Right now, we have a seemingly "catch all" question of this sort. It reads in part, "My transcripts suck. There's no way to dress it up." A number of other questions have been linked to this as a duplicate.
But at least one of other questions showed "skewed," rather than uniformly bad grades that CAN be "dressed up," IMHO. The thrust was, "I have six years of grades. They averaged 2.0 in the first three years of undergraduate work. I "found myself" in my senior year, and my grades average 3.6 for that year, plus two years of a Masters degree. Most PhD programs require a 3.3 average to graduate, and base their admittance criteria on this fact. Given that I have good research and recommendations, how can I convince them that I'm really a 3.6 student (over the last three years) and not a 2.8 student (cumulative over six years)?
Then there was a question (left open) with the basically opposite "problem" profile to "smart but lazy," (the premise of the first question cited above). It came from hardworking "grind" who gets good grades, but whose test scores, research efforts and faculty members may call his "talents" into question.
Why was the question with the 2.0-3.6 GPA "progression" closed as a duplicate of the first one, when it was really more like the open question from the grind?