The Spring semester is winding down and if you’re a college Senior you’re probably starting to freak out about finding work. Dr. Larry Chiagouris, author of The Secret to Getting a Job After College, doesn’t sugarcoat the prospects for the unprepared:

“There is a very simple reason why it’s difficult to get a job upon graduation: the vast majority of college students do not have any significant experience to leverage into an employment opportunity.”

This isn’t just to make you panic but to motivate you. The advice in this book can give you an edge over those who aren’t working to leverage their qualities against the competition.

Brand Yourself: Networking with a Marketing Twist

A while back I wrote a post called Online Resume Help—What Not to Include? and talked about how to fine tune your resume based on your personal brand.

Chiagouris applies these same principles to networking.

He says, “College students need to understand they must treat themselves as a brand. They must assess the strengths and weaknesses of their brand and match their personal brand to the needs of a prospective employer.”

He offers a crash course on branding straight from the marketing playbook. Here are some of his tips on how to bring this into play in the hiring process:

-Figure out what sets you apart from other applicants and highlight the advantages you’ll bring to the company.

-Develop a brand that’s consistent with your goals and objectives.

-Create a Personal Vision Statement.

-Be adaptable to the needs of a potential employer.

-Be prepared to back up statements with evidence of your experience.

For some interviewees the most challenging question seems like it should be the simplest: “Tell me about yourself.” If you’ve taken the time to develop your brand you should be able to answer this question confidently and effectively.

Sell Yourself: Interviewing with a Marketing Twist

And speaking of the interview, you can use marketing techniques there too. Chiagouris asserts that you’ll be much more successful if you see the interview as an opportunity to sell yourself: “Think of it as a sales presentation. Each question provides you with an opportunity to make a sale with your answer.”

The interview prep in this book is extensive. He breaks down 40 common interview questions: why they’re important, appropriate responses, and inappropriate responses.

The Internet Job Search: Use it Wisely

The Internet has revolutionized the job search. We all know that.

But Chiagouris has an important word of caution: “I have found the Internet can seduce you. It can lull you into thinking that you have covered all the bases in your job search. Do not allow that to happen to you.”

With that in mind, still use this great tool! Just make sure you’re still willing to put in face time too. Yes, networking sounds like more work, but it’s worthwhile.

Chiagouris breaks down the internet job search simply—start with general sites because they update their postings more frequently. Then find a few sites that specialize in your industry. Once you’ve found your favorites, figure out when they generally post new listings and get into a rhythm of checking them.

Now, go finish off that degree so you can turn it into a job offer.

For more on the book visit http://thesecrettogettingajobaftercollege.com

For Chiagouris’ helpful list of career related websites visit http://thesecrettogettingajobaftercollege.com/careersites.html