A thoughtful student asked a question: “it seems that in
academia that the role of grades is being stressed a lot
and I was wondering, if a student had a chemistry GPA
of less than 3.2-3.4, in their undergraduate record, does
this look negatively when applying for jobs?”
The fact of the matter for this person is that he completed
a double major in chemistry and a social science, so my
response was nuanced. It goes along the lines David Brooks,
NYTimes editorial writer who suggested in his editorial 1
“Employers’ Creed.“ [March 31, 2014]
“Bias hiring decisions against [just] high GPAs” without
leadership positions on campus, and who leaves the resume
reader as completely “flavorless.”
“Bias toward dualists,” with some measure of conventional
accomplishment, work or success.
“Bias toward truth-tellers.” One quoted question to listen to is
‘Could you describe a time when you told the truth and it hurt you?’
Some comments to Brooks’ piece are on target, yet not
directly on the undergraduate GPA theme. One did point out
the increasing use of Applicant Tracking Systems ATS by employers
which may provide a challenge.
Always tell the truth, but reveal it in an authentic story that
will convince your audience that you love teaching chemistry.
Win some teaching awards in chemistry, volunteer to teach classes,
take education courses or POGIL curricula.
Don’t wait until last semester to do these kind of things.