What Matters More Than Your GPA?

When you’re going through school, much of the focus is on achieving as high a GPA as possible. After all, this is what employers look for, right? They want the best and the brightest in the field, and if you want to stand out, you better have the grades to back it up.
Is that always the case? Do grades really matter all that much? In some fields of course, it is true that those with the highest GPA’s are going to be the candidates of choice. But in the real world, and in most fields, there are other things that matter – other qualities that employers will look for when looking for the perfect candidate.
If you didn’t have the best grade average in school, don’t lose heart. If you fill these other requirements, you may actually end up being a more attractive candidate than someone with straight A’s.
1. Real World Experience. Candidates who have been stuck behind ivy covered walls simply are not as attractive as those who have interned at companies and have real-world job experience in their fields. In most cases, this will definitely work in your favor and provide your future employers with some security that you actually do know what it’s like to work out in the real world and you’re ready for the challenges you will face.
2. Multiple Specialties. Candidates who chose a broad or a double major are also attractive to many employers. They don’t just specialize in one thing, they are capable of doing several. In addition, continuing education in other fields, as well as job experience in related fields will also count in your favor.
3. Your Personality and Skill Set. Someone else may have a 4.0 average, but their people skills and their personality may be sorely lacking. You can make up for a lot by having a winning personality, by displaying your personable nature and by simply being someone a company would want to hire. This is particularly vital in jobs where dealing with the public is a necessity.
These are just a few of the things that employers look for. At the end of the day, the best and most well rounded candidate is the one who is going to be hired – not the one with the best GPA.