Career Q&A: How to get a job when you have a low GPA

How much does GPA matter when you’re job hunting?

Q: Everything is so much more competitive these days. Will I ever get a good job when I graduated with a 2.0 GPA?
A: Some elite employers have policies requiring a certain GPA (usually a 3.0 or higher), and there is generally no way around that rule. To get a job with one of the gazillions of other employers in the world, a low GPA is a completely surmountable challenge.

In some cases you can squeak through by demonstrating that you’ve achieved better grades in your particular major or in classes related to the job to which you’re applying. For this strategy, you can list your “major GPA” or “grades from relevant classes” on your resume, in a cover letter or verbally during a job interview.

Here’s the most important thing about GPA: it matters less and less as you advance in your career and have more experience under your belt (no one asks a 52-year-old executive what grade she got in Freshman Econ). Applying the transitive property of career advice, this means that if you want your GPA to matter less, you need to make your experience matter more.

Understand that employers use GPA to gauge a few things about you:

•    Your intelligence
•    Your discipline
•    Your ambition

Good grades imply that you are smart, serious and motivated. Mediocre grades imply the opposite. So, if you’re just not a good student or you slacked off in school, you need to show that you possess the attributes of someone with a higher GPA.

How? You can do this through impressive internships and letters of recommendation confirming your intelligence and work ethic. You can do this through consistent participation in extra curricular activities or volunteer work to show that you have discipline. You can do this by taking additional classes to show that you are interested in developing yourself.

If you have a low GPA, you’ll also need to alter your job search accordingly. A resume with a low GPA will likely never make it out of the slush pile, so your better bet is to find jobs through networking rather than online resume submission. On several occasions I’ve been impressed by eager, ambitious, engaging young people who have later told me they have low GPAs. Once I liked and trusted them, the GPA mattered a lot less. In other cases, I’ve never even asked about a person’s GPA simply because he came so highly recommended from someone I know and trust.

p.s. Since you are not required to list your GPA on your resume (I suggest only listing a GPA of 3.0 or higher), some employers may never even ask about your grades. If you get lucky and GPA is never mentioned, you are under no obligation to reveal it.

How important has your GPA been to your job hunt? Share your experience in the Comment section below!

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64 Responses

  1. If you can’t get a 3.0 or higher in your college, then there are 2 possible problems:
    1) You didn’t work hard enough
    2) It wasn’t the right school/major for you

    In the down economy, if you don’t graduate with a decent GPA, you are in a lot of trouble. You really need to work twice as hard now to get the same result as you did before.

    I think Lindsey shares good points in this post, BUT, I think GPA is becoming less and less a factor in recruitment. Let’s face it, employers care about previous results. They want to see your experience, so you HAVE TO get internships, even if they aren’t paid. If you have experience in an average GPA, and a contact, you’ll get a position over a straight A student any day.

    A survey by states that only 4% of employers care about GPA.

    Good discussion Lindsey!

      1. Highest in my class when I was living at home & supported by parents while I was studying a Diploma. I dropped to a 2.8 GPA doing a Bachelor after at UNI when I moved out of home.
        At the time I was supporting myself and working 30 hours a week & doing a full time course. I was working in the field I studied & I know people who were top of my class and never created a career after they finished the course.

        I am not so confident GPA can be an accurate estimate of anyone’s motivation & skill, different peoples life circumstance’s I believe can play a lot on grades.

        1. I’m in a similar situation that you were in–I now pay all my finances and while I do work hard, I still have to work around 60 hours a week just to cover tuition, bills, rent, and food. I’m nervous that employers will see my dropping GPA and move on to the next resume.

    1. A GPA that is lower than 3.0 does not mean the student did not study or was in the wrong major. Many people are not good at test taking, but when asked questions by professor either demonstrates above average understanding of material being tested. For instance, some people with Learning Disabilities( who are usually very intelligent) you may want to ave a hard time taking written test but excel in oral examinations. I personally know some students who did well on test but did not do any class work, which is where the ‘learning” exists, not the test, showing that these students are lazy and do not do well in team work or projects. Many Prof’s ONLY count the test as a measurement of memorization of material but lack the ability to APPLY the information in real world situations. So you may want to reserve judgement of people solely based on there GPA.

