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College folk, question about GPA and employer

longskate88

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Advice needed: I'm about halfway through school here at SDSU, and spent the first 1.5 years as an engineering major. I switched out, now doing Finance (or accounting if I change my mind again). Anyways, the engineering stint REALLY brought down my GPA. Is there any way to get a prospective employer to NOTICE that most of my low grades were in my previous major? Will they care? Can I list "Overall GPA: xxx" and then "Major GPA: xxx"? Thanks!

edit: listing GPA for a resume.
 

sonick

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I don't think very many people put their GPA's on their resume's, so you're fine. Employers rarely ask for your grades anyways, its mostly important if you're going into post-grad studies, otherwise its no big deal.
 

djs488

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Originally Posted by sonick
I don't think very many people put their GPA's on their resume's
^In my limited experience that is completely untrue.

You can absolutely put GPA in major on a resume, but make sure to put the number of courses this corresponds to.

Cumulative GPA: 3.1
GPA in Major (8 courses): 3.5

Something like that would be appropriate.
 

dastig

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quick rule is:

anything above 3.0, put it on

anything below 3.0, don't

Also, if you're major GPA is above 3.0 and your cumulative isn't, just go ahead an put the major gpa.

Also, GPA does matter. However, it really only matters for that first job/internship. After you have a few years experience at a company, future employers aren't going to care what your gpa was.
 

ibleedwhite

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If you'd like to put it on, do it. but remember, with a resume your trying to sell yourself, so plan accordingly.
 

Brian278

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Originally Posted by sonick
I don't think very many people put their GPA's on their resume's, so you're fine. Employers rarely ask for your grades anyways, its mostly important if you're going into post-grad studies, otherwise its no big deal.

Right out of college, everyone puts their GPAs on their resume. It's one of the few things they can look at to figure out how well you can do what they're going to ask you to do.

I would think listing your major GPA wouldn't be that strange if you are applying for strictly Finance positions. That being said, and as is going to be said over and over in this thread, in 90% of the cases your grades really only matter for your first job.
 

sonick

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Originally Posted by djs488
^In my limited experience that is completely untrue.
Perhaps when you're fresh out of school. But if somebody's been out in the workplace more than half a dozen years, would you still expect them to have their college GPA?

Anyways, Brian summed up well what I was meaning. If its good, by all means put it in, but if the grades are not so good, then it wouldn't be the end of the world to not include it. It wouldn't be "strange" to include it, or not include it.

I guess you'd only REALLY want to include it if you have absolutely no relevant work experience prior to graduation or your first job, and that is the only indicator to differentiate you from others competing for the same job.
 

FidelCashflow

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Originally Posted by sonick
Perhaps when you're fresh out of school. But if somebody's been out in the workplace more than half a dozen years, would you still expect them to have their college GPA?
+1. Does anyone really care what their doctors or accountants GPA was?
 

Milhouse

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The way I evaluate candidates for internships or positions fresh out of school is my own way and may be drastically different than how others evaluate candidates, so keep that in mind.

I don't care whether or not your GPA is listed because I'll ask you for transcripts if you get to that point. When I look at the resume initially, I scan it to check for a few things; first and foremost whether or not you have any applicable experience (unlikely for candidates for internships or fresh out of school, but it has happened), second I look to see whether or not you have extracurriculars and school year employment. I'll take a solid B student that works, plays sports, is involved in clubs, charity, etc over a straight A student with nothing else on their resume. I want someone that can get served a ton of stuff on their plate and be able to prioritize and deal with all of it.

If I see that you put some thought into your resume/cover letter (and yes, I will judge your communications ability on that cover letter so make it clear, concise, to the point, and don't talk all about what you want, I want to see that you understand this is a two sided deal, I get a worker, you get paid, you get experience, you maybe get a letter of recommendation), and your resume filters into the good pile for reasons listed above, then I ask for transcripts.

Transcripts tell me the "story" and I do enjoy this part. I try to understand where they had trouble and why may have happened. Obvious trends like switching from a major where they were doing poorly into a major that they do much better in, looks good to me, especially if it is a switch like engineering to finance.

When I ask "why did you switch from engineering to finance? why are you doing so much better in finance?" you better have answers I'll like.

Aside from all that, I do look for coursework that is applicable to the position, and try to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate.

