QUESTION: I just received my master’s degree and would like to use it to get a higher paying role. How do I get employers to pay me what I’m worth with my new degree?

Kate Williamson, Scientech Resumes

An advanced degree is a great way to stand out but that’s not what’s standing in the way between you and the compensation you deserve. People pay people to solve problems. Therefore, you need to identify the employer’s primary pain points, especially the most expensive ones, and connect the dots between your qualifications, prior experiences, and successes to get the hiring manager’s attention.

Wendy Steele, BluePrint Resumes & Consulting

Along with your new degree, update your resume and follow up with a cover letter, email or if you can have a meeting with your employer, explain to them the additional experience and transferable skills you already have that complement the degree. What did you learn while obtaining your degree that would help the company? What problems would you solve? State this and anything that helps your case.

Norine Dagliano, ekm Inspirations

Your salary is an investment and the employer wants to know he will get a high return on this investment. Just because you have a degree, it is not a promise of ROI. Consider what added value (skills and expertise) you bring to the table and how much additional revenue or cost savings the company can gain as a result of having you on the team. Sell it – don’t tell it!

Grant Cooper, Strategic Resumes & Business Plans

Apply for positions that are advertised as “Master’s degree preferred”… or public and private sector job announcements that require an advanced degree. These are posted by employers who know that they must pay a premium for postgraduate education. On your resume and communications, place the MA, MBA or other designation after your name. This will signal to employers that you value your degree.

Emily Salazar, St. Edward's University

Conduct research on “your worth” based on your degree, your years of experience, and the region you live in. Use Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Payscale, and salary.com to gather this information. Some of these sites will also have information on company pay ranges. Ask yourself why you are worth more $$ and answer in terms of what you can offer employers that will make their businesses more profitable.

Cheryl Minnick, University of Montana

A graduate degree does not necessarily warrant a higher salary with your current company unless it was written into your contract or required for promotion/raise. A master’s does not automatically make you worth more – your accomplishments set your value. Often, the best bet is to find and apply for a job with a company paying higher salaries, then jump ship and hope to land on a yacht.

Holly Genser

Focus your resume on your desired new role with the appropriate title, keywords, and skills. Highlight previous achievements, such as collaborations, customer service, process improvements, revenue increases, and cost savings. List relevant courses, class projects, presentations, conferences, professional memberships, leadership positions, and all internships with the impacts you achieved.

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