/ Asked by Tanya
Will strong extracurricular activity experience compensate for lower grades or lack of work experience?
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Hi there!  GPA requirements are truly a case by case requirement.  Almost always, if there is a specific number that has to be hit, it will be there in black and white in the job description.  Now, I would say it is going to depend on what the extracurriculars were, the role you played, leadership, organization, expectations or participation.  Tailor your description of what you did to the needs of the position as they're laid out in the job description.  Utilize your cover letter, skills descriptions and professional online profile to share information on how your activities offset your GPA or lack of experience.

And now for my public service announcement...If your GPA is not so hot, information interviewing, networking and making an effort to see every connection as a possible road to a job is extra important.  You want someone to think of you when they have an opening, not because they have your resume, but because you made a good impression already.

Good luck!
Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on Thursday, September 3, 2015
It depends. Not the answer I'm sure you were looking for, but it really does. Does the extracurricular activity correlate with what you want to do on the job? Does it show that you invested a lot of time and depth to growing yourself and your skills? These answers can show that you are passionate about an activity, which may have helped the community or shown leadership skills, which could outweigh lower grades or direct work experience that a company stated they were looking for on a job posting. Depending on the role and company, GPA may play a little part in determining if you are a candidate they want to consider. Sometimes, you may have activities that can even trump work experience. For example, if you are interested in working in a non profit and you have extensive volunteer experience that would be of greater value to a company than if you were a cashier for the same period of time. The best thing you can do is to research the type of role you are looking for to understand their key qualifications, and then see how your activities can be presented to support them. Good luck in your search!
Answered by Sonya, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on Tuesday, September 22, 2015
When recruiting for entry-level positions, sometimes we look at GPA and if the GPA is slightly lower we look to see the extracurricular activities that you are involved in. They usually balance themselves out so we let a lower GPA slide by.
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Wednesday, November 11, 2015
It really depends! If your GPA is on the lower side, I would definitely focus on involving yourself in extracurricular activities that will both make you stand out on paper to employers and correlate to the type of job you see yourself ending up in. Extracurricular activities are a great way to gain different types of experience and exposure without having an internship, just make sure that you pay careful attention to how you represent these activities on your resume and cover letter. It should be aimed to help an employer understand how your extracurricular are a better representation of your skills rather than your GPA or work experience
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