If that still isn't enough to clearly define my choice, I'll begin looking through the transcript for classes that I find useful and related, but are not traditionally seen as related. For example, is the candidate going to deal with other people (like clients) then that social psychology class might come in handy, better have an A in it.

From there, I'll invite you in for an interview, and I enjoy NOT using the "standard" interview questions as I feel they are going to be too well prepped for those questions. I want to see you interact as your true self. Do you panic when you spent a whole night prepping for "tell me about a time you dealt with a problem" and I never ask it? Do you relax?

So, I tend to do much better than my coworkers in other groups when it comes to this type of hiring. I rarely ever have to complain about someone I've hired.

And there it is, one type of evaluation process. Hope this helps.
 

Huntsman

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As I recently (within 18 mos) got an internship then a job, I'll comment.

Yes, it matters. Put it on if it's good enough, call out your GPA in your major if it helps, as that tack seems to be more common these days. There is a risk, however, in that an employer in Finance will look poorly on a low grade in engineering classes, as the engineering mindset is sought after in financial fields (Sachs, Legg Mason, D&B, et al hired more B.S engineers off my alma than GM, GE, Ford, the local firms and all their ilk).

This may suggest that you leave it off and get asked the question where you can answer it in those categories but spin it better.

I left mine off (though it was in the high 3's), and was asked the question. I also admit that if they wanted a copy of my transcript with each class rather than my cumulative I would have walked and not looked back.


Originally Posted by longskate88
Anyways, the engineering stint REALLY brought down my GPA.

Yeah, that's been known to happen.
 

haganah

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Originally Posted by sonick
Perhaps when you're fresh out of school. But if somebody's been out in the workplace more than half a dozen years, would you still expect them to have their college GPA? Anyways, Brian summed up well what I was meaning. If its good, by all means put it in, but if the grades are not so good, then it wouldn't be the end of the world to not include it. It wouldn't be "strange" to include it, or not include it. I guess you'd only REALLY want to include it if you have absolutely no relevant work experience prior to graduation or your first job, and that is the only indicator to differentiate you from others competing for the same job.
I still get asked about my SAT breakdown.
 

65535

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this request to provide gpa is utter horse shit. You either graduate as something or not. And academic performance is not necessarily indicative of competence or intelligence.

You screw up a calculation or stick a decomal point in the wrong place at the beginning of a heat transfer calculation, you get a zero.

You screw up all semester and study your ass of and do kickass in the final, but still get a D because the final is only worth 50%.

You do super well all semester and your girl decides to call it splits, or a family member falls ill, or you get injured while training, and boom, you write the shittiest final ever. So from a 90 avg you get dropped down to a 70.

Etc.

I know people in 4th year mechanical who do great in class but couldn't design a functional part to save their lives. I know people who stink on ice in class but are improvisational and design geniuses.

So, all in all, employers should have no business obtaining GPA. Do you have your degree? Yes. So that's the end of it.

At least, for engineering. I don't know or care about the realities of other fields.
 

Brian278

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^^^Complete horseshit. Employers WANT those graduates who do not stick a decimal in the wrong spot, do not screw around and think they can make up for it on the final, and do not let their personal lives affect their performance. Everybody knows exceptions to the rule, they guy who's really book smart but can't function on the job or wasn't good at school but is great at his job. But by your logic if people can do great in class and not be able to perform a task, they can also get a degree without being able to perform a task. So why care if someone has a degree at all, either? Because it's an indication that they can learn the basics of their field, and how well they do that can be a predictor how well they will do on the job, including conscientiousness, and that is represented fairly well by their grades.

Yes, work experience will typically trump it all, but for a recent grad, grades still matter quite a bit, even in engineering.
 

Milhouse

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In theory, I agree with you 65535, as GPA, statistically speaking, is a poor predictor of success. However, until someone has demonstrable work experience, GPA is the best predictor of how well they will do in a position.

The reason why I ask for transcripts is because a single number doesn't tell me the whole story. As the OP said, he started off in the wrong field and didn't do well, but he chose another difficult field and is now doing well. GPA says he is mediocre because of that. Transcripts tell me that he recognized a problem, and found a solution that is working quite well.

As for a reality check, India is producing lots of engineers. Many of them are training in the US at very good engineering schools. Many of them end up back in India. Labor is cheaper there. The reality is that engineers in the US have been given lots of leeway in the past for quirks and attitudes because supply has been limited, and demand is high, but now there is a big supply in Asia. My guess is that leeway may start disappearing.
 

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