Working Around Your GPA

In college, it may sometimes feel like our GPA is a number that follows us around like a shadow. It can be a point of pride. But for many others, it’s a point of frustration. Maybe you’re not the best test taker. Maybe you feel like those few digits are more reflective of your ability to successfully memorize dozens of flash card sets, rather than your actual potential.

The good news is if you play your cards right, certain immeasurable qualities can easily outrank that class ranking you feel doesn’t accurately represent all you can bring to the table. Your GPA might not be as strong as it can be, but you can take steps to make sure your experiences and unique skill-set are. The ability to communicate effectively, work well in teams, and successfully handle a conflict are all examples of incalculable real-world experiences that are key to showing employers and recruiters you are a good match for them.

These tips will provide you with the material your need to write powerful bullet points for your resume and valuable stories to share in the interview room to position yourself as a strong candidate:

1. Take advantage of opportunities available to you as a student

MU has over 700 organizations on its campus. Do some research and see if one might focus on your field of interest. Do you want to be a teacher? Join a service organization, like Jumpstart, that tutors local elementary and middle school students. Maybe your thing is politics. Then the gig for you might be serving as a student lobbyist in the Associated Students of the University of Missouri, an organization on campus that negotiates with legislators in Jefferson City.

2. Seek out experiential learning experiences

Put that good ol’ Missouri Method into practice and take advantage of opportunities to learn by doing. An internship can teach you far more than your textbook ever will and this sort of real-world knowledge is greatly valued by employers and recruiters. It’s important to find an internship that is truly meaningful. Grunt work can be to expected, but make sure your internship is also one that provides opportunities to challenge yourself and expand your skill-set.

3. Strategically customize your resume

The key to making the best resume is to demonstrate an expansive set of transferrable skills that you can directly apply to your future job. First, make sure you read the job description for the position you’re applying for. Circle and highlight key words such as “communicator,” “leader,” or “strong writer.” Next, create a list of past and current experiences you have that match those key words. Make sure to prioritize these experiences on your resume and create detailed bullet points for each one. Check out the Career Center’s “Guide to Resumes” for more information on writing strong bullet points!