There are many ways to succeed in life, depending on your talents and interests. Some of us learn better in a classroom environment while some learn best by doing. Academic smarts don’t necessarily translate into creativity, good communication skills or social finesse, which are equally important attributes for success in the working world. So if you’re a fresh graduate with a low GPA (grade point average), chin up. It doesn’t mean you’re doomed professionally.
Time and time again we’ve seen countless individuals who dropped out of school or college only to change the world with their inventions and ideas. Notable examples include Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg, to name a few.
Straight A’s and GPAs are nice to have, but they’re not an accurate indicator of a person’s general or emotional intelligence, or other attributes of substance such as street smarts, resourcefulness, initiative and creative skills.
If you’re a fresh graduate with a low GPA, don’t let it hold you back from pursuing your dreams. Here’s how to turn a low GPA into positive career prospects:
1. Apply for internships with reputable companies
Working experience is often regarded as more valuable than a flawless academic record. Employers value fresh graduates who are able to work independently with minimum supervision. Having one or more internships with reputable companies is an indirect endorsement of your professional competence and reliability.
2. Take stock of your extracurricular activities
Sure, you weren’t academically-inclined back in college, but there might have been instances where you have participated in extracurricular activities. Think of your experiences with your clubs, varsity teams or Greek life (fraternity/sorority) – these experiences helped hone your social and creative skills besides giving you a chance to explore your interests and abilities. From leadership opportunities to event organising, your activities with these organisations can help you score points with employers.
3. Take up volunteer work
Engaging in volunteer work is a useful way to gain working experience while contributing to worthy causes. It also tells prospective employers that you’re a compassionate individual who believes in making a difference to society.
4. Harness your social media strengths and interests
If you’re a fresh graduate, you automatically have the advantage of being born in the mobile-driven consumer era. Bearing in mind that most commercial businesses and employers are targeting young consumers as their key target audience, this is your chance to impress with your social media skills and know-how.
You’ll want to make sure that you maintain a respectable online presence, but having a regular blog and well-maintained Instagram or YouTube account will come in handy for marketing and business-related career opportunities. Having a successful Instagram or YouTube account with thousands of followers will give you automatic credibility, regardless of your GPA.
5. Focus on building your transferable skills
Transferable skills are just as important as technical skills. Being organised enables you to work efficiently, while good communication skills ensure smooth-running daily operations, which are just two of the most common transferable skills needed to succeed in the working world. For further reading, here’s a more detailed list of transferable skills and how they’ll make you a valuable asset to any employer.
A low GPA isn’t the end of the world. You’re a fresh graduate with a world of opportunities at your feet! The question is, what are you going to do with the talents and skills you do have? We’re all blessed with different skills and abilities. You just need to harness them and make them work for you.
Increase your chances of getting hired. Create a jobsDB profile
Increase your chances of getting hired. Update your jobsDB profile