Resume Tips: Should I List My Marks On My Resume?

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This is a very common question. While you are in school, grades have a lot of significance. They are the most common way that you (and the school and your parents) track your progress in learning and skill development.

Often students assume that grades are required on resumés. But outside of school, grades are usually a whole lot less significant than they have been while you were a student.

The answer as to whether you should list your marks on your resumé is that it is up to you and it depends on where, and to what, you are applying.

Your resumé is your opportunity to present information about yourself that will demonstrate to the reader that you would be able to do the job that you are applying for. You choose to include the most relevant and most compelling information.

So, overall, ask yourself, “Are my grades relevant and compelling for this type of work I’m applying to?”

Here are some other specific considerations for helping you decide whether you want to include your marks or not:

Has the employer specifically requested grades?

Sometimes a job posting will very specifically indicate that they want you to list your marks.

Are you trying to emphasize your academic skills?

If you think that your academic skills, for example, writing, researching, analysis, etc., are very relevant to the work you want to do, and you received strong grades, you may choose to share your grades as some evidence that you have these skills.

Were your grades particularly outstanding?

Some students and new graduates who have particularly high grades may choose to include them in a resumé as a way of differentiating themselves from others and showing an area of excellence.

Were your grades not a good indicator of what you learned?

A good reason for leaving your grades off of your resumé would be if your grades are low. Sometimes grades don’t reflect what you have learned – they may be low for reasons other than you not mastering the key knowledge or skills in a course (for example, if you had to miss time away from school because of illness).

How related to your job goal is your degree?

The more unrelated your degree is to the job you want, the less likely your grades will be of interest to an employer. And the less likely that those grades say anything about what skills and characteristics you have that will allow you to do this job well.

In some case employers may specifically request your grades; otherwise, it is up to you to decide whether including your grades helps make your resumé stronger or not.

 

Click here to check out more of Cathy’s answers to pressing career questions from students and new grads just like you.

 

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About the author

Cathy Keates is a career counsellor and trainer who has worked with university students and graduates for the past decade, helping them to strategically create careers they will love. She has worked as a career counsellor at Queen's University and was the associate director of the career centre at York University. Convinced that we can all create lives based on authenticity and integrity, she is the author of the new job search book Not for Sale! and shares her thoughts about finding work without losing yourself on her blog, Transform Your Job Search.