeable about your major and suggests that you are disciplined and dedicated to completing your assignments with the best results. It’s not easy to master multiple subjects, maintain good grades for years, and graduate with an outstanding GPA. This is especially useful for fresh graduates. A good GPA will be able to back up your lack of professional work experience. Usually, GPAs don’t matter if you already have previous work experience. But, if you have plenty of work experience and have a good GPA, you will stand out!
Fortunately, more companies no longer use a high GPA as the primary standard when hiring. In general, most companies ask for a 3.0 GPA, the highest being a 3.5 GPA. Of course, this depends on what kind of work you are applying for. If your job requires high academic intellectuals like professors, a GPA higher than 3.5 may be required.
What to do if your GPA is low?
Sometimes, recruiters will ask you about your GPA during job interviews. Again, this may be the case for fresh graduates. This is a very crucial question in the interview process! If you have a ‘low’ GPA, these are the things you can say:
- Explain your reasons
Life is unpredictable, right? There are plenty of reasons why your GPA could be low, and if the reasons are reasonable, you can definitely share them. For example, you had to take care of your sick mother, so you had to miss your classes and take multiple part-time jobs to support your mother’s hospital bills. This means you not only have previous work experience (regardless if it’s related to your major or applied position), you just showed the recruiter incredible soft skills like empathy, dedication, and determination. It’s not easy to be able to complete your degree while having to work multiple jobs at the same time.
- Show off your organizational and work experience
Share your organizational, volunteer, and work experience! When your GPA is low, most likely, your recruiter will ask you about your organizational or work experience. You could share your role, job responsibilities, and how you contributed to your organization or previous workplace. Don’t forget to share how those experiences can be useful to the company you are applying to. Never underestimate any small organizational or work experience! When working in any organization, you develop many hard and soft skills like problem-solving, teamwork, and communication.
- Emphasize particular subjects
If you have a few subjects with a decent or high grade related to the job, don’t hesitate to share. This could help show the recruiter that you are not less qualified to take the role. What matters is that you have the knowledge to do your job!
The importance of GPAs depends on the situation. Although, for fresh graduates with minimal work or organizational experience, GPAs are essential and can help you find a decent job. For experienced workers, GPAs shouldn’t be on the list of your worries. In this day and age, most companies value your work experience, contribution, and portfolios! They just need to ensure that you can get the work done and contribute positively to the company.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is considered a good GPA for companies?
This answer depends on each company, but most companies generally ask for a 3.0 to a 3.5 GPA. Some don’t even care!
- Can I still get a job with a low GPA?
Yes, you can! Show your capabilities with your previous internship, work, or organizational experience.
- What to do if I have a low GPA?
If you don’t feel confident, enrichen your experience and resume by taking internships and volunteering. A rich work experience is more valuable than your GPA.