G.P.A.’s are M.I.A. when it comes to a hiring decision

Like many of his fellow college seniors, Chris ‘Repman, Jr.’, Cody is stressing out big time about his gradeGrade
point average (GPA). Believing that a 3.75 rather than, say, a 3.4 will determine his future prospects, Chris is spending hour after hour at the library, pulling all-nighters and volunteering for extra-credit assignments.

To which I say, ‘chill.’ A GPA means almost nothing to a prospective employer and, to the best of my recollection, has never, ever come up in the course of an actual interview.

Employers, instead, look for relevant work-study experience. We also prize grads who, prior to the interview, take the time to study our firm and understand our value proposition. Last, but not least, we want friendly, outgoing people who will fit in with our culture.

If I were to grade the image and reputation of a GPA in the hiring process, I’d give it a 1.0.

Colleges and universities need to do a much better job of educating students about the irrelevance of grades to the workplace. And, I’d love to debate anyone who thinks differently.

As one of Rep, Jr’s UVM professors would say, ‘Questions? Comments? Issues?’

11 thoughts on “G.P.A.’s are M.I.A. when it comes to a hiring decision

  1. As a former adjunct professor of public relations writing at a highly acclaimed communications school, I used to tell my students the same thing as Repman is saying.
    I would go as far as to tell my students on the first day of class that what I was going to teach them was more important than their GPA or any other course they were going to take throughout their undergrad academic career.
    From the feedback I’ve received from students after they’ve graduated, my speech the first day rang true.
    Now, for the students who told me they wanted to go onto grad/law school, the GPA was more important than what I was teaching them. But, they still needed to be able to write in order to master the next level of education.
    My advice to college students wanting a career in public relations: Learn how to write like an adult, not your text-messaging friends!

  2. At Marist’s Fall Career Fair, I actually did have one employer there (from Price Chopper) mention my GPA and was surprised. They were looking for PR people and he said something along the lines of “Wow, good GPA, we could use someone like you, etc.” so apparently it’s important to Price Chopper. Maybe they’re just desperate for employees?

  3. Cody, if you can’t see the connection between grad school and the employment process, might I suggest you step down from your post at Peppercom now. If Peppercom were a public company, that last comment to Mr. Moed would lead for calls for your resignation for being utterly incompetent. Then again, this whole blog would be easy pickings if you were public. By the way, if you ever do go public please let us know- so I can short this one and retire a 2nd time.

  4. Michael: You’re absolutely right about a GPA being critical for graduate school. I’ve yet to see it play any role whatsoever in the employment process.

  5. Med supply guy, have you been breaking into the file cabinets again? If you think a GPA makes any difference to the hiring process, you’re injecting more foreign substances than I thought. Obviously a student has to do well in college, but a 3.5 makes no more difference than a 3.25.

  6. Hmmm, GPA certainly helped me get into a decent grad school. Grad school led to the job market. Depends on your profession’s typical path…

  7. MuchTooLong..u proved my point. look at where our country is now…maybe W belongs in PR..

  8. GPA sure wasn’t taken into consideration when the nation voted in 2000 and 2004…great example of how you can get ‘C’s in college and still become president…

  9. I COMPLETELY DISAGREE, especially with one of your statements “Colleges and universities need to do a much better job of educating students about the irrelevance of grades to the workplace.”
    Are you kidding me? Can you imagaine your first day in college and the Dean stands up and says “Listen, i know all of you are stressed about a little thing called your GPA, but fear not, it means NOTHING! So go to class, sign in, then head out to the quad and work on your tans.”
    And, maybe it makes no difference when it comes to “jobs” like PR, but I know full well that friends of mine in law & medicine have had their GPA’s make or break them just to get into law or medical school. And how about the guys that work on wall street- do you think Goldman is hiring the Joe Blow from SUNY with a 2.6 or the Wharton grad with 3.8? Oh, i forgot, I am talking about professions where 6 figure salaries are STARTING salaries, not something one could strive for and HOPE to one day get…
    So, you are right and I concur- for BS jobs, a GPA means nothing. For the rest of the world, I hope that students work on their tans a little less than they hit the books.
    PS- I KNOW that rep man will come back and bash the med supply field and yada yada. so come on, let’s hear it. BUT- i am not the one that made the comment saying GPA’s are worthless…

  10. I agree with you, Repman. There is value in GPA personally, however, in that it may have an impact on personal self-esteem, which is also valuable in the workplace. But as for getting a job? It’s a non-issue, as you point out.