      1. Higher GPA is good but when you can not get it, let it be. I had GPA lower than 3.0 and end up get some of the best internship; I did not allow it to define me.

  2. @Dan – Thanks for your thoughts! Do you have a link to that survey? I’d be curious what industries they looked at, because some top tier companies require a 3.0 or higher.



  3. If we’re talking about top-tier firms, then GPA is of the utmost importance. I’m talking about Bain, McKinsey, and Goldman Sachs here. These are the ridiculously prestigious firms that people die to get into.

    I know for a fact that Bain looks at your SAT scores before considering you for a first round interview!

    As far as building your personal brand, I am one who promotes it to undergraduates like no other. I advise them to go out there, network with professionals, build a blog, and develop a thought leadership in the field that you’re interested in. The difficulty is that accounting firms, consulting firms, and i-banking firms could care less that you have a blog. They don’t care that you know how to use Twitter.

    So while understanding social media and building your personal brand is super important and WILL catapult your career, it is still a long way till social media can get an undergraduate a job with Bain.

    Jun Loayza

  4. Hi Lindsey,

    Great article and very thought-provoking. In my experience with college students and employers (as you know, I worked in Career Services for nine years and had a brief stint as a recruiter), GPA is often “the first cut” for many companies at the entry level.

    I agree with Dan that having strong internship experience can sometimes allow one to trump a candidate who has higher GPA; I also agree with Jun Loayza that social media and personal branding can’t get you a job with Bain. I’d just add one suggestion to their comments–it is sometimes curiosity and depth of interest that “lands the job.” The job doesn’t always go to the candidate who has the strongest GPA or internship experience, but sometimes goes to the candidate who is the most articulate about the skills they offer and how the needs of the organization at which they are interviewing.

    So from that angle, I frequently recommend candidates study companies as if they were writing a research paper–i.e.

    From the Company Perspective:
    * What do press releases say about new developments and initiatives, or the impact of the economy on the company?
    * How is the company performing relative to the industry?
    * What are future goals and corporate strategic plans? (i.e. Look for annual reports)

    From the Job Perspective:
    * What are the responsibilities of the position and how does your background align with the qualifications and job functions?
    * What are the *most important* skills you can have in this particular role?
    * What do employers need most for success in this position? (Ask someone who works in a similar capacity at another organization/ I once asked an architect what he needed in an entry-level hire and he said, “business skills” because it’s not just about design–we run a business, too.)

    If you apply for positions using this perspective and demonstrate that you understand the role and the company, you’ll stand out regardless of GPA because you start out by demonstrating your relevance–and that can go a long way!

    (I look forward to talking to you again soon; happy Thanksgiving!)


  5. When writing a resume, we try to see if we can paint a picture in its totality. One step at a time. The first job is to get into the door. I usually do not include GPAs lower than 3.3 or 3.4 on the resume. I also try to identify other aspects that “round” out the candidate, such as internships, special projects, volunteer positions, experience gained while in school, course load, etc. If the right picture is painted on the resume, other factors could sway the reader to request an interview, where you will be able to state your case and defend your position.

    But you have to be able to get into the door first!

    We all know people with high GPAs that have failed miserably (usually because everything has come easily for them and they did not know how to handle adversity). We also know people who have had average academic careers who have gone on to great heights. Seek employment with small businesses as well to get your career started. Usually, a small business owner understands that it takes more than a lofty GPA to succeed and will give you a chance if you can convince them of your ability and willingness to wear multiple hats.

  6. Great post and would just like to add that there is an ethical obligation on the part of the applicant to be honest in the resume. Resume padding at any level should be considered a crime punishable by law.

    Being dishonest in a resume might help you get the job but sooner or later the truth comes out and may have everlasting effects on any career.

    A resume is a document which should represent the strong points of the candidate as this document serves as a screening document and also provides the first and foremost impression the recruiter gets of the applicant.

    Be smart and stick with the truth. Mention your GPA only if it is outstanding.

