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For job seekers, the high unemployment rate means it takes more than just the seamless resume and sufficient experience to secure a job. So, how can you increase your chances of landing a job in this tough economy? Answer: Master your job. Related: #1 Thing You Can Do To Become A Better Employee Hiring managers are looking for candidates that have mastered their job or established an area of expertise. In addition to the resume and experience, go above and beyond by showing employers that you are dedicated to advancing in your industry by mastering your niche. By demonstrating your mastership, employers can more easily see your worth, and you can even potentially make a stronger case when negotiating your salary.

5 Ways To Master your Job

Consider the following five methods of mastering your job after hours to stand out from the crowd of candidates:

1. Invest In Higher Education

Continuing your education in your field shows hiring managers that you are committed to fully mastering your job. In addition, earning your master's degree is likely to bump up your salary in the long run.

2. Get Certified

Many jobs require using specific software on a day-to-day basis, and earning certifications is a clear indicator to hiring managers that you already have a grip on the knowledge required for the job. For instance, Human Resource specialists should work on getting their Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Similarly, IT professionals should have software certifications, like Linux, depending on the job. Many colleges have Extension centers that offer courses and exams for professional certifications.

3. Contribute In The Discourse

Another way to show your mastery is by engaging in blogs, articles, social media, forums, and any other online platforms related to your career, field, or industry. Voluntarily writing guest posts, commenting on articles, and keeping up-to-date on the current trends via company research is a great way to get a leg up on the competition. Getting involved and staying engaged shows that you are enthusiastic about what you do.

4. Attend Industry Conferences/Events

Become a member of field associations and make the effort to attend events put forth by leading members of your industry. This is a great way to network with other like-minded professionals. Check out public service organizations like ipl2 and association directories like Weddle to research organizations of interest to you.

5. Map Out A Presentation

Another way to set yourself apart is by preparing a 30-60-90 day plan unique to the company. This wraps up all of the skills you gained from all of the above and directly applies them to your future job. It shows that you've thoroughly researched the company, competitors, as well as the industry, and it shows you have a strong grip on what the company needs to do to succeed in your niche. It's not enough to complete all of the job application requirements. In order to be competitive job seekers, you have to be committed to continue learning in your field, adapting to latest innovations and staying up-to-date in your industry.

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