Lying About Your GPA On A Resume: What Could Happen

If you aren’t particularly proud of your GPA score you might feel more inclined to want to inflate your GPA numbers. This isn’t an uncommon reaction. Your desire to do this comes from the fact that you’d like to be seen as an appealing candidate. But should you do it? We’re going to go over if you should lie about your GPA on your resume and what could happen if you’re caught.

Let’s jump in.

Do Employers Check Your GPA?

This is the first question, will your employer check your GPA? The reality is that most employers won’t check if you have your degree. But not all of them won’t. For example, if you’re going into the police force, they will absolutely perform a full background check and this includes checking your University records and GPA.

While most jobs in the creative field won’t look at your background too heavily, you can’t be certain that they won’t.

Related: Acing “Walk Me Through Your Resume” With An Interviewer

Does Your GPA Matter?

This is a more important question, does your GPA matter? The answer is no. Your education is usually towards the bottom of your resume. This means that is obviously not a priority for the Human Resource manager who is reading your resume. If you have a Latin Honor (such as Magna Cum Laude), then your GPA might matter more. But it is not because the employer cares about your GPA but because it is an important merit that can be used in your professional summary.

What If I Have A Bad GPA?

If you have a bad GPA, simply don’t list it. It’s as easy as that. Your previous experiences and cover letter are going to be far more important to the employer. They want to know that you’ve had true life experiences. And that there’s something unique about you that they should pay attention to. GPA doesn’t necessarily help with any of those things.

What If I Already Lied? What Could Happen?

It simply doesn’t start your relationship with your employer off on the right foot. Telling a lie or a fib of any kind. If you inflated your numbers on your GPA, one last white lie might be able to help you. You can simply say that it was a typo.

Though, this is a great lesson. You should not tell any type of lie to your employer because the lie continues. And it becomes challenging to deal with. It becomes an ongoing tale that you have to uphold. For example, this happens often when professionals use bad excuses to leave work early.

Could You Get Fired For This?

If you’re already hired, you most likely won’t get fired if the company decides to change some of their policies and perform full background checks. The likelihood of that happening is also very low. If hiring policies were to change, this would only affect new candidates who were attempting to find employment.

Could This Risk Getting Me The Job?

It probably won’t risk you getting the job. If you lied about your GPA, there are many small excuses to get out of this scenario. And again, GPA isn’t something that’s taken too seriously. For example, if you lied about your previous employment history, that could be grounds for termination. Lying about your GPA, though, won’t get you terminated. And if it won’t get you terminated, it won’t risk you getting the job.

Related: Termination For Cause: What Does It Mean?

Should You Do It

Clearly, no. The point is not that you can get away with this lie. It is that you want to have an open and honest relationship with your employer. This will make doing your job easier. And in the long run, will make your life significantly easier as well.

Related: 7 Resume Length Mistakes To Avoid (How Long Your Resume Should Be)

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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