Engineering is the Top-Paid Major for 2013

If you are still in college and trying to decide on a major, a technical degree could be the way to go. Technical majors -particularly in engineering- head the list of top-paid majors for the Class of 2013, according to the just-released NACE’s  Salary Survey.

A full 7 engineering majors are listed as the 10 highest-paid at the bachelor’s-degree level, and at an average starting salary of $62,000 those college loan could be paid off in a hurry. (Unfortunately those of us in the Humanities will have to pay a bit longer as our startong salary averages just $37,000.) Want to go for the gold? Then try petroleum engineering, which at $96,200 a year, is far and away the highest-paid major for the newly graduated.

The remaining 6 engineering majors among the top 10 are computer engineering, ($70,300, second), chemical engineering ($66,900, third), aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering ($63,900, fifth), mechanical engineering ($63,900, fifth), electrical/electronics & communications engineering ($62,500, seventh), and engineering technology ($60,900, eighth). Not only are new hires in these areas well-paid, but the future outlook for advancement is strong as well. 

Not an engineering major? Fear not, there are some solid paying jobs out there for the rest of us as well. Computer science majors average $64,100 in their first year of employment -the fourth highest-paid among bachelor’s-degree graduates this year. Additional well-paid graduates were those in management information systems/business ($60,300, ninth) and logistics/materials management ($59,500, 10th).

Below is a breakdown by broad category. 

Business $55,635 
Communications $43,835
Computer Science $58,547 
Education $40,337 
Engineering $62,062 
Humanities & Social Sciences $37,791 
Math & Sciences $42,731 

Best of Summer '13

Here in New England some of the leaves are already starting to change, which means that despite what the calendar may say, fall is on the way. 

With this in mind I thought it was time for a "Best of Summer '13" post, for those of you who were too busy soaking up the sun, or just doing far too much yard work to keep up with Quality Resumes over the past few months. Below are the latest and greatest from the blog.

1. Why You Should Use Keywords in Your Cover Letter
2. 5 Reasons Employers Will Hire You
3. 7 Things to Leave off Your Resume
4. The Seven Deadly Sins of Resume Writing
5. Five Quick & Easy Tips For Post-Interview Thank You Letters

And last, but not least the most popular article of the past three months...

Why Your File Name Could Be Killing Your Resume

We also introduced a new service this summer, The $99 Resume Face-lift. 

  • Need your latest job accomplishments added?
  • Want to spice up your branding statement and summary skills?
  • Need to include some recent professional development activities?
  • Just want to spruce up a flat looking resume?
This is exactly what the Resume Face-lift is for. If you're interested send me a copy of your resume and I'll let you know what I can do for you specifically. Until then, take some time reviewing the best of summer '13 for some no-cost tools to help you stay prepared for anything. 

Five Quick and Easy Tips for Post-Interview Thank You Letters

If you have made it all the way through the resume gauntlet and come out on the other side of an interview make sure to say thank you. The best way to do this is with a tradition post-interview thank you letter. Doing this is not only a case of good manners, it also allows you to subtly keep your name in front of the hiring committee and highlight anything that went particularly well in the interview. 

Before you send that letter off be sure to follow these five general guidelines to be sure you get the most out of your short missive. 

Keep it short. A post-interview letter is not the same as a cover letter. You do not need to go over all of your accomplishments and credentials again. Keep it brief and to the point. Tell them you appreciate the opportunity to meet with them, and that you are available to answer any follow up questions. I suggest something along the lines of 2-3 paragraphs at most.

Be professional. While you might be tempted to write something very casual to come across as personable, remember this is a professional thank you letter. Use a formal letter template with the traditional header and salutation. Traditional fonts like Times New Roman or Arial, size 10 or 12 are best for this type of writing.

Send it soon. This type of correspondence needs to be timely if it is going to have the desired impact. You want them to receive the letter while your interview is still fairly fresh in mind. I recommend writing your letter the day after the interview and them mailing that day it. This way they will be reading it in about 3 days. This is enough time for them to still remember the interview, but not so soon that it feels like overkill.

If possible, personalize. While you don't want to sound unprofessional, after you have met and spoke with the interviewer you can assume a level of connection that wasn't there in the cover letter. So if there is a quick way to personalize the message go ahead, but do not force anything. Perhaps someone mentioned there was a company softball team. This would be the time to mention you were the starting short stop on your high school baseball team. 

Proofread. Then proofread again. This is the oldest advice in the book, but that is only because it is that important. Don't blow it with a typo in your thank you note. 

A note on email: If you know the hiring decision is going to be made in the next couple days, then it is appropriate to send a post-interview thank you letter in email. However, all of the above still applies. Be professional.