GPA not key factor in job search

Depending on the industry students are looking into potentially being a part of, employers could be looking out for strong candidates with a high GPA and/or relevant life experiences. (Photo Illustration by Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

It’s that time of year when students all over Manhattan are perfecting their resumes, trying to land a job or internship. Something every employer will see is your GPA, but how much does it affect your resume?

“A good GPA will ensure that you are eligible for a wide range of opportunities,” Kerri Keller, executive director of Career and Employment Services, said. “How important GPA factors in to a hiring decision depends on the industry.”

The Career and Employment Services building on campus can provide an immense amount of information to students looking for internships and jobs. Keller said that according to research done in 2014 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, students with a GPA of 3.5 or above had an offer rate of 50 percent. Graduates who had a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5 had a somewhat lower probability of 47.9 percent. Those with below a 3.0 have less than a 45 percent success rate. This study also showed that 65 percent of employers want a 3.0 GPA or higher.

“In most cases, relevant work experiences or internships are more influential on job search success,” Keller said.

Nicole Wasserman, senior in human resource management, said that a high GPA might grab an employer’s attention but they are most concerned with experience and campus involvement rather than GPA.

“You could have a 4.0 but if you are not involved and have no experience it will not get you very far,” Wasserman said.

Throughout interviews Wasserman said her GPA was brought up briefly but it mostly consisted of situational and behavioral questions. She explained that having a high GPA shows you work hard, but that alone will not get you a job.

“Not all employers expect a 4.0 GPA,” Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, instructor in business administration, said. “What is preferred and ideal to most employers is a 3.0 or above and leadership experience.”

Whitney-Bammerlin said she would emphasize how important it is for students to join organizations and gain leadership experience. In addition to that, employment experiences are always helpful.

For students looking to keep and get scholarships, maintaining a high GPA is of the utmost importance. Almost all of K-State’s scholarships require students to keep at least a 3.5 GPA to receive continuing financial aid. While keeping these scholarships can help students minimize loans after finishing their education, GPA is not a determining factor in a student’s employability.