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Do companies still look at an applicant's grades? 

April 11, 2017

Digital Reporter

Cover art Samantha Gonzales with Freepik

In a country where a good education comes at an often steep price, academic performance seems to be the sole measure of what one is worth.

As fresh graduates slip in their brand new corporate attire and walk in their first job interviews with a resumé in hand, hangs the following thought: will their transcript of records affect their chances of landing a good job?

At a panel discussion during a student congress organized by online advertising platform JobStreet.com at Baliuag, Bulacan last March 23, hiring officials from three companies weighed in on the impacts of academic performance on a fresh graduate’s job application.

For Judy Chua, senior human resource manager of SM Supermalls, good grades is an advantage for fresh graduates, but not an indicator of their possible success.

“We would like to hire applicants who have good academic background, but this is just one factor or one area that we look into,” she said. “There are also other characteristics of a candidate that will make a person become successful and we look for people that we can develop and train.”

We want someone who is actively engaged in activities outside their existing work because it helps initiate or drive an employee’s engagement.

Employers, instead, consider an applicant’s flexibility and adaptability more than a good academic standing as well as their involvement in extracurricular activities, she added. According to her, it reflects a person’s “determination and purpose” and exhibits a graduates potential as a team player and decision maker.

Ms. Chua is not alone in that opinion.

“Academic achievement is an important trait for a graduate because it reflects the drive of a student to perform well,” said Mark Flores, service management head of construction materials manufacturer LafargeHolcim, but he added: “We want someone who is actively engaged in activities outside their existing work because it helps initiate or drive an employee’s engagement. And I think engagement is one of the most critical components being an employee, especially for millennials.”

Resume Application

Art Samantha Gonzales with Freepik

The 2017 Fresh Graduates Report released by JobStreet on March 15 also suggests that academic standings do not affect a fresh graduate’s chances of landing a job.

The report, which includes the results of a survey conducted by JobStreet among 644 companies, shows that high grades and other academic‑related factors are not among the foremost considerations in hiring applicants who are just out of college. In the previous year’s survey, involvement in extracurricular activities was among the top three considerations that improved a new graduate’s employability.

Still, this is no excuse to slack off and cut class. Field of study still remains among the top attributes that employers seek out among fresh graduates.

But it’s a little reminder to stop obsessing over the figures. It takes more than just a 1.00 to be the chosen one.