Home Career Advice How Much Does GPA Matter?

How much do my grades matter when it comes to landing my first job?

 Three human resources executives weigh in on the question that can cause resume anxiety!

Luke Weaver Human Resources Associate PepsiCo, Inc.

Luke Weaver
Human Resources Associate
PepsiCo, Inc.


Whether you are top of the class or living by the motto “Cs get degrees,” your grades do matter. But what matters more is your ability to explain your classroom performance.

You may find some organizations draw a line in the sand when it comes to GPA requirements. If you fall on the other side of this benchmark, you may find it difficult to pass the initial resume review. If you question publishing your GPA on your resume, take the following into consideration:

Did you work to fund your degree? A hard-working candidate who has developed time-management skills by balancing academics, extracurricular activities and a job is extremely desirable for potential employers.

Did you change majors or get caught up in a few tough classes? It happens all the time, a slow start as a freshman or sophomore will significantly impact your ability to lift your GPA in your third and fourth years. Explaining your difficulties (and how you rose to the challenge) is often more impactful to potential employers than telling them about all your accomplishments.

The final option is always there—omit your GPA from your resume. This is an acceptable solution, but if this is the path you would like to take, it is important to nail the bottom half of your resume with strong work/leadership/involvement experiences. Be prepared to address this, and do so with confidence. Above all else, acting with integrity and honesty is the only policy when it comes to landing your first job.

Heather Jenners Almeida Human Resources Business Partner Mondelez International

Heather Jenners Almeida
Human Resources Business Partner
Mondelez International


As a potential employer, I do look at your overall GPA and feel that having a well-balanced college experience is important. Your GPA tied with demonstrated volunteer, work, internship and leadership experiences are ways that potential employers can assess your intellectual horsepower, how you handle complexity and your learning agility.

I find that students who show the ability to balance multiple priorities at once enhance their marketability and have a demonstrated work ethic. These are critical skills that employers are looking for along with your GPA.





Mesale Solomon Director, Talent Acquisition & Diversity Avis Budget Group

Mesale Solomon
Director, Talent Acquisition & Diversity
Avis Budget Group


I believe grades matter a lot when it comes to landing your first job. Your grades are a reflection of your performance and talent which is what companies look to gauge when making a hiring decision. If you have had very little or no work experience, your grades matter even more as an indicator of your work ethic and capabilities.

Many companies, like Avis Budget Group, take a more balanced approach when reviewing all that a student brings to the table. However, strong grades give a graduating student an edge over other students competing for the same position where all other factors are equal. Ultimately, take your grades seriously and recognize that they do say a lot about what you bring to the table and to an organization. They reflect your personal pride and confidence which is an X-factor many organizations like to see in job candidates.

Your grades can say that you are building your knowledge around the craft you are studying and you are putting forth the necessary effort to demonstrate that knowledge transfer has occurred. On the other hand, your grades can reflect that you are just getting by with average effort and it’s unclear whether you have passion around what you are studying. Which of these stories do you want to be yours?

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