    Thank you for a great post and best of luck to all job seekers.

  7. I got a GPA of 3.6 in Chemistry and got a high enough MCAT score to get a scholarship for Medical School. I completely hated my life so I dropped out.

    Now I am struggling to get an office job that pays $30,000 and requires a HS degree even though I have a decade of experience. My wife is making more than me even though she has less experience, and she just graduated with GPA of less than 3.

    What does this teach us? GPA is only relevant if you make it. If you go into academia or some other low paying career path that emphases grades, then you will pay for that low GPA. Go into a field that actually does things like business, and you can make way more money in no time.

    I suggest that if school is too hard to go get a job that requires a HS degree. Explore other options. You are wasting your time if you are in college, and it is not fulfilling your dreams. Enjoy everyday or do something else.

  8. I am currently a senior in college and I disagree with the fact that a GPA tells how ambitious, intelligent, and disciplined you are. For me, college has been about finding out what I enjoy doing and what I would like to do as far as jobs are concerned for the rest of my life. When I started college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I found myself taking classes that did not interest me or taking classes that I didnt like. I think you have a much better chance of succeeding when you’re doing something that you like/ interested in. In my opinion, GPA is just a benchmark for judging students, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the 3.5 GPA student is more intelligent, disciplined, or driven than the 2.8 student. We all encounter different obstacles that affect our GPA. Some of us do terrible in our original major then do great once we decide which major is good for us.

  9. currently my gpa is suffering, which is very hard to deal with. however, it seems like student who major in engineering, don’t really have a high gpa and people who major in any other majors, they tend to get a higher gpa. so my question is that if you interview for a job should you still not present your gpa if you are majoring in engineering and you have a gpa below 3.0.

  10. I graduated with a 2.44 in 7 years with a B.S in chemistry. Yeah that sucks. However, a few things I had going for me: I received well over a 3.0 my last two years and finished with a 4.0 my final semester. It also took me longer to graduate because I suffered a personal injury which held me back 2 years. These were talking points in my interview if asked. I have been asked in about 70% of my interviews about my gpa. The higher paying jobs with better companies do ask, while the jobs that don’t pay so well or are “awkward” jobs that they have hard times filling positions for don’t ask. My first job was for 24K a year. I only did that for 3 months, but once I had that under my belt,combined with a very well written resume that did not show my gpa but highlighted other things like research projects I did in school and made my 3 months experience as a lab tech sound like I was a prodigal chemist, I was able to get an interview with a fortune 500 company for a chemist I position. This is a 48k a year job. I got the job because I give a really really good interview, I wont lie. I give an awesome interview. They did ask my GPA, but I gave them a good answer. Now Ive been there one year. So I would say with only one year experience making just under 50K with a bad GPA and terrible academic history(minus the last 2 years) I am doing pretty good. But its only a contract position, which sucks. I’m currently interviewing with two companies for permanent positions. But with over one year experience at the Chemist 1 level, gpa should be less important. One of jobs im currently waiting for a response from (have had a 2nd interview) did not even ask for my gpa.

    Basically, in summation, if you have a bad gpa your going to have to work a low paying possibly third shift job or dirty job for a year or two max. Once you have that experience you can get a better job and gpa shouldn’t. YOU MUST GET RELEVANT EXPERIENCE, that is the most important part. However, now being in the field I am in, I see you need at least a masters (for the most part) in order to get a really good paying job. Thats just science though. I am actually probably going to go back to school for a second B.S in bioengineering, mainly because I truly desire to be involved in regenerative medicine especially wound healing and cardiac tissue healing. And engineering is one of the few B.S degress that are worth getting. What I have noticed is that Engineering and account/finance degrees pay well on the B.S level while other las degrees are almost worth less. The science degrees (phys, biochem,chem,bio) are a little better but you really need a m.s or better for a good job.

  11. Well about 90% of these posts say that GPA isn’t as important as experience. Let’s examine that claim more closely. I have a 2.2 accumulated GPA being a “Cell biology & Molecular Genetics” major. You only get experience through internships… When applying to internship the VERY FIRST THING they staple as a “requirement” for the internship is something along the lines of “must have 3.0 accumulated or better to be considered.”

