Best way to deal with low grades for summer job applications

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spidermanshirt
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:52 pm

Best way to deal with low grades for summer job applications

Postby spidermanshirt » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:26 am

I have a 2.75 GPA after my first semester at a Tier 1 school and 4 years of law firm work experience. The curve is 3.30 at my school. I need some advice as to how to address my GPA in my resume and cover letter:

1. Should I include my 2.75 GPA on my resume, cover letter, both, or neither?

2. Should I briefly explain that I was dealing with a personal medical problem that has since been treated and then I had a death in my family the week before finals (true story)? Or does this just sound like I'm making excuses?

3. Should I list "B-" as my GPA instead of 2.75?

4. If I do leave GPA off both cover letter and resume and they ask for my transcript, should I submit one with a cover letter explaining the situation?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've just been given so much inconsistent advice. Some say that you are trying to sell yourself with the resume and cover letter so there should never be any unfavorable info (like below 3.0 GPA) included. Others say that you have to include or they'll assume its worse than it is, and will find out anyway.

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thesealocust
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Best way to deal with low grades for summer job applications

Postby thesealocust » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:38 am

Look into the guerilla guide to getting the legal job of your dreams, lots of advice for these kinds of situations.

My advice, which may not be perfect, would be to ignore your grades entirely. Submit transcripts if requested in advance or when requested, and otherwise don't include them, don't explain them, don't mention them.

always_raining
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:27 pm

Re: Best way to deal with low grades for summer job applications

Postby always_raining » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:45 am

spidermanshirt wrote:I have a 2.75 GPA after my first semester at a Tier 1 school and 4 years of law firm work experience. The curve is 3.30 at my school. I need some advice as to how to address my GPA in my resume and cover letter:

1. Should I include my 2.75 GPA on my resume, cover letter, both, or neither?

2. Should I briefly explain that I was dealing with a personal medical problem that has since been treated and then I had a death in my family the week before finals (true story)? Or does this just sound like I'm making excuses?

3. Should I list "B-" as my GPA instead of 2.75?

4. If I do leave GPA off both cover letter and resume and they ask for my transcript, should I submit one with a cover letter explaining the situation?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've just been given so much inconsistent advice. Some say that you are trying to sell yourself with the resume and cover letter so there should never be any unfavorable info (like below 3.0 GPA) included. Others say that you have to include or they'll assume its worse than it is, and will find out anyway.



In my experience, employers will ask for your transcript initially if they want it (almost everywhere I applied wanted it). I would leave the GPA off the resume but quickly explain the low grades in the cover letter. Do you have a higher UG GPA? If so, you could also submit a UG transcript and that may help prove your family issues. Do not put your UG GPA on your resume and leave your law school GPA off.

In the case where the application does not ask for a transcript, but the employer asks later, I would send the transcript later with an explanation.

The difficult part will be explaining your grades in a way that doesnt sound like you're making excuses. Employers want to know that you can still work if something happens in your personal life (some will be more understanding), because deaths and terrible things happen to people all the time. That said, most places will probably understand if you had something legit happen and you don't sound like you're making excuses. I had a similar situation happen to me and it was not easy to deal with, but I still ended up getting a fairly prestigious summer job (unpaid of course!).

Bad news is that you have zero chance of getting a paid job, though most people have zero chance anyway.




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