Low Gpa: How to Explain a Low GPA in Job Interviews
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Most employers have a list of desired attributes and minimum qualifications for a potential employee. With the sometimes dozens of applications a human resources employee must sift through to find a couple of interview-worthy candidates, it is critical that you stand out in a positive way. A low grade-point average, however, can be a substantial red flag for a hiring manager. If you find yourself in this unenviable situation, there are some things you can do in your resume and in your interview to perform damage control and to get the job of your dreams.
expalining low gpa in job interview
Step 1 Craft your resume to highlight significant academic and service-related accomplishments without directly listing your entire GPA. Emphasize positive experiences you had, pointing out those that most directly correlate to the position to which you are applying. By writing a resume masterpiece you may be fortunate to not have your interviewer ask your total GPA.
Segregate the good GPA from the bad, chronologically. If your GPA in your last three years of college was considerably better, list it as a disclaimer for your entire GPA. For example: GPA 2.10 (3.0 in my last three years).
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Step 3 Highlight your GPA in courses in your major if it makes your overall GPA look better. For example: 2.10 GPA (3.5 in Business Administration coursework).
Step 4 Explain your GPA by removing semesters in which you had a significant life experience that caused an abnormal drop in performance. For example: 2.1 GPA (3.0 GPA in courses other than the Fall of 2009). Such experiences as a death in the family, an illness or a layoff can help explain grade challenges.
Step 5 Delete your GPA from your resume. Be prepared to answer questions about it in the interview. Depending on the depth of the problem, explaining away a poor GPA may be easier when doing so this way.
Step 1 Practice interviewing for the position with your school’s job-placement department. Your margin for error may be smaller, so prepare for the interview by researching the job and the company thoroughly.
Step 2 Support your resume by explaining, in detail, any extenuating circumstances that led to your GPA woes. Take responsibility for your results, but explain things out of your control. Answer every question honestly and descriptively, displaying yourself in the best possible light.
Step 3 Spin negative results into positive ones when possible. If you had to work full-time to support yourself or your family while you were in school, explain that in a way that demonstrates you are trustworthy and have a good work ethic.
Step 4 Thank your interviewer sincerely and by name. Follow up with a thank-you card that expresses your gratitude for the interview and highlights another job skill or attribute you offer the company.
Step 5 Consider retaking one or more of the classes in which you scored the lowest before you seek employment. You can make a significant improvement on your GPA with a few improvements and you can use these results in your interview to demonstrate your dissatisfaction with mediocrity.