Whether you’re stuck in the Outback and want to finally get that masters degree or you just want to snap up a few college credits from the comfort of your own potato-chip-covered couch, distance learning is easier and more acceptable than ever. For all things distance learning check out the Business Exchange’s distance learning topic thread.
Before you consider “embellishing” a little on your resume – or worse, flat-out lying about something like having a college degree or working for a particular employer – peruse this article. It could save you loads o’ heartache. Continue reading Would You Lie On Your Resume?
[hidepost]Most employers and graduate schools use a 3.0 GPA as a cut-off point for applicants. Once it’s above that, the exact number usually becomes less important. If your GPA is below the 3.0 threshold, you may wonder about the negative effects your GPA can have on your career or graduate school applications. However, there are ways to overcome a low GPA and minimize its possible damage to your future employment prospects or graduate education opportunities.
Do I Have to Tell Employers My GPA?
Yes, and you should be honest with them. If you don’t put your GPA on your resume, particularly for your first job after graduation, you can expect to be asked about it during the interview.
The trick is where you put the emphasis. If your GPA within your major is higher than your overall GPA, tell them: 2.9/4.0 major GPA, 2.2/4.0 overall GPA. Likewise, if your GPA has improved you can emphasize that: 3.3/4.0 since fall 2008, 2.5/4.0 overall. Finally, if you had to work while studying, employers may take that into account, so it’s worth mentioning: 2.5/4.0 GPA, worked 20 hours per week throughout school year.
How Low Can My GPA Go?
While many employers may 3.0 as their cut-off point, some may be more flexible than others depending on your skill set.
Yet, when asked to rate the qualities employers find most important in a candidate, in the 2007 Job Outlook Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), GPA was ranked number 17 of the top 20. This means a low GPA isn’t necessarily insurmountable–you have 16 other qualities you can enhance to overcome it.
The top 5 most important skills to employers are, in order:
1. Communication skills 2. Honesty/integrity 3. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 4. Motivation/initiative 5. Strong work ethic
Best Way to Overcome a Low GPA
Written and verbal communication skills have consistently been ranked as the number one quality employers seek since 1999. However, they have trouble finding candidates with those skills, as they also ranked good communication the hardest quality to find in job applicants.
Graduates who can express themselves clearly, both orally and on paper, may have a significant advantage over the competition. You can prove your communication abilities both on your resume and in the interview, giving you two chances to shine.
GPA and Graduate School
Graduate schools do put significant weight on your undergraduate GPA, but again it’s not the only factor they consider. First of all, not all graduate schools look at your overall GPA. Many only look at your GPA from your junior and senior years, while others only look at your GPA in your major.
The weight each graduate school puts on your GPA also depends on several variables, including:
* The competitiveness of the graduate school * Whether the school places greater value on work experience, internships, or a portfolio of work * The undergraduate school’s reputation: a student with a lower GPA from a highly ranked university may get accepted over a student with a high GPA from a lower quality school * Strong test scores. * Excellent letters of recommendation
The bottom line is that while employers and graduate schools traditionally look at your grades, mitigating circumstances and strong skills in other areas can certainly help you overcome a low GPA. So put your energy into the other areas they find important.
Author’s URL: http://www.Edu411.org
Edu411.org is a career education directory for finding colleges and universities, training schools, and technical institutes. For more information about careers, online and campus based career programs, please visit us at http://www.edu411.org. [/hidepost]
U.S. News and World Report magazine has put out their annual listing of America’s best colleges. Every year they rank over 1,400 U.S. colleges and universities. Take a look to find out how your program stacks up, or to identify schools you might like to attend.
Trying to set goals and actually … gasp! … stick with them? Check out LifeTango.com; a useful site not only for tracking your goal progress, but for actually finding a community of fellow goal-seekers who can cheer you on.
Need a guide to reputable online degree programs? Take a look at this helpful site. (thanks to Daryl L.)
Trying to decide where to go to grad school or college?
It is commonly accepted that it is generally better for a student who is going on to an academic career to get their PhD at a different institution from where they got their MS. For an academic, the place where you got your PhD is generally more important than where you got your bachelor’s degree and that it is important to have a PhD from the very best program that you can get into. Studies have shown that PhDs from the top programs are much more successful than PhDs from lower ranked programs for the best schools in the Country, for example there are many opportunities for the best vet schools in us and for medicine studies or art school.
There are lots of middle tier universities with good undergraduate programs that adequately prepare students for graduate study but that don’t have very strong graduate programs. If you’re at one of those institutions, then you’d be well advised to “move up” to a better institution for your PhD.
Take a look at the U.S. News and World Reports rankings!
You spend a lot of energy making graduation plans, but do you have a plan of action for after graduation to jumpstart your career? Many people struggle with career choices before making that important life-changing decision that will define who they are for years to come. It is hard to imagine that a new graduate would still struggle with what they want to do with their new college degree. Even if they know, they might not know the next step to take. This article will give a few pointers on how to get started with a plan of action. Continue reading Graduating With a Plan of Action
Before you allow yourself to get pre-interview jitters, read this article. It will put things into perspective and give you the confidence to be yourself by realizing that the interview is a conversation between you and an interested person – the hiring manager. Continue reading The Job Interview Is Like a Blind Date