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March 16, 2017

Why Grads Need More Than a Good GPA and School Recognition to Get Hired

‘Looking good on paper.’ The age-old adage that sometimes gives students a false sense of security when it comes to their education. There on your resume in black-and-white is your school with the first-rate reputation. And then there’s your stellar GPA—the proverbial ‘gold star’ that lets the world know you’re smart and a hard worker. The problem is, ‘on paper’ often isn’t an accurate reflection of who a person is, or what he or she can offer a company. In fact, a good GPA and a well-known alma mater doesn’t automatically guarantee you’ll get hired at all.

Beyond the Numbers

What a GPA fails to tell employers is if the applicant can create new ideas, comprehend abstract concepts or theories, or work within a group environment. If you only show potential employers that your entire worth is wrapped up in your GPA, you're selling yourself short and not providing a complete picture of the well-rounded individual you are. This is especially true if your number doesn’t match their expectations. So, what tangible action can you take to go beyond the bullet points and get employers to look at you as a serious contender for the job you want? We’re so glad you asked.
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Showcase and Share

We strongly believe in the value ePortfolios give students. The biggest advantage is the ability to showcase skills gained inside (e.g., presentations) and outside (e.g., clubs) the classroom. The trouble with a resume is it’s flat and static, while an ePortfolio is dynamic and fluid. To land the internship or job you desire, skip the boring bullet points. Instead, give employers a chance to find you (and be wowed) with an exciting visual representation of what you can offer. There are a few ways you can show and share your skills:

  1. Put your best work first – Customize the order of your entries and list your proudest projects first. Guide your viewers through a journey of your portfolio by linking your entries to one another. Simply copy/paste the URL of your entry into the description of the other.
  2. Tag your skills and teammates – Make your work searchable to employers by tagging your skills in each entry. Every time you do this, each skill will automatically be listed on your profile. Tagging your project co-collaborators reinforces to potential employers that you work well within a team environment. And when your teammates return the favor, it provides another touch point for employers to find your work on Portfolium.
  3. Update your digital portfolio regularly – Download the Portfolium iOS app to capture your next lab experiment, research project, or charity event in the moment!

In the end, it’s all about connecting the dots between you and a potential employer. If you can visually show them the value you bring to a position and the company, the more likely they are to remember and be impressed with you instead of your GPA or school.

Share with us in the comments the way you're using your skills to get noticed.
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Photo Courtesy of: Radek Grzybowski

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