Assignment Instructions


  1. This will help you start to identify and understand your personal brand so you can manage it out in the world as an individual, a job seeker, a graduate school applicant and so on.
  2. overall organization, completeness of the assignment, following of directions, apparent effort and readability. For example: Did you write in full sentences? Is the writing coherent and understandable? Did you make an effort to explore and think when responding to the questions? Did you answer all the questions?



PART ONE: Recruit others to provide input on your Personal Branding

PART TWO: Identifying your PERSONA

PART THREE: Identifying your PROMISE








Personal Branding for New Grads

By Meg Guiseppi

“I’m a New Grad. Do I Have a Personal Brand?”  The short answer – YES! We all do.

Everyone has a reputation they’ve developed over time. Over your work life and personal life, you’ve become known for being a certain kind of person, being driven by certain values and passions, and offering certain skill sets and strengths.

More than ever these days, in job search you need to stand out from your competition. That means differentiating your own unique combination of top personal attributes, qualifications, motivating skills (those you excel at AND love doing the most), strengths, values, and passions. This set of traits represents your promise of value to your target employers. That’s your brand.

It’s not so hard for seasoned professionals to identify these distinguishing characteristics in themselves. They’ve probably had to think about these things, and have most likely received performance reviews from employer(s), confirming what they already knew were their best assets.

But what if you’re a recent grad or someone seeking your very first job? Do you even have a brand yet?

You bet you do!

I received the following blog comment when I cross-posted my Job-Hunt article, Personal Branding Hype and Myth vs. Reality on my Executive Resume Branding blogsite:

“I wonder, is a personal branding statement at all useful to people who don’t have previous work experience? Forgive me if my question sounds a little naive…I am looking for my first job, and it’s been tough going to present an appealing ‘point of difference’ based on my very general skill set.”

My response:

“No matter what your professional level, even without work experience, you have a personal brand. People know you, and rely on you, for certain things. This is why getting feedback from the people who know you best is so important. Ask them what they feel your top strengths and personal attributes are. Look at the feedback for cross-over. Which points stand out? These can help you differentiate your value in the market place over others with similar backgrounds.”

Defining Your Personal Brand

So, the process of defining your brand is the same for you as a new grad or entry-level job seeker as it is for a senior level executive with 30+ years experience.

  • Begin to determine your unique promise of value by asking people around you, who have seen you in action, for feedback. This means tapping your classmates, teachers, professors, mentors, supervisors of internships, people you’ve known for some time, people you’ve worked on projects with, etc.
  • Pay attention to what they say when they introduce you to someone new. Ask them what they think your best qualities are, and what things they know they can always rely on you for.
  • Meantime, sit down and work on identifying your differentiating factors yourself, along with all the components that go into defining your personal brand.
  • And remember, as with job seekers at any professional level, building your brand requires first identifying your target career and the target companies you want to pursue, researching their needs right now (through job descriptions, company websites and Google search), and determining how you’ll be a good fit for them.

Your brand and all your job search communications (resume, cover letters, online profiles, personal web pages, etc.) will resonate with your target employers, if you align their needs with your qualifications.

Also, make sure that your brand and good-fit traits carry over to your online brand communications – your professional social networking and social media activities.

Your takeaway:

Professional level, years of experience, and age don’t determine whether you have a brand. We all already have a personal brand. Chances are, others know what your brand is all about. It’s up to you to do some work, uncover what makes you unique, and use that information to market yourself to your target employers.

Bottom Line…

The work involved in uncovering and defining your personal brand may seem daunting, but your efforts will benefit you immeasurably. In job search, defining and communicating your personal brand can help pre-qualify you as a good fit and strategically position you to land your next great gig faster.




What is a personal brand?


You already have a personal brand whether you buy into this thinking or not. Your personal brand is a combination of your image and reputation. How you present and conduct yourself daily forms the foundation for your brand. Others impact your personal brand too, through their speech and actions.


“A brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon


Do you think you have a credible personal brand? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do people have a clear understanding of you and the value it brings?
  • What words, concepts, and ideas do people associate with your name and image
  • How do you take control of your brand, allowing you to influence and shape what you would like people to say about you?


Personal branding is the process of developing a strategy and actions to guide your brand. This assignment will give you the tools and material to take help you begin developing your personal brand. To do this you must “know thyself” so take a deep dive and get started on the assignment by reading the prompts and answering the questions below.





PART ONE: Recruit others to provide input on your Personal Branding




  1. As part of the assignment folder, there is a “Personal Branding Assessment Questionnaire.”


  1. Print 2 copies off. Write your name at the top.



  1. Recruit two people that know you well to complete the “Personal Branding Assessment Questionnaire.” For example, recruits can be friends, family, or co-workers.


  1. Give each recruit the following items:
    1. The 2-page questionnaire packet (Page 1 is the questions; Page 2 is the the list of Sample Brand Attributes to help things along.
    2. A blank sheet of paper to record their answers.


  1. As Part One of your assignment you are to turn in both the questionnaire with their answer sheet.



















  1. Read and answer the numbered questions 1-18. The questions are in bold italics.
  2. You can write your answers in this document.
  3. Or you can chose to cut and paste the questions into a new document, you must include the question number as well as the question as stated in this assignment.

Note: Assignments that simply list a number with a response will not be accepted.  