    So…Now we have a new problem, and I will say this WITH MUCH CONFIDENCE…that MOST internships (at least in college park) have a GPA requirement, and since internships are a gateway to experience, getting them is important. Having established this fact, I now know several important things:

    Experience (according to posts) > GPA.
    GPA –> necessary to obtain experience.
    Experience necessary to get jobs.

    perhaps this would work better if i could somehow draw a circle of some sort… and place these items around it.

  12. I don’t understand what the big deal about GPA is anyway. When I get a 3.6 or above in a class, it means that I already knew the material, and the class was a waist of my time. When I get grades lower than that it means that I actually learned something. I spend about 45 hours a week either working or transporting myself to work (because I have to ride the bus into town) to pay my tuition, so I don’t have the time to put in the work to get really good grades in classes that are teaching material that is new to me. Not to mention the fact that I don’t really take school seriously. I would be better served learning the material on my own than in a classroom. I learn better and faster that way. The only benefit I see in going to classes is with courses that have lab or shop work in them, such as metallic processes or physics.

  13. Different universities have different difficultly levels. some universities give out Distinctions easily while in others, one has to fight for a mere pass. It is wrong for employers to generalize, especially in countries like Malaysia where graduates come from different universities in different countries.

  14. Well. I had stellar GPA at the beginning. Then I had a child during my junior level. I was going for Aerospace Engineering, so it was no joke. I still graduated being single mom and working full time with GPA of 2.1. Almost went crazy. Major GPA is 2.0. I think that the fact of me graduating already shows that I am ambitious and disciplined. But I can’t even get an interview. I’ll keep trying. 🙁

  15. If your gpa is below 3.0, it is very unlikely you will get a job. The odds are truly stacked against you. If you do get a job, it is pure luck. There is almost nothing you can do to fix it. The article is giving false hope. The End.

    1. @Martin,
      As you know from my post I disagree with you, but thank you for taking the time to comment and share your perspective.

    2. According to Martin, a lot of people would end up jobless then. Having a low gpa limits your options but it does not mean you cannot get a job. It just takes significantly more time and effort.

  16. Most of us take our hats off to A and A/B students; they deserve respect. Undergraduate years tend to be the immediate post teen years and each person responds differently to living away from the nest.

    Average or poor grades are not necessarily a sign of lack of all responsibility; kudos to those who try journalism, writing or a social science when they are math geniuses. Same to poets and intuitive sensitive folks who take up STEM fields or quantitative majors.

    In so doing you may be assuring yourself a 2.0-3.0 GPA but you will emerge a rounded employment candidate with rare insight for your type of mind, humility, team work attitude and often sympathy from an interviewer — not always in your first job but certainly at promotion time and over the decades of your work life. Take it from a 2.0 [ Patton, Powell, Edison, Graham Bell, Churchill and Major were poor students too ]

    4.0’s know that the number falls on deaf ears after a job or two — the question is not if you can memorize but can you problem solve — even more can you work efficiently to identify the problem and solve it. More and more folks with no college at all are doing this very well.

    Truth Teller

  17. I graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree (and 2.7 GPA) from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Here, the average graduating GPA for ME’s is around a 2.65-2.7. GPA is not necessarily an indicator of intelligence, ambition, etc. It also indicates how much a$$ your school kicked academically. Hiring companies should also take that into account

  18. I’ve graduated with a GPA of 2.1 in Aerospace Engineering from top 10 schools in a country. I don’t have experience. I can’t get a job anywhere. Period. I should have gone to lower ranked school and get higher GPA. Right now I have useless piece of paper (my diploma) on me and whole bunch of student loans. It’s been 8 months of having no job.

    1. @Anna- Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry that you are having a difficult time. If you haven’t already, perhaps you could use the career center at your former institution as a resource. It’s always helpful to have someone review your professional portfolio with you. Best of luck!

