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Go Beyond Your Degree to Get the Salary You Want

Go Beyond Your Degree to Get the Salary You Want

Lynda M. Bassett, Monster Contributing Writer

It’s More Than Your Major

But even more than your major, your career choice and how you pursue it will determine your income, Giordano says.

Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation for, agrees. “It’s not just about the major,” he says. “It’s about the person, the ability to solve problems, the way you sell yourself and your skills.”

To increase your earning power, start by researching the industry and then writing a great resume and customized cover letter. “These recruiters go through piles and piles of resumes,” says Coleman. “You need to make sure you use their terms, their keywords and their lingo. Make it easy for them. Tell them what they want to hear.”

Get Real-World Experience

Whether it’s volunteer projects, internships or even work-study jobs, there is no substitute for real-world experience on your resume. Not only does it give you something to talk about intelligently, Coleman says, but it also gives you a “broad understanding of the workplace at large” and shows that you know “how to manage schedules, how to take direction, how to give input and how to be an employee.” And it can ultimately bring you more money.

According to Ackerman, to get experience , you may have to work outside your field of interest. Another tactic is to look for a temporary or contract job. “It gets your foot in the door, offers experience for your resume, and networking and mentoring opportunities,” she says.

This article originally appeared on Monster Career Advice.

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