PART TWO: Identifying your PERSONA


What is a persona? A persona describes who you are and the qualities that make you, you. Your persona includes your unique, one of a kind qualities such as your vision, purpose, values, passions, attributes.


VISION: Look externally at the bigger picture of your vision for the world, and then internally at how you might help the world realize your vision. Think about one world or local problem that you would like to see solved OR one area of life that you want to see transformed or improved. This is your vision.

  1. What is your vision? Identify, write and explain your vision.


PURPOSE: Ask yourself how you can play a role or part in making your vision happen? This is your purpose.

  1. What is your purpose? Identify, write and explain your purpose.


VALUES: Your values are your guiding principles – things like: Balance, being the best, agility, calmness, challenge, decisiveness, perseverance, drive, honesty, integrity, pragmatism, sensitivity, structure, teamwork, sharing, vitality, zeal.

  1. What are your values? Identify, write and explain.

PASSIONS: Think about the activities, interests, situations, and challenges that fascinate or excite you and energize you. Your passions are the things you can’t wait to get to each day and feel cheated when you don’t get the opportunity to do them. Your passions make you get out of bed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning or get you talking enthusiastically with others.

4.    What are you most passionate about?

5.    What do you care deeply about, what makes you emotional?








PART THREE: Identifying your PROMISE


What is a Promise? It is your unique value; it is how you differ. Think about how does someone benefit from working with you? It is what sets you apart. Do you offer insightful input? Do you provide quick turnarounds? Do you enjoy solving complex problems?

ATTRIBUTES: Think about adjectives that best describe the value you offer and words you would use to define your personality? Once you pinpoint what you feel are the right kinds of words, it’s a good idea to consult a thesaurus to precisely nail the exact words. Here are some possibilities, but don’t limit yourself to these: Collaborative, resilient, forward-focused, risk-taking, connected, international, visionary, diplomatic, intuitive, precise, enterprising, ethical, genuine, accessible.

  1. What words do you use to define your personality?
  2. What 3-4 adjectives best describe the value you offer?


  1. What makes you unique?
  2. What are your core strengths? In what functions and responsibilities do you do well or excel?


  1. What are your core weaknesses or vulnerabilities?

11. For what things am I the designated “go-to” person? Why do people come to me for help? (The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions: Analyzing, collaborating, leading, delegating, empowering others, forecasting, crunching numbers, anticipating risk, mentoring, visioning, selling, innovating, managing conflict, defining needs, writing, listening, communicating).


12. What gap would my work, social group, study group be faced with if I left suddenly?

DIFFERENTIATE: Think about who is your competition in the job or grad school marketplace and what differentiates you from them. Your resume, bio, LinkedIn profile, and other marketing communications need to make you stand out and above your competitors in the job market. You need to clearly showcase what makes you a better fit than the rest to help them meet their current needs and challenges. Many job seekers and grad school applicants slip up because they strive for sameness. They think that, in order to compete, they need to come across just like all the other candidates. But, sameness won’t set you apart. Differentiation will. Leveraging the “personal” part of personal branding will help to differentiate you.

13.  What do the people competing for the same jobs coming out or college or those applying for graduate school as you typically have to offer?


14. Now think about what is it about you that makes you different and stand out from the crowd? What added value do you bring to the table that no one else does?

GOALS: Goals are what you intend to accomplish. Work on projecting what you intend to accomplish so you can put together a strategic action plan to get there.

15. What are your 2-3 top goals/what do you intend to accomplish this college year?

16. What are your 2-3 top goals/what do you intend to accomplish in 2 years?

17. What are your 2-3 top goals/what do you intend to accomplish in 5 years?


18. When you reviewed the response of your two recruits on the Personal Branding Assessment Questionnaire, did you discover any new or interesting information? Did anything surprise you? What feedback was affirmative of your own self-assessment?





What is a personal brand story?

A personal brand story is a short pitch that communicates your personal brand. It will vary some dependent obviously on your audience that you are communicating to and the purpose of this communication…to get an internship, your first post-graduate job in your career field, or acceptance into graduate school and so on.


What a personal brand story is NOT.

Your personal brand story is not a job title or description, a personal mission statement, career objectives or life’s purpose. These items may be part of your personal brand story but they do not encompass the purpose of your personal brand story.


What makes a personal brand story successful?

  • Reflects your vision, purpose and passions
  • Combines your persona and promise
  • Describes your education or experiences
  • Provides brand attributes that make you unique, valuable, sets you a part
  • Memorable
  • Authentic and honest


Instructions for drafting your personal brand story: Now you can put all your hard work into action by creating your personal brand story based on what you have learned about yourself through Parts 1-3 of this assignment. Review you responses to the questions as well as the input you got from others to form an image of yourself, your persona and your promise.


  1. Scroll down to find the template.
  2. First identify yourself (name) and then identify your audience.
  3. Write your personal brand story, a paragraph of 5-10 sentences using first person “I”


Examples of “I” statement starters:

“I am a believer in….”

“I am not intimidated by…”

“I am a champion of far-fetched, innovative ideas…”

“I find…”


Remember that there is no right or wrong personal brand story. Your personal brand story is yours. Be creative, have some fun with it, express yourself, market and promote yourself!







PART FOUR: Draft your Personal Brand Story





My Personal Brand Story:


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