  19. Out of 25 jobs I applied to I got interview for 20 of them , even though I have a poor GPA. The only reason I got so many interviews was that I had great experience in my field which I was able to build through relevant volunteer work. So I completely disagree on the point that lower gpa can not get you a good job. I eventually ended up in the top company in North America

  20. I myself graduated with a high GPA from UCLA in engineering (honors)

    But I don’t even list my GPA on my resume because nobody, and I mean it, nobody cares about your GPA for technical jobs.

    They care about skills/experience/references, as well as the interview (here they ask technical questions…so what’s the point of a GPA?).

    So the moral of the story is: If you have a low GPA take an unpaid internship to boost your technical knowledge.

    Note: This applies for “technical” jobs. I don’t know how it is in other fields. But, I imagine it would be absurd to judge humanities majors applying for an HR position on GPA; we all know, your Behavioral Sociology class means squat in the real world.

  21. I can not speak for anyone else, but myself. I recently graduated with a degree in electrical engineering with a little less than a 2.6 GPA. This made internships impossible for myself. I pretty much had some companies laugh me out of the interview. After months of trying to go for entry level electrical engineering jobs, I decieded to change my tactics. My emphasis was in Power Systems, so I deceided to try to go for jobs that were not necessarily electrical engineering, but were associated with the Power industry. I ended up getting a posistion as a Sales Engineer for a software company who’s software is used by power engineers across the world; since I have a background in electrical engineering they also allowed me to be apart of the testing team and developmental team. Also, I became proficient in using the software. When I first started I was making about $35k and after busting my ass for 4 months they bumped me up to a little under $50k. I now have way more relevant experience in the field of Power Systems and the interviews for other companies have been coming way more frequent. Needless to say your journey is not going to be for those who are weak willed, but it is doable. You just have to patient and think outside the box a little.

  22. I am a computer science/engineering student at Georgia Tech. I transferred into the school after 1.5 year from Georgia State, and it has been nothing but hell for me because I suffered so many misfortunes due to handling my parents’ mortgage, bankruptcy hearings, cancer treatment, lack of supports, and moving situation at 20 years old. My grade suffered tremendously and my GPA dropped from a 3.8 to a 0.91 GPA. Eventually, I pulled my GPA up to 1.92 after 2 years of struggling with classes and life at this God-Awful school. For those out there who think their GPA is low, well take a look at my life and you should called yours lucky! Because no one have as low of a GPA as I do and lack so much money to eat, but still keep going. Most students will change their major and never want to look back at this point in their miserable life to call themselves a failing engineer. What has been so hard for me is to find an internship and accept the fact that employers will never look twice at how hard you work or your life situation to give you chance to earn your bread and bacon. It will take me 6 years to graduate from undergrad to pull up my GPA with more loans debt, but I guess that’s what I have to do because being a minority in engineering is always super HARD when you lack support compared to rich, privileged, spoiled babies who don’t have to care for their family and have their parents feed them!!!!! If you are in the same situation like me who are trying to get out of your dump, try to do research at your institution before you graduate or work at school to build good recommendation, because the corporate world won’t give half a damn if you don’t have above a 3.0 GPA or work experience before you get out, and chances are, your options for jobs are very limited. If you are in the same situation like me who tried to care for people in your family while you’re in school, learn to say “NO”, because you will save yourself so much trouble later in life by teaching yourself to be selfish and focus on yourself. I regret caring and being a people-pleaser when I should have neglected everyone in order to focus on myself when things get tough. So please, learn to say “NO” when you feel like it, and the same attitude should apply to your job searching if an employer said “NO.” You should ask why, and force them to reconsider, because there is no way you will get a job unless you fight for it and don’t accept a NO from anyone.

  23. I was an Electrical Engineering major out of Cal Poly Pomona and my GPA is 2.45. I have worked a paid internship for over 2 years and still cannot find work. GPA is everything. I am more qualified for most entry level positions because I have worked with professional engineers and done a lot of full-time electrical engineer work. My employer does not have a position for me so I am left with the burden of looking elsewhere. I have great references, a ton of experience, and I am also very presentable and well spoken when it comes to interviews (more so than the majority of engineer majors). For someone like “dreamer” above to say that they are not that interested in GPA is a flat out lie. I have been told by people not to put my GPA on my resume and I have not; received a lot of interviews but for the most part employers have shy’d away from me do to my GPA. The only thing to really overcome is to keep applying, keep interviewing, someone is bound to see people for what they really are, not for the story their GPA tells.

