[Edit: I am marking as answered as the question feels a bit self indulgent, my apologies, i am trying to delete it but it wont let me]

My first year of college I got 4.0, but during my second year, my depression got the best of me and I quit having the motivation to even go to class.

I was able to fight it, and get mostly A's and B's, with the occasional C, for the remaining undergrad career. However, as that first year was at a Junior College (albeit a respected one), my official transcript from my university does not include those grades in its overall GPA calculations. So I can only report to employers my Uni GPA, as it lists the Junior College as "T" (Transfer) for the grade.

I want to convey to employers I am better than my GPA would indicate but I would rather not explain to them the reason behind the poor GPA as I fear they may have concerns hiring me with a past of depression and suicidal tendencies.

Should I address this in the application, during an interview, or just not mention it at all?

Edit Applying for engineering where GPA is about the only way to even get an interview fresh out of college, unless you know someone who can help. Earlier semesters mean early in college career which normally mean Freshman to Sophomore.

And no I am not being treated medically, I don't like taking meds. My main concern is how to address this period of poor performance without lying or raising concerns.

Because I have friends who interviewed for similar jobs and they went through their transcript with them sitting right there and asked them about every grade that wasn't an A.

Its also not an official medical condition, as I never sought treatment.

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    What type of job are you applying for? Usually employeers don't care about your GPA – imdannyboy909 Sep 6 '18 at 15:06
  • "T" for the grade. What does that stand for? – Neo Sep 6 '18 at 15:06
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    Your title and your detail seem to be inconsistent - your title says "poor GPA during earlier semsters", but the detail says you got your best GPA during your first year. Or am I missing something? – Philip Kendall Sep 6 '18 at 15:07
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    To @JoeStrazzere's point, you should be getting medical attention for that condition irrespective of job applications. I maintain that this is still a confidential point that only you and HR (and potentially your future boss) would need to discuss, so it would not be appropriate to discuss it in an interview setting. – Makoto Sep 6 '18 at 15:12
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    For what it's worth: psychologists (unlike psychiatrists) don't / can't give medication (it may be more nuanced than that, but that's the basic idea). So going to see one shouldn't carry much risk of getting prescribing some medication. Even if that somehow happens, you can always say no. Also, no-one likes medication, but we realise it's sometimes necessary to make us feel better (when something physically hurts and meds makes it better, it's fairly obvious - when it's something less tangible like depression, it can be harder to see the necessity, but it can still be necessary). – Bernhard Barker Sep 6 '18 at 18:23

First of all (and others have said the same) is to get treatment for your depression. This is not something you can ignore or do on your own. It is a matter of life and death. Treatment does not always include medication, but if it does it is in your best interest to explore with a competent psychiatrist and therapist. Do not be stubborn and do it now!

Now as the employment situation. There are some fields where a GPA can be part of a hiring decision (at least for an entry level job). If you are truly in one of these then you will have to address the GPA issue. When I was a hiring manager and there were gaps in a resume/cv (and/or transcript) the candidate would need to be address the gaps. I was not hiring on GPA per se but was instead looking for radical changes (in grades or employment or...). If the response was "I (candidate) was dealing with a medical condition at the time". I would have accepted this answer. I would have suspected depression (it's far more common the we would like to think) and would have given you credit for dealing with instead of ignoring.

One question - if you haven't gotten treatment up until now what would happen after you get the job and some life event happens triggering another depressive episode?

Please get professional help!


I would argue that it largely depends on what industry or institution you're going into. If one of the explicit requirements is that you as a fresh graduate or intern have a specific GPA, then you may want to explain yourself. However, I've not experienced or encountered many employers who really cared all that much about it otherwise, so there's no real reason to justify/explain it.

The big thing you're going to want to do is sell yourself as competent and reliable. You can use your course work as a support to this, but be sure to talk up your strengths and leverage your weaknesses as learning moments for yourself. I would also avoid talking about your medical condition unless it came up during HR in your otherwise confidential HR screen.

  • Well its not an official medical situation, I just kinda live around it now. In engineering, GPA is about the only important thing for young fresh grads without actual work experience – Throwaway Sep 6 '18 at 15:44

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