  24. No much hope here. Just alot of depression. Start in at a mid-ranked university when I was 22, and graduated when I was 26 with a BA in Communications. Unfortunately I wasn’t always a good student, I was lazy, I procrastinated, I didn’t really what I wanted to do with my life, didn’t take internships. Also I am dianogsed with Aspergers and ADHD, so socially I was very immature for my age. I ended with with a lousy 2.75, and I have raised it 2.8, but that was after I graduated. Because of my autism and my small location, net working is an extremely difficult route for me to take. Right now I work for Mazzio’s and my dad’s convenient store, and haven’t much luck finding other jobs. I’m taking a few more classes hoping it might give me more direction, but I’m just not optimistic anymore. Just feel like any hope for getting a career that would like is dead. Penelope Trunk, the career advisor, suggested I work in low-level government administrative jobs, which made it sound even more depressing for me, because I really have no interest in working in that area.

  25. i recently graduated with bs arch. Degree. And its hard for me to find my new job because of my low grades in college. Ive been turn down by many employers because of my low grades and because i only have less experience for cad operator position. Some interviewers told me that they need an employer who is really motivated and they judge it through college grade record. But i know to myself that i can do the things that they looking to an employee.

  26. gpa is required on many resumes, especially for anything government related or for civilian contract jobs that objectively qualify candidates based on gpa as a factor. With sweeping generalizations like what was mentioned, I don’t think the person who wrote the above article should be getting a pay check. It’s just flat out wrong, and bad advice.

  27. I just want to say that I graduated with 2 degrees (Biology BS and Studio Art BA) and a chemistry minor about 3 months ago. So far, I’ve had 3 job offers, took two (one was graveyard shift, but above minimum wage) and am now working full time at a small company that makes circuit boards. My overall gpa was a 2.41 from a small public university.

    Now, we all understand that the fortune 500 companies only take the ‘best and brightest’, but let’s be fair- life doesn’t end when you go to college. I had 3 deaths in the family, one of which was a much loved 17 year old dog who’d become the best thing in my life for the better part of those years. On top of that, I had to help take care of our dearly departed grandfather and aunt’s households (both of which were about 8 hours away by car trip). So, in taking more chemistry classes than biology and lacking study time, my grades suffered. But at the end of those days, I was more happy to know I’d helped someone out when they needed assistance. And my biology grades were 3.2, so I didn’t feel so bad. Chemistry, math and physics weren’t my forte, hence, why I didn’t enjoy the classes, and didn’t long to do well in them. I’m very happy with my life, and still managed to secure 2 jobs so far without anyone inquiring about said GPAs. Now, i didn’t party or booze it up in my college years. I sat around, reading my books, and occasionally going for a run in my rare spare moment.So I wouldn’t call myself lazy. Disinterested by chemistry and math? absolutely. I signed up to work with stuff i could play with, not calculate out. And all majors have some of those classes that we just don’t want to take. Now art was another story: only 2 C’s the entire time, all the rest were B+ or higher. My gpa over there was about 3.5, and I haven’t boasted that one bit. But people around the area know my baking and have seen some of my art from the local paper, so my name is out there.

    With that said, networking also helps. hit up your friends and your parents friends. Where there are openings (even entry level hourly work) you should apply. Chances are right out of college, you won’t be snuggling up to the top dogs at GE or Boeing. You’ll be stuck doing the grunt work. Even if you are coming from other jobs, you won’t be likely for the higher positions simply because they want experience that only come from years of hard work in low level jobs. But if you don’t get antsy or try to pawn your issues on other people in your work place, your bosses will promote you as they see fit. Remember: humility and respect go a very long way.

    i’d also recommend listing your better hobbies (ex: swimming, running, cooking, etc.) as talents. you don’t have to be great in them, just show that you are not a ‘blank page’ employee. Employers like people who have many different interests because it gives them new ideas and allows for more intellectual freedom. However, if something like building fireworks for fun or getting ridiculously drunk is a hobby, don’t list (or mention) those things. They tend to show immaturity. Likewise, appearance and sometimes names (let’s be fair, some racism isn’t out of the older generations) can prevent you from having a job. tattoos, mohawks, eccentric dress styles are huge warnings to employers that you are a risk taker. As for the naming- look up baby names verses employment. Lots of interesting papers out there that can explain that better than I can.

    Good luck with everyone’s job search.

  28. What everyone really needs to know is, experience, finding the right place to get a job, and choosing the right major to go with is the way to get a job. I chose Economics as a major (after reading on a Forbes article that there is a high demand for economics majors; you can read this here Anyways! Though I disliked economics, and thus making it difficult to make stellar grades at my school, I don’t regret choosing economics. I was able to get an internship with a guarantee of a job after in a government sector job. By the way, not all government sector jobs are unimportant-people DO have a bias against them. The benefits in the long run will show that they too are good career moves.

    One other thing that helped me was being a minority-as an Asian student in the south I was able to get a job more since I am a rarity here. Thus, knowing your demographics in an area and selectively finding ways to get a job is a good strategy in finding a job. So many college graduates these days believe that they will find a job in a big city and will have more opportunities in them. Wrong. What you have to realize is, more people, more competition. You might (not saying all cities are like this, but some) be competing with people that may have masters degrees, PhDs, and the such. Thus, seeing what the demographic is like in the company in that certain city and what that company needs (as a demographic-whether is a certain gender, certain race, etc.) is a good place to expand your finding of certain jobs.

    Anyways, last one. EXPERIENCE! I cannot emphasize the last one. I know many of my friends that are graduating right out of college think that they will “just get handed a job” because of their degree and their part-time job at a clothing store, fast food chain, etc. No; it is really hard to get a job unless you start networking. Getting an internship in your field of study will help you network. Networking well and keeping those valuable connections in that specified field of study will help you in the long run. I’ve learned from my HR class that nowadays networking is one of the best, if not THE best way to find a job. If someone knows you well (either from your internship or your family connections), they have more incentives to give you that job rather than someone that they don’t know.

    Also, *and this is the icing on top*, make sure to use your school’s career center! They are there for a reason! Or if you have graduated, get your resume checked by a person that is in human resources at a company. I did that and now I have an internship that’s worthwhile!

    Anyways, all of this is much more important than your GPA (with experience in the field being number 1), so don’t worry too much y’all. And to the people that recently graduated, I advise you to take any offer of internship first, whether its paid or unpaid. You will need to build experience.

    1. Hey! I’m actually thinking of majoring in economics (I’m finishing up my Sociology major reqs soon) since I’m currently an upper sophomore going into junior year this sept. I’m currently interning with a life insurance company (so its relevant to finance and business) and i’m expected to be working here for a long time. Just in case I find out that this job isn’t for me and I want to go into something economics related, is this internship relevant enough or would gpa still be important? I ought to have a 2.8-3.2 by the time I graduate and that’s assuming I maintain at least a B in all my classes from now on. 3.2 is assuming I get As on everything and I’m not sure how well I’ll do in the econ classes. I’m an Asian female (only mentioning this since ethnicity seems to be a factor) Let me know your thoughts? Thanks!

      1. @Southerner – I believe the internship will be very important, but the GPA still counts, too. Employers will look especially closely at your grades in business and Econ courses that relate to the work you might be doing at their organizations. Good luck!

  29. I graduate with a B. Sc. math with cgpa 2.4. The reason was i flunk most of the subject that i hate like abstract algebra and real analysis. Not including cgpa in resume is a very good idea. Since they might not even look at resume past your cgpa info. Thanks for the article and informative comments.

  30. My daughter has been facing the challenge of growing up with a single working mom. I have worked two low paying jobs most of my life. When she started college, I could not afford it and she is majoring in engineering. She has to work to help pay bills as well as study. She transferred into a program after two years with a 4.0. Her first year in the engineering program she got behind because her serving job was working her 30 hours a week with no time to study. She could not afford to lose the job but worked under a dictator during football season; one who refused to let her transfer to a closer store. I had to talk to the manager to get her the transfer. She has A’ s in every subject but engineering (which she loves) but her GPA is a 2.1. In any other non engineering major, she would easily had a 4.0 but she wants to be an engineer. A friend of mine from college had a low GPA in engineering, barely a 2.0, but joined the Army. When she got out she had no problem landing a job.

    1. @Anastasia – Thank you for the comment. This is a very difficult situation and unfortunately quite common. I know a woman in a similar situation who had a very supportive professor write a letter of recommendation that explained her circumstances and why her GPA was low. The young woman submitted it with all job applications. I hope that is helpful.

  31. I have under a 3.0, but got great jobs. I applied to many places and got interviews with top firms and well paying firms. I give a great interview and I know I have more to add to than just my GPA. Its not false hope, you can do it you just have to work a bit harder to get around the GPA. I struggled a lot with mental help and family issues and work a couple jobs, and my school is known for its ardor. So I too disagree with the above comment.

  32. Hi i have recently completed my bachelors in electronics engineering my GPA is 2.65. I have applied in every company but didn’t got any reply. I am very good in telecom subjects and have earned good grades in telecom subjects. What should i do now? Should i go for masters? or keep trying for a job?

  33. Lizz,

    Thank you for pointing out the most obvious fact that people in this post have completely neglected.

    Internships have very high G.P.A requirements, so those are not an opportunity for students with low G.P.A’s.

    My best strategy is that if you graduate with a low G.P.A don’t waste your efforts trying to get a full time job in your industry.

    I would get interviews and then let go when they found out I had a 2.9 in my applied statistics degree.

    But i was determined.

    I got a part-time job and learned valuable software and applications such as SQL, Excel. Then I applied for internships targeted towards recent college graduates.

    I now have a job as a research intern. (paid)

    Get marketable skills if you don’t graduate with a high G.P.A!

    This is the type of “experience” that trumps a low G.P.A.

  34. This post is nonsense and hopefully nobody byes into it. GPA IS Important. When I started university at 18 I was very unsociable due to my social anxiety and this affected me very badly to the point I was isolating myself from people. Also it didnt help that in high school most of my peers were not interested in doing science. When I began university I was working at a part-time job where I was being underpaid and the people at work were not the best kinds of people to get along well with. In short my grades suffered and I had a few other family issues going on at the same time. Offcourse I had always been eager to get good grades but unfortunately at times I was studying too excessively that I didn’t know when to stop. At the same time I really had no idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I never told anyone about my poor grades which never helped either. I was too ashamed to even tell my parents yet somehow I rationalized that I should continue with the degree and that I will eventually graduate. The turning point came at 21 when I realised all my mistakes, quit my job and focused on my schooling. Unfortunately it was too late and I graduated with the equivalent of a 1.433 (on the american system as we use a different system here). My major was Biology but with many other science papers including chemistry and physics. I have no idea what was wrong with me but I just want to say that looking back the thing I would change most would be to be honest with myself and open up to people about my problems. Nobody is perfect and It always helps to have a different persons opinion because two or more heads are better than 1. Also I suggest to anyone with SA to make friends early and to stick to them. Never worry about feeling inadequate and always seek help from others if you are having difficulty with coursework. There are people out there who enjoy helping others you just got to find them.

  35. The responses in the article helps me understand why the country, and arguably the world, is having so many societal and economic problems.

    The competitive and over-acheiving type are, only that, competitive and overachieving. The world is a worse off place because these people are leadership.

  36. Pingback: How To Get Into A University With Low Gpa | How To Get
  37. I think having high GPA will help you land a good first job, but for your succeeding jobs, it all boils down to your job experience and accomplishments. I also admire companies like Google who do not discriminate applicants who were not able to finish college and still give them the chance to prove themselves. It’s something that most people have to endure just to prove themselves that they also deserve the same chance as those who were able to earn a degree, more so people with high GPA.

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